Artichoke chef’s obsession with omakase-ing everything results in ‘bread sushi’

The restaurant’s bread sushis featuring Ebi and tuna. Images: Small’s
The restaurant’s bread sushis featuring Ebi and tuna. Images: Small’s

The owner of a popular Middle Eastern restaurant is moving onto another peculiar idea to break more food norms. 

What started in a 4sqm space serving artisanal pizza omakase with uncommon toppings, Artichoke restaurant owner Bjorn Shen’s test kitchen will switch up to bread sushi in its new, larger location starting Jan. 18. Called Small’s, it is a “space of creativity” he opened last year to experiment.

“I decided that Small’s would be much more than just a pizza omakase joint – it was to be a space of creativity, where I would eventually move on from pizza and start omakase-ing other things that had never been omakase-d before,” Shen said in an announcement. “The idea was simple – keep evolving, keep breaking culinary rules, keep fucking up new shit.”

Oh my, we hope he doesn’t use that much salt in his food. 

After throwing around ideas such as chicken nugget omakase or hotpot omakase, Shen settled on replacing sushi rice with long-aged doughs cooked various ways such as baking, grilling, deep frying, and steaming. 

The Doughmakase menu will have three snacks, eight to 10 kinds of bread sushi, one hot pot, and two sweets. Everything’s subject to change daily to accommodate new ingredients and ideas.

Diners can expect more than just fish on bread, Shen said, adding that dishes are inspired by Danish smorrebrod, Basque pinxtos and Italian crostini.

Not much was revealed about the dishes or their prices, but the opening menu will feature raw, cooked, and cured seafoods such as a lightly seared flounder fin with a stir-fried green papaya salad atop charcoal-grilled bread topped with shavings of monkfish liver. 

Small’s started in a tiny space and is now in a cozy flat on the second story of a building about 2 kilometers from Artichoke.

Reservations will be available online starting Jan. 18.

115 King George’s Ave, #02-02

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