Sushi Making Moved to Allison

Eleanor Kaestner ’19, Contributing Writer

Students can no longer watch a sushi chef make rolls in the underground. 

Dickinson has been providing sushi as a dining option for around seven years and is partnered with Saikou Sushi. Saikou is a full-service sushi bar based in Hershey, Penn. that has partnerships with college campuses, restaurants, hospitals and offices in the Mid-Atlantic region. 

“[Saikou] works in Allison Hall to prepare the sushi,” Director of Dining Services Errol Huffman said, “There was not enough space in The Underground for both operations to prepare, clean and serve guests. The risk of cross-contact is too high to have the sushi ingredients located near juicing ingredients.” 

“I wonder where [the sushi] comes from and I wonder especially if it’s made here on campus,” said Liz Schlerf ’21. “I know that some people kind of tend to stick to the vegetable rolls because they are worried about eating fish in a landlocked state.”

Not all students question the origins of the fish. “I haven’t had any problems with it, I haven’t heard any problems about it,” said Sarah Mason ’22. 

Huffman added that Saikou uses national licensed sources for all of their product and most of the product is coming in frozen.

“I think with them not making [the sushi] in front of us it is definitely not as popular as it used to be,” Graham Klimley ’19 said. 

There are high numbers of sushi sales however, “We are currently seeing an average of 1,000 boxes per week, 200 per day” Huffman said.

Schlerf mentioned that she buys sushi on average around two times a week, Mason once a week and Klimley once every two weeks. Some favorite sushi rolls of theirs are shrimp tempura, avocado and spicy tuna with cucumber. 

Huffman says he doesn’t see any reason for the sushi option at Dickinson to go away. The only issue around sushi is the amount of space needed to produce, store, clean and box it. 

Saikou has worked with Dickinson this year to emphasize sustainable efforts. Sushi boxes now do not contain ginger and soy sauce packets, instead students are given the option to take these if they want to. This prevents the ginger and soy sauce  from potentially being wasted. 

Sushi currently can be purchased using dining dollars and declining balance but cannot be used with the any 20 option. “Dickinson has not found out a way to make this an option because most money is given back to Saikou,” Huffman explained, “It’s not something that is off-the-table, we just haven’t been able to figure out how to really make that work.”

Dickinson sushi received positive remarks when students compared it to the kinds they eat at home. “It’s definitely about the same level as my Publix sushi,” mentioned Mason, while Alex Goles ’22 added, “I’d say obviously it’s not in a restaurant so it’s a little different, a little less fancy, but the quality is there.”