Fusion Foods at their Finest: Ricebunn

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Ellie Chan

NICE TO MEAT YOU: Ricebunn’s iconic Salmon and KBBQ Beef Onigiri wrapped up and ready to go!

Rachel Yokota, Staff Writer

Tucked away in a corner of the Trade Marketplace, Ricebunn serves up a warm fusion of great food and good service. 

Ricebunn is a new food stall that opened recently on April 2. They serve five different types of onigiri (a Japanese rice ball) that combine traditional Japanese tastes with Korean and Western flavors. Their onigiri can either be served in the standard triangle shape or in a bowl. 

I tried all five varieties and found that my favorites were their KBBQ Beef Onigiri and Salmon Onigiri. The KBBQ Beef uses a deliciously sweet bulgogi as filling and can be ordered as spicy or non-spicy. I would say their spicy option is mild compared to common KBBQ dishes and does not mix well with the sweet bulgogi. On the other hand, the Salmon Onigiri is packed with umami and the salmon itself practically melts in your mouth. Both onigiri use the Ricebunn House Sauce, which compliments the bulgogi and salmon perfectly while adding an extra punch to the flavor of the rice. 

Another honorable mention is the Vegan Onigiri, which substitutes animal products with corn, edamame, raisins and cauliflower. These four ingredients blend surprisingly very well for a seemingly random mixture. Its unique, plant-based taste is vibrant and makes a great palate-cleanser between meatier onigiri.

As I was finishing up the Vegan Onigiri, a staff member generously offered me two edamame sides free of charge. If you plan to order their edamame side dishes, definitely spend the extra dollar for the Truffle Salt Edamame. The truffle taste is bold and blends well with the edamame. However, beware that both the truffle and sea salt edamame are unevenly salted: One bite might taste fine, but the next may leave your tongue curling.

For dessert, Ricebunn sells macaron ice cream with flavors ranging from the classic Cookies and Cream to Chocolate Toasted Almonds. I tried the Salted Caramel and Vanilla White Chocolate Cheesecake. While the ice cream flavors popped nicely, the macaron shells were soft and bordering on soggy. Even with a light touch, the shell will break under your fingers and feel mushy when bitten into. 

Just a fair warning, be prepared to circle the parking lot a few times before finding a spot. The Trade Marketplace can get busy in the evenings and their small parking lot does not help either. I would suggest trying to find street parking instead; I personally found a lot of space along Business Center Drive. The Trade Marketplace is also an outdoor food court, so bring a jacket if you plan to go at night.

Since the Trade Marketplace’s opening in 2016, food stalls have frequently come in and out of business, especially with the uncertainties spurred on by the ongoing pandemic. However, I am confident that Ricebunn will be here to stay. Their imaginative take on onigiri stands out among their competitors and their considerate hospitality is bound to keep customers coming back.