Kaiten Zushi 回転寿司

"Kaiten Zushi" is what we also know in the west as "sushi train" or "conveyor belt sushi". It's the type of sushi restaurant where you sit down and lots of little dishes are delivered to you by conveyor belt. You take just what you want and are charged at the end of the meal according to how many empty plates you have piled up. Here's a little film that shows how it all works...

I have to admit that although I have lived in Japan for almost ten years, it was only last year that I started trying out various kaiten zushi around Tokyo in earnest. My excuse for such laxness is a food poisoning incident with some bad sushi early in my stay in Japan, and it was years before I could look at sushi without feeling ill. I'm well over it now!

Anyway, my current top three picks for kaiten zushi are the joint in Atre Meguro "Midori Sushi", the joint near Zara in Shibuya (which ALWAYS has a huge line outside) "Tsukiji Honten" and the one in Ark Hills "Uoki". I like Atre as they have a more modern take, doing things like blow-torching the fish and experimenting with condiments like burned onions and mayonnaise. A sushi purist would die if they saw what they do with sushi here, but I think it's all in good fun and if it tastes good why not? Shibuya is pretty standard and traditional but just very good for the price (to my barbarian palate at least). Ark Hills is not too crowded on the weekend and the chefs are very willing and able to make whatever you want on the spot. And just for the record, my favourite sushi at the moment is raw scallop. Yum!

回転寿司 (渋谷)

回転寿司は、西洋では「寿司トレイン」や「ベルトコンベヤ寿司」などと呼ばれ親しまれています。にぎり寿司は目の前を流れるベルトコンベアに乗って運ばれてきます。それらから好きなものを選び、お会計は食べたお皿の枚数で計算する仕組みになっています。日本に来て10年にもなりますが、回転寿司に行き始めたのは去年からです。初めて日本に来た頃に寿司の食中毒事件があり、これがトラウマとなりこれまでお寿司を食べることが出来ませんでしたが、いまではお寿司を堪能しています。

それでは、ここで私の好きな回転寿司レストランを3店、ご紹介します。アトレ目黒にある美登利寿司、渋谷(宇田川町)のザラ(Zara)と隣り合わせにある築地本店、そしてアークヒルズにある回転寿司UOKI。アトレ目黒にある美登利寿司は、いろいろな試行錯誤をしているお店です。例えば、ネタを火であぶってみせたり、油で揚げたオニオンにマヨネーズを薬味として出したり、とてもモダンです。真の寿司好きなひとには、このお店で出すネタをみるとびっくりされるかも知れませんが、楽しく美味しくお寿司を食べるという思考からこういう食べ方もいいかと思います。渋谷の築地本店のお寿司は普通のお寿司ですが、とても美味しくお値段も安くて外国人の私の味覚にも最高です。アークヒルズにある回転寿司UOKIは週末でも空いており、シェフの対応もすごくいいです。ちなみに私の一番好きなネタはホタテ貝です。

Comments

Anonymous said…
Kaiten sushi is great but service tends to be very rough at most places. I guess you'd go there for the food experience more than for the service.

However our last trip to Uoki was appalling. The sushi "chef" looked incredibly bothered each time we put an order. Imagine an "are-you-talking-to-me?" attitude when ordering a Californian Roll which is bluntly dropped on the floor.

I understand how we can all have moods and get up on the wrong side of bed sometimes but please do not take it out on your customers!
Dom said…
I didn't get around to updating it yet, but I had a very unpleasant encounter with the chef at Uoki, the second time I visited a couple of weeks ago. He was a younger guy who was very friendly with his co-workers but plainly hostile to the foreign customers. I have never encountered such a hostile attitude in a restaurant in Japan!

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