Kaiten Sushi - Tokyo Days

By June 10, 2015 , , , ,

Would you believe me that I ate more conveyor belt sushi than I did real sushi this trip?

Well I did. 

The place that fulfilled my guilty pleasure was this chain store called Genki Sushi. The sign is in highlighter yellow, and placed so strategically all over the city, that it's near impossible to miss. At first, I was lured to the doors after I caught a glimpse of the rotating conveyor belt, but continued to come back time and time for their delicious (fake) crabstick maki rolls. Basic, I know.

Tiffany and I were exhausted from a day of walking one evening, and neither of us wanting to pick which restaurant to try, decided to go for Genki which was already familiar to us.

Although we mostly went to the ones in Hong Kong, which had the continuous flow of plates going around the bar, the set-up at the chain in Tokyo was a little different. Instead of making an X number of plates that would rotate until they were picked up, here, customers ordered from a touch-screen and then the sushi 'chefs' would make the plates to order.

Definitely much fresher with a lot more options available.

The ordering system itself is fairly simple, and for Japanese illiterate people like me, the menu can be displayed in English as well, so that you are not ordering some mystery fish.

Pricing here was much cheaper than the Hong Kong chains - with most options costing around 1.50 - 3.50 CAD. Premium options and other food items were slightly higher, but still extremely reasonable.

What is also interesting about these conveyor belt restaurants is that there is little to no server interaction. The host shows you to your seat and leaves you to your own device. At the table, there is a hot water spout and some powdered green tea which you use to mix your own drink. Plates, chopsticks, wasabi and everything in between are also provided at your seat - so that it's unnecessary to have to wait for someone to bring you what you need.

When the plates arrive, a 'ding' noise begins to sound at your seat which indicates that your dish is ready for you to take off the platform. They come on these surfboard type contraptions that carry up to three dishes. Take off the dish and then press the yellow "genki" logo to send the surfboard back to the main station.

There is a limit to how many items you can order at once, and best part is that each screen is personalized and linked to the seat, so it's easy to keep track of what and how much you have ordered. At the end, each customer takes their little barcode receipt - which is linked to the individual screen, and the cashier scans it and determines how much you owe.

Ordering around 5 plates each, we both walked out of there spending around 1000 yen, which is equivalent to 10 CAD. As affordable and tempting as the cheapest plates are, don't hesitate to go for the higher priced ones which are often better quality vs. price ratio.

If you find yourself near a Genki, stop by and give it a try!


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