Most everyone is familiar with kaiten sushi: the type of sushi restaurant where pre-made sushi is circulated on a conveyor belt and you take what you want before it passes by in front of you. Some might look down on kaiten sushi, claiming it pales in comparison to the freshness and quality of a regular sushi restaurant where a sushi chef makes the sushi to order. While often times this can be true, in my opinion kaiten sushi can put up a pretty good fight, like Umai Sushikan (this one located in Tagajo City right near my parents’ house) that offers fresh sushi at affordable prices. And even though it’s kaiten sushi, you’re still free to call out your order to any of the sushi chefs working inside the station for your favorites made to order.
Let me take a moment to talk about my love of natto. Natto (sticky, stinky, fermented soy beans) is definitely an acquired taste, but I love it and I try to get everyone around me to try it (watch out if you go eat sushi with me). Plain natto with shoyu on rice is good, a natto musubi is great, and then there’s uzura natto sushi. There are only a handful of foods on this earth that I refer to as “heaven in my mouth”, and the uzura natto sushi from Umai Sushikan is one of them. Actually, all it is is natto sushi (like the one pictured below) but with a raw quail egg yolk in it, but the sticky natto blends in perfect harmony with the rice when the creamy egg yolk bursts in your mouth! Unfortunately, with a recent bird flu scare affecting the quail population in Japan, quail eggs were temporarily unavailable. So sad!
This is how your bill is calculated at a kaiten sushi restaurant. At the end of your meal, you stack up all the plates and ask for the check. The server will count the plates (each plate design stands for a different price) and hand you your bill. Gochisousama!