Sushi Maki brings fishy flair to food court

Brittney Bomnin//Photo Editor Senior Erica McGill buys lunch at the new Sushi Maki located in the University Center Food Court. "Sushi Maki is so good. I had not been to the food court in two years but Sushi Maki made me want to come back," McGill said.
Brittney Bomnin//Photo Editor Senior Erica McGill buys lunch at the new Sushi Maki located in the University Center Food Court. "Sushi Maki is so good. I had not been to the food court in two years but Sushi Maki made me want to come back," McGill said.

In the northeast corner of the Hurricane Food Court sits Sushi Maki, the newest innovation of the university’s restaurant services.

Introduced this fall as a replacement for Olo Sushi, the previous establishment for the past four years, Maki has students grabbing for chopsticks in bundles with its variety of Japanese dishes and high quality food.

“Honestly, I had fish from [Olo] last year and it almost turned me off sushi,” Sophomore Jillie Staffiera said. “The taste and quality that Maki offers is noticeably better. I’m in love again.”

Sushi Maki is at the forefront of sushi restaurants and seafood providers in South Florida; other locations include Miami International Airport and the prepared foods section of Whole Foods Market.

Dining services at UM came across Sushi Maki through student and faculty feedback on preferred restaurants and food. The survey feedback also included praise and complaints of the current selection of on-campus eateries.

Upon entering the food court, Maki may not seem very different from the previous enterprise, as it is in the same exact spot and offers some of the same food. But a closer look shows bright colors that adorn hanging signs calling out to UM’s sushi fanatics. The décor is sprinkled with images of sushi, tea, and other Japanese embellishments.

There are various sushi selections to pick from in the open fridge area, and more rolls can be made fresh upon request.

Lowell Resurreccion, a sous chef who has worked at Sushi Maki for four months, said that the variety of options is what makes people crave sushi.

“We have tuna, crab, eel, salmon, and shrimp all delivered fresh daily,” he said.

There are vegetable rolls as well as the traditional fish variety, and many side choices: edamame, steamed pork dumplings, miso tofu soup and tapioca Bubble Tea.

A side stand includes a dry variety of ethnic fare; Bhuja Indian snacks, Korean instant noodle bowls, shrimp cracker chips and mango gummy candies.

The Dragon Roll and Rainbow Roll are two of the most popular choices at Maki; they are priced at $9.50, but most options on the menu are well under that price. Maki’s dedication to providing healthy options, affordable prices, and above all, tasty food has made it an immediate hit with students.

“I like their sushi and the Bubble Tea is so refreshing. I’m really into the green tea,” Samantha Lin, a freshman, said.

The positive feedback is a relief to Mel Tenen, assistant vice president for Auxiliary Services. “Profits have increased 40 percent since last year,” he said.

For more on Sushi Maki and other South Florida locations, visit: http://www.sushimakirestaurants.com/.