Since Sushiro opened at Tiong Bahru Plaza in August, I have been wanting to try it, but each time I got there, the long queues curbed my interest. Last Sunday though, I decided that long queue or not, I was going to check out the first South-east Asian outlet of Japan’s No.1 conveyor belt sushi chain.
My church mate and I reached the eatery about 1pm where tons of people were already waiting to get in and waiting time was about 35-40 minutes. Good thing that the restaurant has seats and much space out front for waiting. I decided to sit and dally with my phone, while my friend did some pre-lunch shopping. It was while waiting that I spied a poster that mentioned the Sushiro Singapore app which allows one to make reservations prior to arrival (read: shorter waiting time). Will definitely try that next time!
Within 30 minutes our number (#147) was called and as we entered, whoa, it was like walking into a busy food factory with long production lines. The 162-seater comprises long tables served by a two-tiered conveyor belt system – the lower transports various sushi items at a decent speed, while the upper level delivers a la carte items – which you order via a tablet – directly to your seat.
While certain ordered drinks will be served to you directly, complimentary water is self-service and available only at the end of the long tables, as are refillable soft drinks and hot green tea (in powered form and rather good) which are located at a counter close to the entrance. As I prefer my green tea slightly chilled, I simply took some ice cubes from the soft drink dispenser.
Though we were severely hungry, we took some time to check out what Sushiro has to offer. News reports stated that Sushiro has more than 100 sushi and side order items ranging from $2.20 to $5, which is kind of more or less similar to what other Japanese conveyor belt chains in Singapore offer although we reckoned Sushiro has a good number of unique and refreshing items on the sushi belt that are not often seen elsewhere. One cool thing is there are signs on the belt informing diners what are the dishes behind it are, as well as some recommended a la carte items and their prices – say, Braised Pork Sushi or various desserts – which you can order via the tablet. There are 3 plate pricing – Red $2.20, Gold $3.20, and Black $4.80.
I for one have not seen so much red meat on a sushi belt and portions were quite generous too, like the rather yummy Roasted Pork Belly with Spring Onion, and the Roast Beef with Sea Urchin (both pictured above). The reports also said that plates that have covered 350m will be removed from the belt to ensure freshness which is good to know.
The ebi items were fascinating too. For starters, the prawns were huge and often the entire prawn, both raw and cooked versions, is used for the sushi (either planked or butterflied) and served with various garnishings.
We actually found the tablet menu a bit hard to find items as common as salmon sashimi as they are listed in categories you wouldn’t think they will be in. Twice we had to get the waiters’ help in locating what we wanted. We didn’t have a problem with the Chawanmushi (egg custard, $3.50) though and were mightily impressed when the items breezily arrived to our table spots within minutes on the upper conveyor belt. Add to that, it was really good and tasty.
Out of the dozen plus plates we had, the quality of the ingredients on the whole was very good. Other than the fact that we weren’t quite used to the less-dense sushi rice which breaks apart quite easily (made by sushi-making robots no less), we were only disappointed with two items. At $4.80, the Salmon Sashimi had only four pieces and very thinly sliced at that. Even the salmon items on the sushi belt were thicker in their portions! Then there was the Octopus Sushi (above right) that was not only so thinly sliced, it was bland and tasteless. That almost derailed our good experience at Sushiro thus far. We knew we couldn’t end our meal on that bite!
Thankfully, not long after came this lovely Octopus with Grilled Cheese which was as delicious as it looked, saving the day for us. Relatively full by now, we decided to forgo desserts till our next visit. And it wasn’t because there is a sign on the table that said diners only have 60 minutes to eat during peak periods. We did it in about 45 minutes so we were in good time.
The bill came up to about slightly less than $30 per person which is decent as that is more or less the usual amount I spent when dining at my fave Japanese restaurant, Itacho Sushi. Overall, the dining experience at Sushiro is alright and definitely a place I would patronize again.
Sushiro Singapore is at #02-118, Tiong Bahru Plaza. Opens daily 11am-10pm (last order at 9.30pm).