Kaiten sushi, or kaitenzushi, as it is pronounced in Japanese, is sushi that may be considered fast-food sushi, as opposed to sushi served at a traditional sushi restaurant. The sushi at kaitenzushi restaurants are on plates that sit on a rotating conveyor belt that runs through the restaurant and by every table and counter seat. Customers select the sushi that they want to eat as it passes by. If they don’t see what they like on the belt, they may order it from one of the chefs. Desserts, soups, some beverages and sometimes other food are also available on the conveyor belt. Condiments, such as pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce are self-served, as is green tea or water. Restaurants keep track of how long the sushi has been on the conveyor belt so they remove the plates that have been in rotation too long.
Most of the plates run from about 100 – 500 yen per piece, and the tab is calculated by the number and types of plates, either by an attendant or a counting machine, available at some restaurants. Some restaurants have a flat rate for all plates.
While kaitenzushi restaurants are welcome destinations for the budget-minded who want to enjoy sushi without it costing them an arm and a leg, they are also exceedingly popular with families with young children, who are not generally welcome at traditional sushi restaurants. Non-Japanese speaking customers also like the fact that no language skills are needed to enjoy their sushi dinner-they can just grab their choice off the conveyor belt!
Kaitenzushi has been popular in Japan for decades, and recently has been gaining an audience overseas. In the states, chains such as Kula Sushi and Sushi Land have opened several restaurants that have been very well received.
This is a fascinating idea. I have only ever been to places that just serve you the sushi directly. This sushi train idea is pretty cool, especially when I now know that they observe the sushi in rotation and keep it fresh. Now I want sushi for lunch.
Sushi restaurants are some of my favorite places to go. But, I have still not been in a place that has a moving belt delivery system. I think it is a very good idea. Then you don't have to worry about your food sitting over on the counter, and taking a long time to get to you. I love it when restaurants have little unique things in them that makes them special. It just seems like there are a lot of restaurants, and anything that can make one stand out, will help. http://www.thequarry.com.au/restaurant/
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I went to a really nice little kaiten sushi place in Ueno in April. A lovely older woman who was there with her husband poured me a green tea and made sure I got the right soy sauce, I spoke hardly any Japanese and she spoke hardly any English but it was such a nice moment in my trip. The sushi was really great and cost about $15NZD in the end for quite a few plates!
I am going to visit Sushi Station in Chicago in two weeks. It sounds like it is just like the one in Japan.
This is news????? It's been around almost four decades ('Genroku Sushi') and is HARDLY only in Japan now. Clutching at straws here people.
They recently opened a conveyor belt sushi restaurant not too far from me (the only one in the region). I hope to check it out soon!
this is not only in Japan. i have been to one in London many years ago. and they are also in asian countries like Hong Kong etc.
There is a restaurant in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, that also features a conveyor belt. Great sushi, too!