Fast food gets a raw fish makeover at this conveyor belt restaurant chain in Japan.
If you’re after a quick bite to eat in Japan, there are a huge number of options to choose from. There are onigiri rice balls and bento lunch boxes at supermarkets and convenience stores, foreign and home-grown fast food joints, and Japanese eateries like Sukiya and Yoshinoya, to name a few. For some though, it’s the siren song of the revolving sushi train restaurant that’s hard to resist, and with so many of these places now expanding their menus beyond simple raw fish options, diners can find anything from potato chips to tempura fried vegetables gliding along on those little conveyor belts.
Now, one of the country’s most innovative sushi train restaurants, Sushiro, has come up with another novel idea for its menu: sushi burgers and hot dogs. While they’ve previously made news for serving up bacon and omelette-topped sushi pieces, now Sushiro is taking a walk on the fast food side, and our Japanese-language reporter Mr Sato was there to try it all out.
First in line to get in Mr Sato’s belly was the Mackerel Burger. Sandwiched between two small buns was a green shiso leaf and a good slice of raw mackerel, topped with some creamy mayonnaise.
This wasn’t a simple combination of fish and bread, however. This was a more complex mix of complex carbohydrates, with a neat serving of vinegared sushi rice sitting beneath the fish. Surprisingly, the burger tasted a lot better than it looked, with the soft, chewy textures melding together with each mouthful. However, Mr Sato would’ve preferred it if this had contained regular rice instead of sushi rice, as the vinegar flavour overpowered everything a little too much for his liking.
Curious to try some more unusual morsels, Mr Sato checked out the digital menu and found three types of strange-looking hot dog-inspired sushi rolls. Priced at 120 yen (US$1.10) each, the “Sushi Dog” varieties included: Aurora Sauce (left) Wasabi Mayo (middle) and Cheese (right).
These Sushi Dogs were actually sold at Sushiro for a limited time back in April this year. Now, it seems the restaurant chain has secretly resurrected the sausage-filled sushi rolls, and after ordering the cheese version, our reporter said he was surprised to see it appear on the conveyor belt.
While the burger came with no assembly required, Mr Sato was taken aback by the plastic wrapping on the Sushi Dog, which meant he would have to unwrap the separated seaweed section and roll it around the long sushi piece himself. This style of sushi wrapping is most commonly seen at convenience stores, and not at respectable sushi train restaurants, but then again, you wouldn’t expect to find this unusual item on the menu anywhere, so he decided to refrain from complaining.
While it didn’t look all that appealing, Mr Sato was pleased to report that this actually tasted a lot better than he thought it would. The vinegared sushi rice here actually complimented the salty, oily flavour of the sausage surprisingly well. It’s a simple yet tasty meal that would be easy to recreate at home.
After finishing the meal, Mr Sato wondered about the future of Sushiro and its menu of increasingly unusual dishes. With such a variety of foods on offer other than regular sushi, the chain might want to think about changing its name from “Sushiro” to “Famiro”, as it’s becoming more like a family restaurant every day!