There’s one table inside, three more outside, and a short length of counter on which to lean for a quick maki fix, but mostly Rice & Roll Sushi is tiny and used for take away. Transplants from Edmonton, the husband and wife team that runs Rice & Roll has taken over a former ‘Go For Sushi’ franchise location and made it a better place – more personal, more inviting.
No website, no real advertising that I could find: Rice & Roll seems to thrive on word of mouth and pedestrian traffic. I’ve ordered sushi here before and found the rice just right (lightly sweet, un-gluey but holding together) and the cuts clean and sharp. This isn’t particularly elegant stuff, but it is well made, priced right, and kindly served.
But this isn’t about sushi. Last week I wanted something hot, something substantial and comforting for lunch, and Rice & Roll’s udon soup appealed.
A quick assembly in the back kitchen later, and I was handed a black plastic bowl generously filled. Slightly sweet, the pale brown dashi-soy-mirin broth was packed with chewy thick udon noodles, pink prawns and pinker fish loaf (kamaboko), calamari, tofu tempura, carrots, perfectly perky broccoli, and strips of pajeon (the Korean omelette/pancake studded with scallion and grated vegetables).
I ordered a container of the house kimchi and, sitting on the Queen Street sidewalk, added a dollop of the fermented cabbage to the bowl. These were not my instructions and I’m not sure it was a kosher move, but I did have a perfectly tasty time and there was no doubt passers-by were looking down on my lunch with considerable envy.
Cost: Udon Noodle soups range from $6.99 to $9.99
Open: Monday to Friday until 6 p.m.
Rice & Roll Sushi, 234 Queen Street, 613-288-2288
First published in Ottawa Magazine