Sushi burritos aren’t a thing of the past quite yet as Kondu Japanese Restaurant opened on Allen Street this semester — bringing those Insta-worthy meals to Penn State. With a number of other Asian food places in town, it’s interesting to see how the new option stacks up.
We sent two of our staff writers down to try out the delicacies
Anthony Colucci — Sushi Burrito
Ever since sushi burritos became a trend on social media a few months ago, I have had a hard time imagining what exactly one would be. Is it a burrito with raw fish or sushi with rice, beans, and carnitas? In reality, a sushi burrito is really just a clever marketing tactic since it’s essentially one large roll.
That being said, the sushi was actually pretty good and a step above your average sushi joint. There was a broad selection of traditional and funky variations, toppings, and sauces like Sriracha aioli, wasabi aioli, and crushed peanuts. After I ordered the BFF roll, which included just about everything on the menu, I noticed that there is an option to make your own roll, a la Subway, which for adventurous fish eaters, is a great feature.
Steve Connelly — Chicken Teppanyaki
Going in, I didn’t really realize that Kondu had things other than sushi burritos, so I was ready for that adventure. But it has another big menu item called Teppanyaki. There’s four choices — vegetable, chicken, steak, and shrimp — and I settled on the chicken teppanyaki.
I thought it was a pretty solid combination of chicken, rice, broccoli, and a few other vegetables mixed in with a nice teriyaki sauce. The combination wasn’t too expensive either at about eight dollars for a good-sized portion. It’s not a risky choice and if you’re not into the whole sushi seen, this is a perfect option for you to try out.
David Abruzzese — Kondu Burrito
Having never experienced the culinary adventure that is a sushi burrito, I decided I’d take a leap of faith and give it a try with the Kondu burrito. I’m a huge burrito fan in general — any meat combination pleases my palate. The Kondu burrito seemed appealing to me loaded up with shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, surimi crab, cucumber, avocado, lettuce, sriracha, sriracha aioli. The avocado was a key component for me, and really gave this burrito a unique twist. My only real complaint was the overwhelming amount of lettuce, but other than that, each ingredient was nicely proportioned.
The seaweed wrap coupled with traditional sushi ingredients gave the burrito a certain sushi roll feel; the surimi crab provided a crunchy aesthetic to pair nicely with the tuna. Overall, I was impressed with the variety of flavors the burrito had to offer. Price-wise, north of $10 is pretty steep for someone like myself who loves to cook at home, but Kondu isn’t leaving any flavor on the table with its selection — this place is legitimate. For the unaware, it’s an endeavor worth trying.