Sushi Yama is a restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids that reminds me of a little cafe. It’s located in the basement of the McKay Tower Building and has just two tables in the restaurant and three or four in the area outside of the restaurant. The lighting is a little dim but it is a clean and inviting basement.
Today, at the suggestion of a good friend, I tried the mango roll. It is exactly as it sounds, mango surrounded by rice and seaweed. Now I regret not taking pictures. The colors in the middle of the roll of rice was beautiful. The center was filled with fresh shiny slices of yellow-orange mango, avocado, and pure as snow cream cheese surrounded by a layer of nori wrapped in vinegared rice. Outside the vinegared rice there were little black sesame seeds sparsely surrounding the roll.
I hesitated before I ate the first piece. I have never been a fan of fruit in dairy. I love ice cream, but I will never eat ice cream with mango in it. It has to be a sorbet or I will not eat it. I do not like yogurt, fruit at the bottom or not.
The mango roll was surprisingly good. The sweetness of the mango overpowered the avocado. However, the avocado and the cream cheese had a smooth texture that complemented the sliminess of the mango. Sushi by definition is a dish with a sour component. It’s the vinegared rice that makes a dish sushi, not the raw fish. Because the avocado and rice are lightly flavored in comparison to the mango, this excellent dish centers on the mango though there is an even amount of cream cheese, avocado, and mango.
After you enjoy a plate of various sushi such as the yellowtail or the California roll, indulge in the mango roll.