Q&A with Chef Guy Vaknin

Beyond Sushi is always looking for ways to improve and expand. This spring, we're launching our new, extended menu with many new vibrant flavors and exciting dishes, including new wraps, rolls, dough pockets, salads, and noodle dishes. You can check out the new menu here.

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We've already debuted the new menu at our 14th Street location, as well as Chelsea Market, and will be extending to Midtown West in April. Also please note, the roll and piece of the month will not be available, as we are expanding new menu items for you to try.

All of our menu items are carefully and thoughtfully developed by our very own Chef Guy Vaknin and his wife / co-owner Tali Vaknin. To get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at his genius thought process, we sat down for some Q&A with the chef himself: 

What inspired you to expand the menu at Beyond Sushi?

It’s been three years since we opened our first location in Union Square and we felt the need to revamp our menu and create new exciting dishes for people to try. We decided to offer additional hot menu items such as our signature soups that we used to offer only in the winter as well as dumplings and a variety of noodle salads. Essentially, we removed some of the least selling items, and replaced with some new, more interesting ones. Our menu was a bit hard to navigate through before. Now we have streamlined things so that there are starters and entrees – people will know what to order to make a full meal.

Where do you draw inspiration for your flavor profiles and combinations?

Our menu is eclectic. Chef Guy chose flavors that he has come across from over the years. His palette has evolved and therefore wanted to mix in more interesting ingredients and flavors into the menu.

The expanded menu has new items like dumplings and noodle salads. How were these recipes and menu items inspired?

We wanted to put our fun twist on a traditional items. We wanted to make them both fun and interesting and to be able to captivate a non-vegan audience with delicious vegan offerings.

Can you explain what a few of the ingredients used in some of the new menu items are, including green tea noodles, ponzu and kaffir lime leaves?

Ponzu is a citrus based sauce traditionally used in Japanese cuisine. It is tart with a watery consistency. 

Green tea noodles, otherwise known as soba noodles are made from buckwheat and wheat flour with the added ingredient of fresh green tea leaves. In Japan, they are considered a delicacy and only eaten on special occasions.

Kaffir lime is a citrus fruit native to tropical Asia. The leaves have a very pungent taste and are very commonly used in Thai, Indonesian, and Malaysian dishes providing a very aromatic and citrus flavor to dishes. Chef Guy brings in flavors stemming from various cultures, Korean, Mediterranean, Japanese etc. He enjoys manipulating the flavors and adding them to our signature menu items to have that added zest or pop of unusual but stimulating flavor combinations.

Where do you source your ingredients from?

Locally when possible – Good Water Farms, Union Square Market are some examples.

How long have you been working on creating these dishes?

Years – Since we opened in 2012.

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What is your goal with expanding the menu at Beyond Sushi?

To have more variety and offerings four our clients and to attract new customers as well. We are aiming for a broader but quality driven menu. When people hear the name Beyond Sushi, we want them to really think beyond the sushi rolls. What else do they offer? We are a health conscious eatery providing a unique twist on traditional items, making them unconventional and tasteful to the masses.

Of the new menu items, what are a few of your personal favorites?

I love everything that is new! There is something for everyone on the menu. For adults, kids, you name it. People can frequent Beyond Sushi at any one of our outposts and always have something unique to delve into.

You definitely don't want to miss our extended menu! Stop by our 14th Street location or Chelsea Market, and we will also be extended to Midtown West soon!

A Statement from Beyond Sushi on Our Products

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To Our Loyal Customers:

It has come to our attention that imitation vegan sushi that either mimics or directly copies our products, names, and photos has been popping up on menus of establishments not affiliated with Beyond Sushi.

While imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, we wish to inform our customers that any Beyond Sushi product, photograph, or recipe imitation elsewhere is not a genuine Beyond Sushi product.  The only reseller where our products are sold is Shakespeare & Co. bookshop.

Every item at Beyond Sushi is made by hand with exceptional care, and our recipes were all thoughtfully developed by our very own Chef Guy Vaknin. We hold ourselves to a high standard of quality, and we want to be sure our customers know they’re getting true Beyond Sushi products, which are available at our 3 restaurant locations on 14th Street, West 56th Street in Midtown, and Chelsea Market.

We are so thankful for and humbled by the continued support of our loyal customers for helping us grow as a small local business. And we thank you in advance for your continued support as we continue to improve and expand.

If you have any questions about Beyond Sushi, its products, or its affiliates, please reach out to us at info@beyondsushinyc.com.

Best,

Beyond Sushi

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