“I don’t like sushi,” reveals Sylvie (four) as we make our way to the Mini Ninjas sushi-making class at Yo! Sushi, Brighton. She’s never had it before, so it’s my fault for telling her it involves seaweed. He six-year-old sister, Mia, is at least more enthusiastic.
I knew they’d both get into the spirit once we arrived though. A quick head count reveals there are 11 kids, with ages ranging from (an estimated) four to ten. The littler ones look baffled, especially when they try to put on the gloves they’re given. They’re about three times too big for poor Sylvie, leaving two inches of superfluous finger space flopping around at the ends.
The sous chef teaching the class announces that we’re making nigiri rolls first. They turn out surprisingly well, especially mine… I mean Sylvie’s. She tells me they look like dolls’ shoes, and she’s not wrong.
The rice is so sticky they could use it to glue Space Shuttle components together. “Who can tell me why our rice tastes so good,” asks the chef. “It’s full of sugar?” I murmur under my breath. Luckily nobody hears me, but it turns out I’m partly correct.
Cucumber maki’s up next, to Mia’s delight. It’s so satisfying rolling them out on the bamboo mats, and even more satisfying when they don’t fall apart at the end. We end up with quite a few, but Mia somehow manages to eat them all.
The cone-shaped hand roll with crab is the trickiest one to pull off and the kids need quite a bit of help. Fortunately for me, eating crab is too adventurous for them so I get to devour them both.
The class lasts around 45 minutes. Not long, but sufficiently short for younger attention spans. And at £15 per child it’s reasonable value, especially when you consider how much food you march off with at the end. It was just about enough to provide a park-picnic lunch for all three of us.
So, this is a fun option if you’re looking for something different to do over the summer break, although it’s definitely more suited to the over sixes. I just felt sorry for whoever had to peel all the mounds of rice off the floor afterwards.
Find out more about YO! Sushi Sushi School here