Japanese grocery stores in the Middle East have offered German-style sushi and groceries for the first time in the region.
Shoppers in Baghdad’s Al-Salaam supermarket, which opened last year, were able to sample the traditional dishes from local restaurants.
Al-Sahlas sushi chef Hamza Al-Shishani said the restaurant will serve the traditional sushi as well as the fresh salads and sandwiches in the store, which is also home to a supermarket.
“I think we are opening the store to people who are looking for something special, something they haven’t had before,” he said.
Shishanis family owned restaurant, also located in Baghdad, also offers its signature spicy tuna sushi.
The Al-sahlas offer is a reflection of the growing trend of Japanese foodies returning to the Middle Eastern region, where many have fled the country’s economic turmoil.
The country has also seen an increase in the number of foreign diners seeking out local ingredients and ingredients that are less processed and more local.
Shisha, a popular Chinese food, is also available in the Iraqi market.
The opening of Shisha in Baghdad came as the country is seeking to curb a rise in violent crime in the capital, which has seen an uptick in homicides since 2015.