Koro Koro Rice Ball Cafe (+ Wedding!)

I had quite an exciting weekend! Saturday was a big day; my parents and I went to our neighbor Ashley’s wedding, which was absolutely beautiful and so much fun!! I took the opportunity to take my Canon Rebel SL1 on one of its first real adventures. And it was easy to take pretty pictures at such a pretty wedding!

The reception was a blast. It was my first time at a real big wedding, and I loved it! My concern at that point was what I would be able to eat. At cocktail hour, it was a little questionable with all the buffet-style food, so I stuck to the naturally gluten free veggies, meats, and cheeses. Side note: I learned that I like goat cheese. So after cocktail hour came the reception. We called the venue ahead of time to make sure they would have some options for me, and the wait staff was very knowledgable. For the first course we had a pear and arugula salad, which was really tasty! There were spiced pecans in it that were ridiculously tasty. For the main course, I had the beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes and spinach. This was sooooooo delicious!!!!! I loved it. I’m usually not a beef kind of person but this was amazing. And those mashed potatoes were the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever eaten in my life—not even exaggerating. As for dessert, none of the ones on the menu were gluten free so they made me a fruit plate. With this style of eating it’s important that the staff is aware of your allergy/sensitivity and know what they’re doing. As usual, it always pays off to ask questions. Overall, I felt super taken care of at this wedding, food-wise and fun-wise.

koro koro

We stayed overnight in a hotel near the venue in Jersey City, so the next day we had to find a place for lunch. In our pre-travel restaurant research, we found this place called Koro Koro that makes Japanese rice balls called Onigiri, and is completely gluten free (and we know what that means: no cross contamination possible!!). Now, I don’t know about you, but when I hear “rice ball,” I think of the Italian version with cheese that’s coated in breadcrumbs and fried. But these were made up of a filling of your choice wrapped in rice then wrapped in seaweed. We bought a whole bunch of different kinds. They look more like rice triangles than rice balls to me.

koro moro rice balls

We got the Cuban (Pork, Black Beans, & Plantains), Spicy Salmon (Salmon, Kimchi, Garlic Chili, & Mayo), Indian (Chickpeas, Carrots, Golden Raisins, Sweet Potato, Coconut, Curry, & Indian Spices), Yama Chicken (Chicken, Mountain Vegetables, Shredded Coconut, Cilantro, & Green Curry), Moroccan (Swiss Chard, Red Pepper, Golden Raisins, Toasted Pine Nuts, Fresh Ginger, & Balsamic Vinegar), Mediterranean (Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Sundried Tomatoes, Black Olives, & Lemon Zest), and their special at the time, Mexican (I forgot to pay attention to what was in it but it had shrimp and veggies and Mexican flavors). We also got the Japanese Potato Salad (Potatoes, Cucumbers, Carrots, Onions, w/ Spicy Mustard & Mayo) and Koro Koro Cole Slaw (Cabbage, Pineapple, Wasabi, & Mayo) as sides. That may seem like a lot, but they’re not that big so we each got two and had one to share.

koro koro rice balls

I picked the Spicy Salmon and Mediterranean. I loved the salmon because it tasted kind of like a sushi roll, and I love sushi. Unfortunately, I didn’t really care for the Mediterranean; it was just a little weird and didn’t taste right with the seaweed to me. My mom had the Cuban and Yama Chicken. She loved both of them! I really liked them both too. My dad had the Indian and Moroccan and enjoyed them both. I’m not a big fan of Indian kind of flavors but I did like it, and the Moroccan was pretty good too. We shared the Mexican, which was really tasty. We all agreed that the Cuban and Spicy Salmon were the best. The only thing I would’ve changed is the size of the shrimp; they were whole so it was hard to get some in each bite. I loved the potato salad. I love potato salad in general but this was so good. The cole slaw was also very tasty—a little too spicy for me because of the wasabi but my parents loved it.

koro moro making rice balls

Watching them make these was pretty cool. They have these little molds, put everything inside them, and wrap it up. It’s also interesting the way they wrap them in the seaweed and plastic packaging. At first I had a little trouble opening it from the directions on the plastic itself. But they have a video on their website that helps you figure it out. I was impatient and couldn’t wait to eat it, so I didn’t watch the video and ripped my seaweed. 😦

koro koro rice ball instructions

Overall this was a very successful food weekend. I got to have a whole bunch of fun as well as try something new. I wish Koro Koro was closer to home so I could go there all the time! Hopefully I will get up to Jersey City another time soon so I can get some more of these awesome rice balls.

Link to Koro Koro Rice Ball Cafe menu

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