Origami: when the Japanese and Lebanese collide

It’s no secret that many of us love sushi. Fact is that most of us are willing to pay big bucks for this relatively healthy cuisine. And who doesn’t love it when restaurants add local or regional touches to international dishes (Latin roll anyone?!)? It’s no wonder that sushi restaurants are popping up all over the island: Chopstix, Rolling Sushi, Jun’s Sushi Bar and Matsuri – just to name a few. And it doesn’t stop there. Origami recently decided to join the party and perhaps even raise the stakes.

Origami is located at the Curaçao Beach Boulevard BLVD right next to Greenhouse. Run by the same owners, Origami may seem like an odd addition to the well-loved Lebanese chain. The clean, white interior of Origami is such a stark contrast to the elaborate, darkly coloured interior of Greenhouse and the transition between the two venues is not elegantly executed. First time visitors might do a double take upon entering, but somehow it works. For those dreading the typically busy environment and slow service of Greenhouse, the addition of Origami possibly made it worse. Just get there early or stick to weeknights and you’ll be fine.

Although the menu is limited to the traditional rolls found all over the island (such as Latin roll, shrimp tempura, California roll and the usual sashimi and nigiri items), Origami’s strength lies in the execution. They use fresh ingredients and serve it on a big sushi boat, making it easy to share with everyone at the table. The wasabi (whether real or horseradish) isn’t too strong, so you can add as much of the green gunk you can handle. The best part yet: the rolls are small and rolled nice and tight. No more rice residue in your soy sauce and no need to ask for a knife to cut down the portions to bite-size like at other sushi places. Yes, we get it, sushi is expensive and some of the local joints want to give their customers more bang for their buck, but we still very much prefer bite-sized sushi. There is nothing worse than sitting across someone trying to shove burger-sized sushi in their mouth or trying to fish bits and pieces of sushi out of the soy sauce.

Another reason Origami may become the preferred sushi place is the fact that you can order from Greenhouse’s menu as well. Sushi-loving folk no longer have to force feed their sushi-hating peers. They can happily go along with the sushi aficionados and order anything from a “kapsalon” (recommended by B&R!) to a juicy steak or “stoba”. And afterwards, you can grab a cocktail or dance the night away at any of the other venues at BLVD.

Food: 8 – two words: bite-sized sushi!

Location: 9 – centrally located

Service: 6 – the kids need to be potty trained

Ambiance: 6 – unlike other sushi places, the environment doesn’t resemble anything Japanese