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Individually Wrapped Sushi Coming to Times Square

By Mathew Katz | February 20, 2014 9:07am
 Wasabi serves bento boxes, individually wrapped sushi and other Japanese foods.
Wasabi serves bento boxes, individually wrapped sushi and other Japanese foods.
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TIMES SQUARE — You get to pick and choose your rolls at this sushi spot.

Wasabi, a British Japanese restaurant chain, will open its first U.S. location in Times Square next week, offering a huge variety of prepackaged rolls to the Midtown lunch crowd.

Wasabi offers a menu of more than 50 types of premade, individually wrapped sushi pieces, letting diners quickly pick as much or as little as they want. The new 65-seat Times Square location at 561 Seventh Ave. will open on Monday.

The grab-and-go-style sushi bar includes thin and fat rolls, nigiri, hand rolls and even onigiri, a triangle of rice wrapped around savory fillings like roast salmon or chicken teriyaki. The sushi costs as little as $1.50 for two pieces.

"You can grab a couple of pieces for a small snack, or fill your tray with all different types if you're looking for variety," said Isabel Espert, the restaurant's marketing and brand manager. "Our grab-and-go sushi and bento are designed for busy people on the go, so for us, there was no better location than the hustle and bustle of Times Square."

Wasabi also serves hot Japanese food, including bento boxes, and noodle soups like ramen and soumen, a broth made with super-thin noodles. There's also a salad bar.

Wasabi was founded in 2003 by Korean-born Dong Hyun Kim, and has since expanded to 36 locations across the United Kingdom. Wasabi hopes to be a responsible fish spot, serving sustainably sourced Yellowfin tuna and salmon and never serving any sushi after the day that it was made.

The restaurant has grand plans for the United States, hoping to open two other Manhattan locations in 2015.