Saturday, June 15, 2013

Taiwan's Sushi Express in Singapore

Osushiya Nishin

I bash places like Sakae Sushi and Ichiban Tei all of the time for that boring (and oftentimes nasty fried and mayonnaise-covered) food. And yet, when I saw an outlet of this conveyor-belt chain from Taiwan opening in Singapore, I was kinda curious. I mean, it was serving the same kind of unappealing stuff as the other guys, but they were also only charging S$1.50 (US$1.20) a plate. At those kind of prices, I wouldn't expect quality, but at least my wallet wouldn't get reamed in the process either. And this afternoon, we needed a quick snack to stave off some hunger pangs, so we came here to try it, assuming that it would not be so filling so as to spoil our dinner later.

It was interesting. Immediately upon being seated we were told that they had no menus and took no orders. I saw the guys behind the counter making the sushi too - Jiro Dreams of Sushi this definitely was not! They made this stuff assembly-line style, forming multiple balls of rice on each plate first (cue: the sushi machine scene from Wall Street!), and then ladling out the fish on top, which incidentally was pre-sliced and all set in a silver tray from the back room. So much for the warm body temperature hands of a male sushi chef!

Nonetheless, I still ate it by being very selective about what I picked out (and in case you're wondering what that yellow and silver fish was above, it was some kind of a herring and roe thing). That doesn't mean that I enjoyed it though: the fish was pretty dull, with things like salmon totally lacking the fatty taste that otherwise makes it wonderful. They had sea urchin available, although those little scraps were hardly the creamy delicacy that they were supposed to be. So yes, I'd much rather go to Ikeikemaru, but this place is so darned cheap that it did the job of holding off the hunger for a few more hours, even if it was emotionally unfulfilling.

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