Food & Drink

sooshi sushi Rolling into Folkestone harbour

Joanne Wilson,chef, has world experience.  Born in the Philippines to Filipino Mum and English Dad, they moved to Saudi Arabia, then Africa, before settling in Broadstairs.  This is one of those Covid success stories.  When people were furloughed and thought the world had stopped, it had, in reality just helped them change direction.  Joanne and her husband Ben would do weekly date nights.  They would select a piece of paper from the jar on the side and that would be the theme of their night – steak night, karaoke, paint-by-numbers and so on.  Joanne picked Sushi Night, and sent Ben out for supplies.  To her surprise he managed to get most things, and a little idea was born.  Joanne told Folkelife all about it.

We used to go out for sushi a lot before our son was born.  We’d pop up to London and there were some really good bars up there.  So, during Lockdown we were missing our fix.  I wrote out a list of things for Ben to get on his daily outing to the shops and sent him off.  I really wasn’t expecting him to come back with even a sushi rolling mat, but he did!  So, we set off making some sushi at home and oh, it tasted good!  I think that was because we hadn’t had it in a while.  We took photos and put it on our social media, just because there wasn’t much else to do during Lockdown!  Then friends started asking if we could make some for them.  

There was a point when I thought ‘we could sell this’.  So we put together some leaflets and on our daily walk, put them through people’s doors.   We got 10 orders in the first week!   I’d make the sushi and Ben would go off delivering.”

Sooshi Sushi Joanne Wilson
Sooshi Sushi board
Sooshi Sushi tray
Sooshi Sushi Poke Bowl
Sooshi Sushi rolls
Sooshi Sushi Rolls
Fresh Fish

sushi success

We put up an Instagram account and went from 50 follower to 600 in the first month.  Within 3 or 4 months we had a full menu together and were delivering on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.  I got pregnant again and we really needed a bigger house.  But, really importantly, we needed a bigger kitchen!  Luckily we found something 6 doors up from our old flat, so moved in and carried on cooking.  We had my daughter on the Wednesday and took orders for two days later on the Friday. 

“As things started to open up we applied for a place at Whistable Harbour.  I call it ‘The Shop’ and 2024 will be our 3rd summer there.  We also run workshops which are great for hen parties and work team building events.  I did my 100th workshop in November 2023 so those work well too.  Last summer we started to look around for another venue and it really makes sense for us to be in Folkestone.  We’re ready to take it on!”


“I make all the usual maki rolls which are the seaweed filled with rice and a filling.  Then the uramaki rolls which is rice with sesame seed coating – inside out rolls really.  But one of the things we’ve been doing is taking the maki roll and instead of cutting it up into the little discs you’d eat, keeping it whole like a sausage and covering it in panko crumbs then deep frying it.  It’s blasphemous really but when you cut it open and stuff with a seaweed salad, and your choice of salmon, king prawn, chicken or tuna, they’re delicious.  They’re topped with a Japanese barbeque sauce or Sriracha mayonnaise and crispy onions. It’s a real game changer.  

“Sometimes when you get sushi you just get a salmon option.  It can be quite boring.  I love playing with flavours so we offer a range of options.  We have poke bowls which are a hearty salad, and always using sashimi grade fish so whatever you have from us will be top quality.”


“We’ll have drinks too.  There are some really cool, anime designed cans of sparkling water.  There will be iced tea and Magoos for the kids.  These are Asian fruit drinks with chunks of fruit in them such as lychee and mango.  We’ll have flavours that you can’t get in other places. There will be a small Boba menu, bubble tea, and there will be some Japanese lager and cocktails using those Asian flavours, but locally sourced. All of these flavours complement the food, so lychee, basil, mint, pomegranate… a little bit more exotic than just a tequilla sunrise!

I’m really excited about being in Folkestone.  It’s like having a blank canvas where you can do anything you want.  We’ll be opening for the Easter holidays and then can’t wait to get stuck in for summer 2024.”

Discover more about Folkestone below

Rad Burger – Radical, Exciting, Just add Mangoes
The Dessert Folkes – The Best Pudding In Folkestone
Gobsmack’d – A Burger To Get Your Mouth Around
Gaia Studio – At Home at Folkestone Harbour

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