Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sakura Kaiten Sushi, Melbourne CBD by Big Fil

It was Kit Kat's last week at work so to say farewell we headed off to take the sushi train at Sakura Kaiten Sushi.

Not much to see from the outside but inside is a narrow room, with the sushi train in the middle surrounded by seats and the chefs preparing the food in the back corner. We were sitting near one of the chefs and we were able to watch the food starting its ride. The restaurant itself is small but not cramped, neat and comfortable, with lots of mirrors and neutral colours complementing the brilliant colours of much of the food.

One of the major concerns with a sushi train is ensuring the food turns over rapidly. It needs to be fresh and it's often hard to tell just how many times that tuna sashimi or those gyoza have been around. This didn't seem to be much of an issue at Sakura Kaiten, as the nearly full restaurant ensured a rapid turnover of dishes.

The way the sushi train works is that there are a number of set prices for the different dishes. The colour of the plate the dishes is on determines the price of the dish. At the end of the meal staff count the number of plates of each colour to work out the cost of your meal.

The large number of small dishes you can try makes this a great option for a moderate sized group and a chance to try some unfamiliar dishes. For example, not all of us had tried takoyaki before or agedashi tofu. I'd never had deep fried sushi and Kit Kat and Chewy were able to indulge in the subtly flavoured Japanese version of lemon chicken.

The variety of dishes was good as was the quality. Tuna, salmon, squid and eel sushi, potato and pumpkin croquets, soba noodles with teriyaki chicken. Not part of the train of course but separately ordered is red bean, black sesame and green tea ice cream.

One thing we all enjoyed was the tea. This tasted quite different to the normal green tea we expected, with the addition of what we thought was toasted barley. Add to the mix some of the friendliest and most efficient staff in the city and this place is a winner.

Fun and fast, not especially cheap but somewhere I'd be happy to recommend to people.

Food - 8
Service - 8
Ambience - 7.5
Price - 7

Shop 1 Ground Floor
61 Little Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9663 0898

Sakura Kaiten Sushi on Urbanspoon

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