Some of you may have noticed a change in the first floor of the Rensselaer Union this fall. Where there used to be a large banner and a stack of deep fried poultry, i.e. Chester’s Chicken, there is now a display case containing sushi and tempura rolls.
Chester’s, which accounted for a third of the Rathskellar’s food sales revenue last year according to Sodexo Retail Director Joyce Schoenig, has come under fire for its health content. The Rensselaer Union’s Executive Board didn’t feel Chester’s was in line with the image they were trying to convey about the Union. The board will vote on whether to keep Chester’s or replace it entirely with Hybrid Sushi, the new vendor, during their next board meeting.
According to Schoenig, the introduction of Hybrid Sushi at the Rathskellar represents what is “going to be an incredible relationship.” The vendor is a franchise of a much larger sushi business, and the store in the Union is run by a couple named Aung and Nwe-New. The franchise as a whole imports its indgredients directly from Japan, and each of its chefs are required to have ten years of experience before serving sushi commercially. The RPI store is the couple’s second franchise of Hybrid Sushi, their first being a branch at Albany Medical College. According to Schoenig, the presence of Hybrid Sushi makes the Union a huge draw to the community in general, in addition to the student community, as it represents one of the only places to get sushi late at night in Troy, with a main location in the Rathskellar and a secondary location at Fathers.
As for the sushi itself, it’s delicious. I have tried a couple kinds and it has all been very good. In the past, I have been to several of the other sushi places, or rather places that serve sushi, in the area, but the sushi here ranks among the best. I would even argue that it is of equal quality to the sushi that costs a at least four dollars more at Red&Blue.
I took classes at Harvard over this past summer, and every morning before class I would have a frozen vegetable sushi for $8.99. Today, I bought the same sushi for half the price at Hybrid Sushi. Not only that, but for the price of $8.99 they are selling cream-filled desert sushi, something I didn’t even know existed. The sushi is freshly made each day, and involves an astounding imagination in design. It is definitely worth a try.