Stepping into the Blackburn Market food court is a journey around the world, and with Shinsen Sushi Experience the latest stop is Japan.

The new stall at the market, under The Mall, is the newest addition to the dining area offering made-to-order sushi and poke bowls to diners who fancy a taste of something different.

And a very tasty, fresh, and dare I say it, healthy new option it is.

The counter opened on May 1, the brainchild of experienced sushi chef Dimitrios Kalliontzis, offering sushi dishes, poke bowls and ‘baked sushi muffins’.

The menu is stacked full of classics that will suit all palettes, with classic tuna, salmon and ‘crab’ rolls, plus prawn, chicken and beef, and a selection of vegetarian options.

The menu is split into easy-to-understand sections for each sushi style:

  • Maki - filling wrapped in rice and then seaweed,
  • Nigiri - rice topped with salmon or other toppings,
  • Inari - rice and topping inside a tofu pocket,
  • Uramaki – filling wrapped in seaweed and then rice,
  • Temari – balls of rice with toppings
  • Poke bowls
  • Sushi muffins

On this my first visit, after much deliberation, being spoilt for choice, I landed on the melted tempura Maki to kick things off, eight little rolls of melted cheese and tempura prawn wrapped in rice.

Lancashire Telegraph: Melted tempura Maki, and Salmon Wakame InariMelted tempura Maki, and Salmon Wakame Inari (Image: NQ staff)

I then opted for salmon wakame Inari, with two pockets of rice with raw salmon and wakame, an edible seaweed, on top.

Made fresh from scratch, the wait was only five minutes, which shows the skill of the chefs in preparing the dishes.

The Maki, in perfect mouthful-sized pieces, were delicious, you could taste the freshness with subtle flavours of the tempura cutting through and the melty cheese an unusual experience in sushi, but certainly not unwelcome.

Onto the Inari, and as it was my first time having one, and also having wakame, it was a step into the unknown. I’d expected the tofu pocket to be rigid, but its softness actually meant there was a lot less mess, and the soy sauce drizzled over the top collected in the bottom for a nice salty flavour.

The salmon was fresh and tasty, while the wakame had a nice sweet taste which combined nicely with the sharpness of the rice and soy sauce.

You can tell the ingredients are fresh and of great quality – supplied by market neighbours Scott Stewart’s Fruit and Veg and Mayer’s Fishmongers – and it makes such a difference to the whole experience.

The dishes also come with little tubs of soy sauce, wasabi - which is very strong - and gari - pickled ginger.

After those two dishes I was more than satisfied with my lunch; people with smaller appetites will be filled up by just one dish.

Prices for the Maki range from £6.50 to £8.50, and £8 to £11 for Uramaki.

While it may appear expensive, if you compare it to supermarket meal deal sushi dishes – the only other sushi available in the town centre – the ingredients, flavours and portion sizes are far better value,

Plus, compared with other stalls or town centre takeaways or fast-food joints, there isn’t much price difference.

The Inari is just £5 as is the Nigiri, with the Temari just £2 a pop, which are all superb value for money.

If you want a taste of something different, Shinsen Sushi Experience is a great new addition to the market, and somewhere I will find myself gravitating back to.

Shinshen Sushi Experience, Blackburn Market, Church Street, Blackburn.