In recent years, sushi has become one of Lima’s favorite food choices. Fueled by new and innovative offerings, sushi lovers now have more choices than ever to eat out or order in around the city. The latest addition to this list of fresh new proposals is Sushi Pop.
The concept of Sushi Pop was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2008 with a business model 100% focused on delivery. From the beginning, their goal was to make this traditional Japanese cuisine available for everyone to enjoy. In South America, sushi had always been considered an expensive, high-end food choice, only available in pricey restaurants. Sushi Pop revolutionized this concept offering fresh, delicious, quality products accessible to all.
With a creative communications campaign, the new brand was able to appeal to a younger, trendy, and sociable customer, positioning Sushi Pop as the best value for the everyday sushi lover.
(Photo: Marco Simola/Living in Peru)
Sushi Pop currently has nine locals in Argentina, one in Paraguay and as of October, two in Lima.
The franchise comes to our city through the talents of entrepreneur Mitsuharu ‘Misha’ Tsumura, who through his experience and talent has blended Nikkei and Peruvian cuisine to adapt a unique menu for the public in Lima.
The first Sushi Pop restaurant opened in Lima last year in the district of La Molina (Calle Los Caobos 380) following the business model in Argentina of being 100% delivery. They have two product lines: Pop and Black.
The Pop line is divided into four different sushi assortments: Liverpool, Buenos Aires, Tokyo and New York. The presentations vary on the number of different sushi types included in each one. The Liverpool box, for example, only has four sushi flavors (Acevichado, Apanado, Flambeado and Milanesa) while New York has a varied assortment of sushi, sashimi and nigiri (six different types in total). Prices for the 40-piece box set range from S/ 84 – S/ 119. The Black line, other than having a higher price (S/ 149 for a 35 piece set), is not aimed at your average sushi lover. The Black box sets put together an elaborate combination of Nikkei delicacies. Spring and TNT makis, salmon belly nigiri and tuna sashimi are just some of the pieces included in this presentation.
(Photo: Marco Simola/Living in Peru)
Headed by Misha’s entrepreneurial vision, Sushi Pop now aims to expand its coverage across the entire city.
The first step towards reaching this goal was opening their first sit-down local, situated in the center of Miraflores (Calle Bonilla 112, one block away from Kennedy Park), with a unique menu that includes entrees, hot dishes and desserts.
Living in Peru was lucky enough to be invited before the opening for a sneak peek of the new menu, accompanied by the creator himself.
The decoration of the restaurant is inspired by Pop Art, typically found in New York during the ‘60s and ‘70s. The interior’s bright colors and decorations could be described as loud or even tacky.
As we sat down with the renowned chef he explained that this new project was made possible by partnering up with a lifelong friend who was involved with the brand in Argentina. Why bring a franchise from the outside and not open his own sushi business? Misha tells us that Sushi Pop already had an efficient delivery system and business process in place, making it easy for him to focus on creating the menu rather than building something from scratch.
“The arrangement we have with them is to follow the brand’s guidelines as far as processes, packaging, imaging…but in the kitchen I have carte blanche to do my own creations and give local consumers the unique experience of offering Sushi Pop by Misha, because our creations are uniquely made for the public in Lima,” he told us.
And what exactly are those unique creations?
Tiradito (Photo: Marco Simola/Living in Peru)
Other than offering the aforementioned sushi combinations, as listed on their website, this new local offers much more than just sushi. An example of this was the first two dishes we were treated to: ceviche and tiradito.
Sushi Pop’s Mixed Ceviche (cabrilla fish, sea shells and shrimp) was relatively unremarkable. The Tiradito, however, does offer a unique flavor. Breaded salmon, yellow aji pepper sauce and tempura batter combine to give the traditional dish an exceptional texture.
Next came the Fried Chicken. As I was licking my fingers I told Misha his chicken had restored my faith in fried food. Crispy, crunchy and fresh, you can actually taste the flavor of chicken in every bite.
Fried chicken (Photo: Marco Simola/Living in Peru)
Arguably the highlight of the meal was the Arroz con Mariscos, which was more of a fusion between a traditional rice with seafood dish and arroz chaufa (fried rice) topped with a fried egg. This perfect combination is highlighted by the chewy texture of the fish and the strong seasoning in the rice. The tentative price for this dish is S/ 22 soles.
Up next, my personal favorite, the Sushi Pop Burger. Tasty national beef, three slices of cheddar cheese, an onion ring, pickles, Micha’s special sauce (a combination of mayo, ketchup and tartar sauce), topped with steamed bread buns. A fair warning: eating it could get messy. The soft bread causes the burger to fall apart if you’re not careful. A fork and knife might be your best option. Price is set for S/ 18.
Sushi Pop Burger (Photo: Marco Simola/Living in Peru)
Finally, the Chicken Wings. Rich, tasty and spicy, the wings marinated in a unique sauce made from hot red peppers, garlic and coriander, will trigger your taste buds as soon as you sink your teeth in. Beware, this dish could be considered spicy for some.
Wait, what about the sushi? These choices compliment the ample array of sushi flavors also made in Sushi-Pop. Other than the traditional maki rolls found in other restaurants, Micha has three unique flavors: Spring roll, Popeye and Chimichurri.
The Chimichurri Roll is stuffed with breaded shrimp and avocado, all topped with cream cheese, chimichurri sauce and flamed eel. The Spring Roll is filled with veggies (shredded carrot, bean sprouts and basil) and decorated with a Japanese-style sauce and spinach. Lastly, the Popeye Roll has breaded shrimp, avocado and crab, which is then flamed and covered in eel sauce.
(Photo: Marco Simola/Living in Peru)
What sets Sushi Pop apart from other sushi restaurants? The quality and production of their packaging and presentations are superior to those of other sushi delivery chains around the city. Misha explained that their target audience is someone who knows about sushi and isn’t afraid of spending a little more to treat their palette. It also appeals to a wider audience offering a mix of different foods other than sushi. What else do they have that the other guys don’t? Misha, of course.
Only months after Maido appeared on the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, the culinary visionary isn’t letting his recent success slow the progress of his other projects.
“Sushi Pop allows me do what I can’t include on Maido’s menu,” he explained.
His unique seasoning and culinary experience allow him to turn something ordinary, like fried chicken or a burger, into something extraordinary.
This is what truly sets Sushi Pop apart from other sushi restaurants. It’s not just sushi, it’s sushi made by Misha.
The new local also offers a delivery service that covers the entire district of Miraflores. However, some dishes mentioned above aren’t available for delivery (ceviche, burger and fried rice).
Another recommendation, when you do place your order of makis, try eating them as soon as they arrive. We found that after a few hours of sitting in the fridge the rolls simply don’t have the same consistency and flavor.
Lastly, the schedule. As we said before, the new restaurant in Miraflores was inaugurated on October 1 and stays open till 3 a.m., making it a great choice to end a night out with friends. We recommend stopping by this month as they are offering a 30% discount on the entire menu (marcha blanca) during their opening month.