Sushi with Papua New Guinea flair


An Emstret Holdings alumnus has opened Sushi Fix, a Japanese food restaurant specialising in sushi, with a Papua New Guinean twist.

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Sushi Fix’s chef De’Bono. Credit: Dean Arek

Restaurants are a rare business venture for Papua New Guineans, and one that specialises in a niche Asian food is even more uncommon.

This hasn’t stopped young local chef De’Bono Paraka from daring to dream. With Sushi Fix newly opened at the Wellness Lodge in Boroko, he is confident of success despite hospitality businesses being under stress due to COVID-19.

‘Existing businesses were built to run pre-pandemic and during this time, when people are rethinking their operations, I’m building a space that is more flexible and dynamic.’

‘During the pandemic is when the inspiration to push the sushi came about. This is a light food that doesn’t require much preparation and is stored easily,’ De’Bono tells PNG Now.

‘Existing businesses were built to run pre-pandemic and during this time, when people are rethinking their operations, I’m building a space that is more flexible and dynamic,’ he says.

As De’Bono’s focus has always been promoting healthy food, the idea with Sushi Fix is to encourage a healthy fast-food culture in PNG.

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‘This is a healthy alternative to the usual and it’s a great light choice for workers who don’t want to feel tired and heavy after lunch,’ he says.

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Credit: Dean Arek

The menu has a Western influence, with affordable and top-quality options packed with all the flavours of traditional Japanese sushi, and a few surprises hidden in between.

The chicken and avocado rolls are a favourite, garnished with toasted sesame seeds, and a variation called the Pini Roll, named after champion PNG swimmer Ryan Pini, includes his personal added preference of cream cheese.

‘The balance of flavours in sushi is very delicate and it gets quite technical, but we’re still learning and improving,’ De’Bono says.

De’Bono manages an all-local team of three chefs and three administration staff. Starting from humble beginnings only four months ago, De’Bono was initially assisted by Emstret Holdings, which provided him with a point of sale at its SME resource centre.

Opening at the Wellness Lodge in June was unexpected, however. He says it came as a timely market and get used to running operations.

The ambitious chef is determined to go even further with his sushi bar dream and hopes to one day own his own space with an automated restaurant where customers receive their meals via a ‘sushi train’ (conveyor belt) – a hit in sushi bars around the world and certainly a vision that will provide a unique dining experience for Papua New Guineans.


Sushi Fix is at the Wellness Lodge at Boroko, open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 3pm. Vegan aubergine and avocado sushi rolls are 12 kina for six, chicken 15 kina, salmon 16 kina and crab 17 kina. See the Sushi Fix Facebook page or call 7419 720


Master these terms and you’ll be on your way to becoming an expert in Japanese cuisine.

Sushi: Seafood, vegetables or meat with rice.

Sashimi: Thinly sliced raw fish, usually tuna or salmon, served without rice. It can be rolled (maki) in a seaweed sheet (nori) or served on rice (nigiri).

Wasabi: A very spicy green paste served with sushi and sashimi. Beware!

Futomaki: Futo means ‘thick or fat’ and is the biggest sushi roll, sometimes with several fillings. It’s the one most commonly seen at restaurants and takeaway shops.

Hosomaki: Small or shortened sushi rolls with one filling.

Nigiri: Thin slice of a seafood on a layer of rice.

Ramen: A noodle soup dish.

Tempura: Battered and deep fried seafood and vegetables.

Yakitori: Grilled chicken, often served on skewers.

The article ‘Sushi with PNG flair’ was first published in the August/September 2021 issue of PNG Now, Papua New Guinea’s leading lifestyle magazine.

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