A creative and contemporary take on traditional Japanese food, Coil in Kanazawa is a fantastically modern way to enjoy some hosomaki sushi.

Coil Kanazawa Sushi
Photo by Lily Crossley-Baxter

A thin sushi roll, hosomaki suits personalization well, and Coil has embraced this entirely. Rolled quite tightly with a bamboo mat, the narrow rolls are usually sliced into bite-size pieces. In Kanazawa, however, they’re are known as an easy-to-eat option served whole. With smart low tatami seating as well as a table area, the combination of traditional and conteporary style is a clear theme.

The restaurant is located on the second floor of the Hakomachi building, alongside traditional tempura and soba restaurants and above the trendy souvenir shops focusing on local products.

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Take your pick: Ordering options

While you’ll spot some regular paper menus on the table, you’ll be placing your order through an iPad. This means no language barrier and enough time to think about what you want. You can even add extras later without worrying about getting your sumimasen (excuse me) tone just right.

Allowing you to order sets with five (¥1,280), six (¥1,480) or eight (¥1,780) filling options, you can design your own dinner and roll it too. Each set comes with tempura and four pre-prepped mats with rice spread on nori sheets.

The filling options include a variety of fish from plum jellyfish to salmon roe to fried shrimp; veg including avocado, pickled ginger and watermelon radish; and unusual options like camembert, ham and mexican beans. The combinations are limitless, and the selection means vegetarians and vegans can enjoy the meal too, with the option to have veg-only tempura (it normally contains small shrimp).

They see me rolling: Hosomaki tips

Arriving with pickles and wasabi, the presentation is stunning. A layered tiffin-like box with your sushi mats, beautiful kutani-inspired dishes for each filling, and a crisp, light tempura nest. While it may not look too substantial, it’s surprisingly filling, but there are options to add sides like miso soup and extra rice if needed.

To roll your perfect hasomaki, there’s only one rule: keep it slim. This is not a burrito and fillings should be kept minimal. When you roll, try to tuck the rice down into the edge. It’s a tricky skill to get perfect, but at least you’ve got a few goes to get it right.

As you work your way through your meal, you can alternate fillings to create new rolls each time, and mix things up with the added pickles. Popular with friends as a leisurely lunch as well as families, the relaxed atmosphere means you never feel hurried to leave.

The tea ceremony: Twig tea and beyond

One of the best additions to the meal is the self-service tea ceremony. You’ll have spotted the rows of black teapots and steaming water urns when you arrived—this is the tea ceremony area. With ten different teas including Kanazawa’s speciality twig tea, delicate roasted barley teas and fresh green teas, there’s great variety.

Staff will show you how to make your tea—from how much to put in (2–3 spoons) and how long to wait (2–4 minutes) and from then you are free to try as many as you like. The tea option is only an additional ¥300 when added to a sushi set, so it’s well worth it.

Aside from getting to try a series of unusual teas, the process of selecting and preparing the tea is really enjoyable, adding a real sense of, well, ceremony to the affair.

Sweets galore

Coil Sweet Selection Kanazawa
Photo by Lily Crossley-Baxter used under CC

During the day they offer tea ceremony with the option of Japanese sweets. You can choose just the tea ceremony (¥500), just the sweets (¥800, or a combination of both (¥1,000). This is a great chance to unwind over multiple cups of tea and to try some traditional local sweets as well as modern macarons and more.

Getting there

Found on the second floor of the modern Hakomachi building, the restaurant has a table area as well as a tatami section (we suggest the latter as it overlooks the tea selection). Coil is now open until 10 pm with last orders at 9 pm. The shops close a little earlier though, so if you want to browse before dinner head in sooner.

The building is a 10-minute walk from Kanazawa Station in a straight line, just across from Omicho Market. There are plenty of buses that run past it (including the loop buses and a horde of regular local ones), plus a Machi-nori bike station a short stroll away.

Check out our guide for other great vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Kanazawa.

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