‘Pick-and-mix’ sushi restaurant opens

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  • Sushi surprise: Misaki, a new sushi restaurant run by international chef Leo Calingasan and Gregory de Melo, which offers the Japanese treat with a twist (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Sushi surprise: Misaki, a new sushi restaurant run by international chef Leo Calingasan and Gregory de Melo, which offers the Japanese treat with a twist (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Japanese style: Misaki, a new style of sushi dine-in and takeout restaurant in Hamilton (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Japanese style: Misaki, a new style of sushi dine-in and takeout restaurant in Hamilton (Photograph by Akil Simmons)


A new sushi restaurant aims to offer something new — a pick-and-mix approach to the Japanese delicacy.

Gregory de Melo, co-owner of Misaki with international sushi chef Leo Calingasan, said: “We do have a different concept than anywhere else in Bermuda.

“We do a pick-and-mix — people don’t have to order a full roll. They can get two of this, two of that and so on.

“That concept is really big in Europe and we hope it will do well here.”

He added: “It’s all based on a colour-coded system.

“There is a display case full of sushi very day which is constantly replaced.”

Mr de Melo was speaking only a few months after Misaki opened on Burnaby Street in Hamilton.

He said: “The first day we were doing pretty well. It’s been going pretty well and we continue to see the people we serve coming back, which is a good sign.”

Mr de Melo, a senior technical analyst for an island bank, teamed up with Mr Calingasan, former head chef at Pearl on Front Street, after the chef returned to Bermuda after a stint in Denmark, which included opening a similar restaurant to Misaki in the Scandinavian country.

“I was looking to open something up before, like a food cart as opposed to renting a place, but it was a completely different idea, nothing to do with sushi,” said Mr de Melo.

But a meeting with Mr Calingasan changed his plans.

Mr de Melo said: “Leo was definitely the man behind it all. He was confident we could create this concept and make a success of it.

“He’s a great guy — it wouldn’t be successful if it wasn’t for him.”

He added: “We did try to get other places, but I’m definitely happy with our location, for sure.

“We have the bus terminal, there are all the offices around and we’re almost in the centre of town. Based on our business, it branches all the way down Reid Street and Front Street is only a block and a half away.”

The restaurant, which features takeout as well as four tables and some bar stool dining, also offers rice bowls featuring chicken, tuna, crispy shrimp and bibimbap — beef in a Korean-style barbecue sauce topped with a fried egg.

In addition, gluten-free and vegetarian options are available.

Mr de Melo said: “We do any special rolls we’re asked to do and we also do our own custom and special sushi rolls. We can also accommodate large orders for offices as well.”

He added: “The rice bowls are very popular. They’ve gone really well and we’re adding a couple more of those to the menu.

“We also do noodle bowls and we’re getting into ramen because a lot of people have been asking for authentic ramen.”

Mr de Melo added it the duo hoped to be granted a liquor licence in the near future, so sit-in diners could enjoy a glass of saki or other alcoholic drinks with their meals.

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Published Jul 19, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 18, 2017 at 3:57 pm)

‘Pick-and-mix’ sushi restaurant opens

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