A preview of The Drake’s pop-up barbecue and DIY sushi

A preview of The Drake’s pop-up barbecue and DIY sushi

Sang Kim teaches the hungry to make sushi (Image: Karon Liu) 

While news of the Drake Hotel’s barbecue pop-up shop has been circulating around the city, the hotel’s restaurant has introduced something else that’s equally intriguing: make-your-own sushi. Known as temaki, this process involves a platter of sashimi, vegetables and garnishes presented in front of diners who each have a plate of nori and sushi rice to make their own rolls. “As far as I know, no one else is doing this in Canada,” says Sang Kim, the hotel’s director of food and beverages.

The platter serves two (or one really hungry diner) and costs $50 ($70 with lobster).

Pulled pork (left) and brisket sandwiches 

While we were there to try the sushi, we also got to sample the BBQ sandwiches that are set to be available from the pop-up shop on the 22nd. They’re small sandwiches packed with pulled pork and brisket. Chef Anthony Rose says the goal is to put the focus on the meat so he’s using “generic” buns. Apparently, Rose and Drake GM Bill Simpson considered many foods for the pop-up shop before settling on BBQ. A seafood joint selling lobster rolls was considered and tacos were also in the running, but the idea was thrown out because all the various toppings would slow down production.

Simpson says there isn’t a specific end date for the BBQ pop-up shop; if the demand continues, it just might stay beyond the wintertime.