Ricenroll Serves Quick and Tasty Japanese Fare in High Streets Retail Village
- The menu contains not only sushi
rolls, nigiri sushi and onigiri sushi
but also hot entrees like teriyaki
chicken, teriyaki salmon, beef
bowl, vegetarian bowls, and more.
- They offer an extended the
selection of fresh Asian salads and
- And serve specialty drinks such as
bubble tea, and various hot and
cold teas, as well as sake and
- The store has a merchandise
section with teapots, rice, rice
cooker, dressings, seaweeds,
cookbooks and other sushi
making items on display.
Joana Chong began ricenroll in March 2002. She has a true passion for her
culture’s food, and decided to bring it to Seattle with an American spin.
Joana lives in Mercer Island with her husband and their three boys ages 13, 16, and
19. Her family spent 12 years in Tokyo and Hong Kong before settling down in
Seattle. As she adjusted to life here with three active boys, she felt she couldn’t find
freshly prepared rice based food that were abundant in Asian cities and quick
service restaurants were lacking that variety of food.
One Christmas dinner, Joana prepared different kinds of Asian food with the focus
of sushi rolls and nigiri sushi for some friends. To her amazement, everyone loved
the California roll, but left much of the raw fish nigiri sushi on the plate. That was
when her idea was born—you can put anything in a rice roll, not just fish but any
ingredient you can think of. She added beef, pork and tempura and made rice rolls.
The name followed logically — ricenroll.
She was committed to a quick service format, which she felt was lacking in the
market. Since sushi is considered as work of art made by fully trained sushi chefs,
many people doubted her idea. She also wanted to make the portions bigger than
the traditional size, and make them to order so they would be fresh.
With a lot of internet research (having never worked in a restaurant before),
perserverance, and a little good luck, Joana opened her first ricenroll in March 2002.
Business quickly grew and there was regularly a line of people out the door of the
350 square foot store. Their second store was opened in Bellevue Square in
October 2002 and third location at Westlake Center in March 2003.
Since 2004, they have added a wholesale division to supply to corporate cafeterias,
markets, and schools, opened two stands at Safeco Field, and added fresh on-site
sushi bar catering service to their offerings.
On considering a new store location, Joana said, “We have many customers coming
from Issaquah area to our Bellevue Square store, so it was a very natural decision
to serve these already established customer base that we have developed. When
we found out about the Port Blakely project, we were very excited about the whole
The Issaquah Highlands ricenroll is larger than their typical store, with about 40
seats to accommodate dine-in customers. The menu contains not only sushi rolls,
nigiri sushi,and onigiri sushi but hot entrees like teriyaki chicken, teriyaki salmon,
beef bowl, vegetarian bowls, and more. They also offer an extended selection of
fresh Asian salads and appetizers. They serve specialty drinks such as bubble tea,
and various hot and cold teas, as well as sake and Asian beers.
The store has a merchandise section with teapots, rice, rice cooker, dressings,
seaweeds, cookbooks and other sushi making items on display. When you decide to
make your own sushi, you don’t have to go very far. With their Temaki sushi platter
set, you can have your own sushi party at your home.
“Ricenroll is reaching out to people who have never touched any sushi before.
Ricenroll is reaching out to people who could not afford to go to a sushi restaurant
everyday. Ricenroll is reaching out to people who are looking for quick, fresh and
healthy food. Our food is fast, fresh, and good,” says Joana Chong.
Look for ricenroll — open daily in the High Streets Retail Village.
For more information please visit their
web site at www.ricenroll.com.