Ryan Cooper / Lantern reporter
Fast, casual dining has quickly swept the nation, and the Ohio State campus has been no exception. Amid student favorites in the area such as Chipotle and Piada, a small Ohio sushi chain decided to try its hand on campus.
FUSIAN, which already has locations in Dayton and Cincinnati, opened recently on East 11th Avenue near the South Campus Gateway. This restaurant takes a similar approach to other fast, casual favorites. When you walk up to the counter, you notice an assembly line of workers, with giant boards behind them to walk you through the steps of placing your order.
The first thing you order is the type of wrap you would like your sushi in. The two wrap choices are seaweed and, for a dollar more, the less traditional soy wrap. After the wrap is pressed on a sheet of rice, you select a type of protein. There are several options here, including chicken, crab, shrimp, roasted tofu, tuna and salmon.
Next, you select from a wide array of vegetables, such as cucumbers, carrots, avocados, peppers and more. Finally, your sushi is rolled and cut into about 10 pieces and is ready to be finished off with any additional sauces and toppings.
Several side dishes are offered as well, such as salads, miso soup and spicy edamame (soybeans).
For me, the experience at FUSIAN was very positive. I arrived with my friend for lunch and was immediately greeted upon entering and offered assistance for any questions we had regarding the ordering process. All of the workers behind the counter were also extremely helpful and kind, moving things along quickly without making me feel rushed.
As for the sushi itself, I was pleased with my order. I went with an inside-out seaweed wrap (meaning the rice is on the outside) with a half-chicken and half-crab mix with cucumber, avocado and green onion. I then topped it with spicy mayo and tempura crunch, with wasabi and soy sauce on the side. With a fountain drink and tax, my total came out to $9.02.
The protein and vegetables both tasted very fresh, and it was nice to put exactly what I wanted in my roll. If I had to nitpick, I would say that the sushi might have been a little chewy. Another small issue I had was that it was very difficult to bite into a piece without the whole thing falling apart. This forces the eater to eat each piece in one bite, which doesn’t allow the meal to last very long.
One more minor area to note: The interior of the restaurant does not have very many tables, so I could see there being a shortage of space if it is during a meal rush. I was able to easily get a table for two this time, but the first time I went, I had to quickly nab the only available table. If the restaurant continues to gain popularity, it might have to consider adding more seating.
Nitpicking aside, FUSIAN makes for a very satisfying meal. The price of the sushi is about $7 to $8 depending on what type of protein you get, or $5.75 for a veggie roll. This can end up being a tad pricey, especially if you also get a drink or a side dish, but it’s comparable to other fast-casual restaurants and probably cheaper than most sushi restaurants.
I was skeptical of whether sushi could be made efficiently enough to keep a long line moving, but the workers at FUSIAN pull it off with ease. If you were looking for a quick, convenient and filling meal that is something original and different, I would recommend this restaurant.
FUSIAN is located at 14 E. 11th Ave. and is open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily.