The humble rice roll has been getting fancy makeovers of late.
Eschewing seaweed wrappers and generic ingredients for stuffing, eateries are cramming the rolls with fruits, cream cheese and pork floss.
The rolls are equally elaborate on the outside – crowned with slivers of meats, from aburi salmon to poached chicken, and drizzled with sauces such as hoisin, Japanese curry and kebayaki.
Four eateries selling these jazzed-up rice rolls have opened in the past seven months.
Image: Seoul Roll
1. Seoul Roll
What: This 224 sq ft kiosk sells more than 10 types of kimbap, some of them have a combination of fusion ingredients.
Try the Anchovy & Almond Roll ($4.50), which is stuffed with crunchy fried ikan bilis imported from South Korea, cheese, almonds and greens.
The signature Seoul Roll ($5) comes packed with home-made kimchi, ham, burdock and greens.
There are also creamy crab, chicken and tuna salad options in these rolls (starts from $4.50).
Where: B1-58, Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road
Open: 11am to 8pm daily
Info: Call 8685-7315 or go to seoulroll-sg.com
Image: Roll Out
2. Roll Out
What: Look out for quirky local-flavoured sushi rolls such as The Hainanese ($4.90), which has poached chicken slices on sushi rice cooked in chicken stock and flavoured with ginger sauce.
The Red Hot Chilli Pincers ($5.90) comes with fried snow crab leg with chilli crab sauce and adorned with capelin roe.
For those who need their Japanese fix, go for the popular Electric Una ($5.90), which has grilled unagi, tamago, greens and kebayaki sauce. The selection of sushi rolls changes monthly.
Where: B1-K11, Tampines Mall, 4 Tampines Central 5
Open: 10.30am to 10pm daily
Info: Call 6900-4372, go to rollout.com.sg
Image: Bento N Roll
3. Bento N Roll
What: Stallowner Lisa Tan converted her family’s 30-year-old popiah stall into one selling bentos and rice rolls in March this year.
The avid self-taught bento-maker offers 10 flavours of sushi rolls (starts from $3.20) made with cooked ingredients, such as hot dog, kimchi, crab stick, ebi and luncheon meat.
These meats are rolled with other ingredients such as pickles, carrots and cucumbers. Add 30 cents for brown rice.
Where: 01-55 Block 29, Bendemeer Food Centre, Bendemeer Road
Open: 7.30am to 2.30pm, Monday to Saturday, closed on Sunday
Info: Call 9699-7494 or go to bentonrolls.com
Image: Rollie Ollie
4. Rollie Ollie
What: This casual 24-seat cafe serves nine elaborate sushi rolls.
Popular picks include the Sunkissed Salmon ($16.95), which has aburi salmon, crab meat, avocado, jicama cucumber and roe, and the K Pop ($12.95), which consists of spicy crab meat, kimchi, cucumber, chives and jicama.
It also sells Sushirritos ($14.95), which are a cross between burrito and sushi, and Skinny Rolls (from $12.95), which have greens and meats wrapped in a wafer-thin soya bean-based wrap.
Where: 02-05, Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green
Open: 11.30am to 10pm, weekday, 11am to 10pm, weekend
Info: Go to rollieolie.com
This story was first published in The Straits Times on October 4, 2015. For similar stories, go to www.sph.straitstimes.com/lifestyle.