1 publish
193675

Food

Blind Taste Test: We Tried California Rolls From 7 Places To Find The One To Rule Them All!

Last Updated: June 2, 2018

Written by Alvin Song

At SETHLUI.com, our writers all have pretty strong opinions when it comes to food. So, our team gathered for a blind taste test to find the best ready-made California roll.

We’ve got fierce competition from takeout sushi stalls to atas restaurants! Here are our seven participants: Fairprice, Makisan, Cold Storage, Isetan, Sushi Take-Out, Kuriya Japanese Market and Isuramuya. 

The results are from the general consensus, we’ve assessed each and every single roll, carefully examining them and judging them  based on this list:

California Roll Form (1 Of 1)

With a panel of tasters to provide impartial judgement, we’ve gathered the results and ranked them from the best to the worst. If you’re looking for a comprehensive comparison of California rolls, read on!

7. Kuriya Japanese Market

Sushi Blind Taste Test 2 (1 Of 1)

Unfortunately for Kuriya Japanese Market, it seems paying a little more doesn’t always guarantee quality. The California Roll ($8.50 for 8 pieces) did get some positive responses, with one of my colleagues remarking that these rolls had the freshest ingredients.

Sadly, it still didn’t quite measure up to the rest of the contestants and ranked at the bottom of the list.

California Roll Kuriya (1 Of 1)

It honestly was a little surprising, considering that Kuriya Japnese Market regards freshness with much importance. The sushi chain follows a strict policy of having fresh seafood stock air-flown over from Japan thrice a week.

Perhaps it’ll have done much better with a fresh slice of salmon.

Kuriya Japanese Market: 1 Jurong West Central 2, #B1-77,  Jurong Point, Singapore 648886 | Tel: +65 6791 7553 | Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm daily | Other Outlets Website | Facebook  

6. Cold Storage

Sushi Blind Taste Test 3 (1 Of 1)

Battling Kuriya Japanese Market for the last place is one of the more atas supermarkets, Cold Storage. That’s two atas California rolls that didn’t do well!

California Roll Cold Storage (1 Of 1)

Similarly, these California Rolls ($7.80 for 6) received fairly mediocre scores in all aspects. There were a couple of factors that contributed to its results, but the one that we’ve agreed upon unanimously was the avocados. We felt that the avocado was a little too mushy, and gave the rolls an oddly sour taste.

I for one, am a fan of avocado sushi rolls, but I guess the ones at Cold Storage aren’t that good. However, the sashimi at Cold Storage has never failed me, so I recommend just sticking to that for now.

Cold Storage: 176 Orchard Road, #B1-09/10, The Centrepoint, Singapore 238843 | Tel: +65 6235 0737 | Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm daily | Other Outlets Website | Facebook

5. Sushi Take-Out

Sushi Blind Taste Test 6 (1 Of 1)

Looking like a perfectly pieced puzzle, these California Rolls ($4.50) came from Sushi Take-Out. And it seems the California rolls went a little beyond just looks.

Aside from being the most value-for-money, they were packed with decent taste as well, especially when you’re comparing them to other rolls of a higher price range.

California Roll Sushi Takeout (1 Of 1)

Although we felt that the rolls were a tad dry, I still found the overall taste pretty good. One taster pointed out that the taste of salmon was quite prominent. Worth a try, if you’re looking for affordable yet tasty California rolls!

Sushi Take-Out: 3151 Commonwealth Avenue West, #01-16, CityVibe, Singapore 129581 | Tel: +65 6777 8337 | Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm daily

4.Isuramuya Japanese Restaurant & Marketplace

Sushi Blind Taste Test 5 (1 Of 1)

The priciest California rolls came from Isuramuya Japanese Restaurant & Marketplace, at $10.90 per box.

I was betting on these California rolls, which looked rather pretty with a nice coating of tobiko. With such a pleasant presentation, I thought they’d have tasted the best.

California Roll Isuramuya (1 Of 1)

Unfortunately, these rolls only managed to climb to fourth place. After the tasting, I would say this was rather well-deserved. They scored decently in the looks department and many of us enjoyed the copious amount of tobiko too.

Sadly, the rolls were pretty average in the remaining aspects, which ultimately brought the total score down.

However,  the avocado chunks were pretty smooth and creamy. It’s safe to say these were in a league of their own!

Isuramuya Japanese Restaurant & Marketplace: 2 Jurong East Central 1, #04-19, JCube Jurong, Singapore 609731 | Tel: +65 6262 3008 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 9pm daily | Website | Facebook

3. Makisan

Sushi Blind Taste Test 7 (1 Of 1)

Standing strong in this sushi race we’ve got Makisan! We tried the California Dreaming ($8.90) from this popular sushi roll store.

California Roll Makisan (1 Of 1)

Although these California rolls didn’t get into the Top 2, Makisan has scored above average for most aspects. The presentation and aesthetics, as well as portion size, were the main contributors.

I can’t believe these rolls didn’t score the highest for presentation and aesthetics. Wouldn’t you agree that the California Dreaming really looked like it was right out of a dream?

However, the one common gripe was the sub-par quality of the avocado. Just like the rolls from Cold Storage, they were mushy in texture. Aside from that, the ingredients paired well together, but would have tasted tremendously better with some fresh avocados.

Makisan: 2 Handy Road, #B1-17/18, The Cathay, Singapore 229233 | Tel: +65 67378772 | Opening Hours: 11.30am – 9.30pm (Sun – Thurs), 11.30am – 10pm (Fri & Sat) | Other Outlets Website | Facebook

2. Fairprice

Sushi Blind Taste Test 1 (1 Of 1)

Right from our trusty neighbourhood supermarket, we got a four-piece packet of California Rolls ($4.50) from Fairprice! Probably one of the biggest California rolls, bested only by Makisan, these rolls received quite a lot of love from us.

California Roll Fairprice (1 Of 1)

Aside from its undeniably good portions, these California rolls had a good variety of ingredients that did well to complement each other.

However, the inclusion of lettuce and mayo was hit-or-miss with the crowd. I liked how the mayo and lettuce added texture to the rolls, but to each their own.

One thing’s for sure: these rolls were definitely bang for your buck!

Fairprice: 63 Jurong West Central 3, #03-01, Jurong Point, Singapore 648331  | Tel: +65 67901477 | Opening Hours: 12am – 11.59pm daily | Other OutletsWebsite | Facebook

1. Isetan

Sushi Blind Taste Test 4 (1 Of 1)

And at the top, we’ve got the California roll to rule them all, Isetan! Scoring a whopping 4/5 for presentation and aesthetics, there’s no doubt that the sushi chefs at this Japanese department store know how to make them pretty!

California Roll Isetan (1 Of 1)

From the portion size to the overall taste, these California Rolls ($7.90) had it all in the bag. I liked that the generous coating of tobiko on the rolls wasn’t sparse, but evenly spread out.

Some of the tasters also mentioned that the chunk of salmon was pretty big, and that the mayo tasted light and paired well with the ingredients.

Well, I guess it goes to show that sometimes, the best can be found in unexpected places.

Isetan: 3 Gateway Drive, #B2-01, Westgate, Singapore 608532| Tel: +65-6896 7777 | (Supermarket) Opening Hours: 10am – 9am (Sun – Thurs ), 10am -9.30pm (Fri & Sat) | Other OutletsWebsite | Facebook  


I think we’ve learnt that more expensive doesn’t mean better taste, when it comes to California rolls. Although Isetan clinched first place, I actually prefer the ones from Fairprice.

As much as tasting criteria goes, in the end really boils down to your preference. So if you’re thinking of getting some California rolls, try out our top-rated ones and see if they’re the rolls for you!

*This post was NOT sponsored by any sushi brands.

Although we don’t mind if the top brands could send us a couple of coupons to redeem free sushi.

Get $10 off over 600 dining vouchers from ChopeDeals when you subscribe to our free mailing list!

* indicates required

$10 off promo code on dining vouchers

Get $10 off over 600 dining vouchers from ChopeDeals when you subscribe to our free mailing list!