Tag Archives: Conveyor-belt sushi

Gastronomic Destinations: Kanazawa City 1-Mori Mori Sushi!

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Service: Easy-going and friendly
Facilities and Equipment: Overall very clean. Very clean wasroom
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Very good value for many local fish and seafood! Better than average conveyor belt sushi! Entirely non-smoking!

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Usually I’m not so keen on kaiten sushi/回転すし/Conveyor belt sushi, but when you happen to enjoy food in a Prefecture and City famed for their fish and seaood I’m willing to make a concession, with a few conditions attached that is!

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Mori Mori Sushi is a big sushi restaurant chain in Japan, with no less than 15 establishments allowing them to make extensive use of computerized service.

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It is a busy place, but you do not have to sit elbow to elbow with other customers as the “belts” also run along the booth-style table seatings!

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The table we were offered was the epitome of sushi high tech!

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You can choose your morsels in two different manners:
via the computer digital screen or by picking plates running along on belts!

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Now I must admit that this system should appeal to non-Japanese speaking tourists as you can switch to English, Korean, Chinese and Mandarin (Taiwan) Chinese!

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The lid covered plates running along is a show by itself!

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Plenty of simple instructions:
Smoking prohibited!
Do not ride the belts (that’s for silly kids!)!
Mind your sleeves!
Do not return a plate onto the belt!

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You are free to collect leftovers to take back home! (no waste!)
Pay your bill to the staff at your table (no need to search for the register. You can pay by card at your table!)!
Refrain from drinking alcohol if you are driving!
No pets allowed!
Do not block large trays on the belt (such large trays are private oreders, anyway!)!

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The belt move slowly enough for you to look and pick up an individual plate!

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Yummy!

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These trays on the train are private orders that will be delivered at only one table. Don’t try to block it!

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Don’t worry, there are plenty of cartes on hands for the analogs like me to have a good look at the offereings!

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have a good look at the sets, too!

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Gunkans/ships and Rolls!

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There is also a special additional daily menu! You might need some help there!

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Our first set, all different shrimps!

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Our second set!

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We had just disembarked from a 4-hour train trip and were very hungry at this first lunch so we ordered some extra!
“Gasuebi sshrimps”!

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Sea urchin and salmon roe!

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Shiroebi shrimps”!

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Scallops!

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Natto and cuttle fish/squid!

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Negitoro and quail eggs!

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Our last order came by train!

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Tamagoyaki nigiri!

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When you call for your bills the staff will pass a computer reader along them and voila, your bill will be ready!
Note that the plates are of different colors indicating a pre-ordained price including drinks. So do not worry if you are served empty colored plates with your drinks!
Tea is free and you can mix it and serve it yourself thanks to a hot water tap at your table!

MORI MORI SUSHI (Conveyor Belt Sushi Restaurant)

Ishikawa Prefecture, Kanzawa City, Horikawa Shin Cho, 3-1, Kanazawa Forus Department Store, 6 F (near Kanazawa JR Station)
Te.: 076-265-3510
Opening hours: Forus Department Store opening hours
Credit Cards OK
Entirely non-smoking!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Sushi Dilemma: Real Sushi vs. Conveyor-belt Sushi (Kaiten Zushi)

Ikura Gunkan Sushi at Sushi Ko, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture.

True to say conveyor-belt sushi restaurants (kaiten Zushi) seem to be very popular these days in Japan wherever you are, be it in a large metropolis, a harbor city or a place up in the country.
Judging from the attendance and the plorifiration of such establishments, even in cities like Shizuoka renown for its sushi and sashimi in general, one starts to wonder about the wisdom of apparently spending more money on a good sushi place when you have cheap sushi available almost everywhere.

Ikura Gunkan sushi at Kaiten Karato Ichiba Sushi, Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture (man-made ikura!).

I’m not really refering to Tokyo or major metropolises in Japan (neither to New York, London or Paris for that matter) where you either have to spend fortunes on cleverly manipulated “gastronomic sushi” or spend hours waiting overfilled diners machine-gunning leftovers from the local fish markets.

To illustrate this article I chose two places I have visited in two major fishing areas of Japan:
!) Sushi Ko in Shizuoka City where all prices are clearly stated or where the staff will gladly explain the amount of the “day’s value” for some items, especially sashimi. Shizuoka Prefecture is a major fishing area in Japan thanks to the Suruga Bay and Izu Peninsula. Apart of ikura/salmon’s roe there is no much need to “import” seafood from other shores.
2) Kaiten Karato Ichiba Sushi, Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Shimonoseki is a major fsihing city and Kaiten Karato Ichiba Sushi is a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant inside the enormous fish market by the sea. You do have to wait at least 30 minutes at off-peak times and the double on holidays.
The same applies for the fish supply and ikura!

Hirame/sole-grouper nigiri at Kaiten Karato Ichiba Sushi.

Now, except maybe if you are a big family and on a limited budget (even so it would be far cheaper and more interesting to organize a “do-it-yorself” sushi party at home!), would you be ready as an individual or couple to wait untold amounts of time to be finally ushered inside a crowded place sitting elbow against elbow, putting up with the cries of unruly children (or noisy old ladies and gentlemen) and looking at the best bits being repeatedly being grabbed before they rach you?
Can you expect attentive service from an overworked staff worrying if the next batch of rice will be ready on time?

Hirame/sole-grouper nigiri Sushi Ko

On the other hand, in a real and decent sushi restaurant with prices clearly advertized you will have the chance to eat at your leisure and if you sit at the counter (where the prices are the same, contrary to the general belief) also benefit from great discusions with the chefs and even your neighbors (good sushi restaurants are great places for socializing with strangers!). Mind you, the same cannot be said from “upper-class” sushi restaurants in great cities where you more than often are obliged to order sushi on a set-menu basis only, and expected to vacate the premises once finished as soon as possible! That is, if you are not a celebritty or an extraordinarily rich individual!
So obviously, there is a big difference in atmosphere and service, but would it be enough to help you decide between the two?

Maguro o-toro (cheapest tuna variety, though) nigiri at at Kaiten Karato Ichiba Sushi.

Shall we talk about quality then?
First the “shari” or sushi rice: in a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant the nigiri will be made machanically at high speed for obvious economical reasons. It does take a few seconds at a time to form the balls by hands whereas the “chefs” (I’m sorry to say that a chef who cannot make a good sushi ball by hand does not deserve the title of sushi chef!) at conveyor-belt establishments have to learn how to quickly grab the balls spitted out by the machine!
Sometimes you may be lucky to eat more or less oval balls, but you will usually end up with hard-pressed squarish contraptions which tend to dry faster. i do not need to point that there is a vast gap in rice quality (and accordingly real value)!
You can and are even encouraged to ask for individual orders at kaiten zushi restaurants but the prices will not be the same, so be careful!

Maguro zuke 8made with bluefin tuna akami)

Now, let’s talk about the “neta”/topping:
First don’t expect freshly grated wasabi root in a kaiten zushi (except maybe in Shizuoka which produces 80% of all wasabi in Japan!), although the paste used contains 100% pure wasabi!
Whereas most of the fish will be cut in front of you, chefs at Kaiten zushi will pick up the toppings from stacks prepared beforehand. The latter more than often (especially maguro) will be cut from frozen blocks to attain greater thinness (and better profit). Consequently the fish will appear glossy and fresh but is in fact only in the late stages of thawing.
Generally speaking the offerings at conveyor-belt sushi restaurants will be far thinner than those ordered in real sushi restaurants nothwithstanding the difference in grade and freshness, although the latter can be guaranteed in Shimonoseki!

Sashimi Plate at sushi Ko: Shirasu (sardine whiting), Katsuo (bonito), maguro (tuna) and kinmedai (Spledid Alfonsino), all from Shizuoka Prefecture!

Now thare are a few things you will usually not obtain in a kaiten zushi:
1) a plate of sashimi.

Super California Roll at Sushi Ko!

2) a good quality sushi roll.

Tamagoyaki/Japanese omelet at Sushi Ko

3) a fresh tamagoyaki made onsite.
Tamagayaki in conveyor-belt sushi is either prepared and sent in bulk by the company factory in case of a chain, or made on order by a separate company in the case of an independent establishment.

Although this is in no way an attempt to coersce people into my view, I prefer to spend a little more money on an occasional visit at a decent sushi restaurant or to prepare my own sushi at home! Preparing sushi rice is no big deal (although the Japanese Missus will not let me to…) and finding decent fish (and vgetables) at a local decent supermarket will guarantee a better quality!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
POPCORNHOMESTEAD in Tokyo by Joan Lambert Bailey,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery