OiSushi is a fusion sushi restaurant in the heart of Rome which combines the freshest fish with some seriously imaginative world-food combinations. If you’re craving Brazilian-Japanese sushi, a Hawaiian poke bowl, tacos with a difference or even Italian sushi, this could be the place for you.
OiSushi opened in its prime, central location almost two years ago but is under new management as of 2019. Consulting director Oscar Trapani is a familiar face on the Roman restaurant scene, with consultancies across iconic spots including Gilda, Blume Lounge, Factory, Eden and more.
The venue is bijoux – right in the heart of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, just a couple of minutes walk from Campo de’ Fiori and Piazza Navona. While the location is solid gold, OiSushi does find itself in Rome’s tourist heartlands, where it can be tricky to eat well for the right price.
The bill is squarely fair for the location and the quality of the food. Chef Mattia D’Ambrosio vaunts impressive experience at Spanish 3 Michelin star restaurant Diverxo and a spell with Italian super-chef Massimo Bottura. Many of the clever fusion combinations come from his experiences in these top kitchens, as well as the knowledge about preparing fresh fish simply and well.
For the Japanese purists amongst you, I was delighted to start dinner with this sensational sashimi (probably my go-to dish in any Japanese restaurant, ever). This was a fantastic demonstration of the freshness and quality of the fish. Expect to pay €14 for an 11-piece sashimi dish like this, with smaller individual servings on the menu available, including oysters, raw beef, tuna, salmon and even a vegan tartare of fresh Italian and Asian vegetables.
Next, it was time to dive into the fusion rolls menu which is a lot of fun – and definitely includes some rule-bending combinations. How about seared scallops with pig cheek and a dash of truffle oil? (Eight pieces cost €13, pretty standard for the fusion roll menu).
We also tried this seabass ceviche with saffron on cubes of fried rice. Definitely delicious, although for me the fish was a little overwhelmed with the oil of the fried rice cube.
Next, it was the turn of these sensational salmon and raspberry rolls on baked noodle nests, definitely a popular choice.
We also tried these tasty salmon and spicy mayo rolls, with a squeeze of lime on fried rice. Expect to pay €8 for 5 pieces when ordering the crispy varieties.
These gorgeous rolls dressed with pansy petals, featuring red fish eggs, salmon, almonds and bean sprouts were as tasty as they were beautiful.
I also really enjoyed these stunning tuna and avocado uramaki, fresh and light, dressed with beansprouts. We also tried a new entry on the OiSushi menu – Italian sushi, essentially rice balls dressed with carbonara, amatriciana and cacio e pepe sauce. These are still a work in progress but I loved the idea and can’t wait to see how the final recipe will turn out. Definitely a fun idea if you’re on holiday in Rome and want to honour local cuisine while stepping out.
These spicy crab rolls with cubes of green apple and pistachio nuts were also a real hit.
There are plenty of other options on the menu if you want to move beyond rolls. I was really impressed with these prawn dumplings dressed with mango and spicy chilli sauce.
The ramen bowls continue the fusion theme, served with a deep, flavourful broth from a Southern Italian recipe (Puglia, to be precise), combined with a slice of cooked pork, seaweed and boiled egg. Expect to pay a honest €14 for a bowl of ramen (larger than the tasting portion I sampled here).
There are even fusion tacos on the menu – these combining tuna, burrata and truffle sauce didn’t quite hit the spot for me, but a fun idea. You can also order Hawaiian poke bowls, bao buns and more – so if you’re in a larger group, you should find something for everyone.
We closed dinner with these fruits-of-the-forest brownies, combining the fresh acidity of the fruit and deep chocolate notes. Sensational.
The venue is small so booking ahead is advisable. Expect to order wine, beer and cocktails with your food for a fun evening of international cuisine. Recommended!
OiSushi Roma| Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 143|Rome, Italy|+39 06 6476 1035
Testaccina was a guest of OiSushi