Chef Ian Diem and business partner Asad Rizvi started Chubby Duck Sushi in Flint in early 2013 as a way to bring fast, Japanese cuisine home, and as of June, they’ve kicked it up a notch by opening a storefront in the Motor City.

The Chubby Duck dish that changes the sushi game is actually a sushi cone, adding a whole new level for sushi lovers who want their meal on-the-go.

Sushi cones come in a variety of options at Chubby Duck and the menu changes regularly depending on what’s fresh and available.

Sushi cone choices include the Chubby Cone, made with green onions, sesame seeds, daikon, carrots, avocado, cucumber, grilled chicken and hiyashi; the Krabby Cone, made with krab salad, green onions, sesame seeds, daikon, carrots, avocado and cucumbers; and the Jerked Chicken Cone, made with jerked chicken, carrots, green onions, avocado and sesame seeds.

Diem wanted to appreciate the complexity of Japanese food while making it more approachable for Detroiters. He did just that by simplifying concepts, staying true to traditional ingredients and wrapping it all up in their signature handheld style.

Business partner and marketing guru at Chubby Duck, Rizvi, likes to call Diem a McGuyver in the kitchen.

The two met each other during a Michigan State University study abroad trip to Japan in 1998. During the trip, the guys would stop at little stores and markets near subway stops and they became fascinated with the cuisine and how it was made simply and quickly but with quality ingredients.

“In Japan you could get fancy food, fast, and in smaller portions,” Rizvi said. Rizvi and Diem wondered why they couldn’t try and do something like that over here and eventually, Chubby Duck was born.

The duo still has friends over in Japan who let them know of the hottest trends in Japanese cuisine and they take the knowledge to give them an edge and a serious authenticity with Chubby Duck.

Rizvi said lately, the shop has been bombarded with large orders from local Detroit businesses looking to grab a healthy and different lunch. It’s a good problem to have, he said. So between regular storefront orders and to-go/lunch catering orders, the team at Chubby Duck is busy.

In addition to the specialty Sushi Cones, Chubby Duck also offers soups – like Cream of Shitake Mushroom and Potato and Leek with Sorrel – salads, like Hiyashi Wakame and Marinated Mushroom – and raw juices, like the Detoxifier, the Energizer and the Immunizer.

Stop in to try anything off the menu at 208 E. Grand River and keep updated by following Chubby Duck on social media.

Erica N. Rakowicz/After 5

Photo Credit: Facebook


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