Friday, April 22, 2011

Beautiful and Bountiful Rows of Rolls

Featuring the "deli style" that is so prevalent in Australia, sushi sushi is a chain that has the best display out of all the ones I've seen anywhere. Convenience and low prices may be the main reasons people frequent sushi deli cafes, but I believe it should be just as important to have a neat display of rows of beautifully crafted sushi rolls, nigiri and inari, along with proper signage and price indication. Some delis blanket their displayed food with sheets of plastic wrap to preserve freshness, which gives it a stale look and takes away from the integrity of showing off what's ready-to-eat. Other delis also seem oblivious to cases that are running low; displays should always be quickly replenished so that there always appears to be an abundance of all selections.

At sushi sushi, the displays are always plentiful and perfectly aligned so everything is pleasing to the eye, and there's a varied selection. There's the Peking Duck hand roll for A$3, which I've never seen anywhere else; and the Vegetarian hand roll, which is fully loaded with the unusual ingredients of oshinko and slices of inari in addition to the standard cucumber, yamagobo and avocado. For those who don't want plain Traditional Inari for A$1.50, there's the A$2 "Flavored Inari," which are stuffed to the hilt with ingredients like imitation crab and flying fish eggs, seaweed salad, or squid salad. Perhaps it's because they are sold individually, but the inari here are huge, not like the bite-sized version in the States. Like many restaurants these days, sushi sushi announces on a sign that they are "gluten-free."

Located between two tea cafes"Easy Way" tea house and "Ten Ren's Tea Time"sushi sushi attracts all groups of people to its vicinity, which features indoor and outdoor seating. Unruffled by the piegeons that flew into the eatery in search of morsels, one businessman asks another, "Do you want to sit inside or outside?" The two then decide to seat themselves at the tables on the sidewalk right in front of the restaurant.

At the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, there's Sushi Kissaten, which also features clean displays of beautiful, bountiful sushi rolls and inari. I tried the Spicy Prawn roll with avocado for A$2.40, as well as the Tobiko roll, which also came with avocado, for A$2.50. The rice was perfectly seasoned and the ingredients fresh as can be.

Sushi Kissaten brown-bags it like everyone else, which seems a much wiser choice than wasting a styrofoam box on a small roll like they would in the States. Here, a sign reads "Sorry, we don't accept EFTPOS, please pay cash." EFTPOS, which stands for Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale, is the equivalent of ATM in Australia.

sushi sushi
148 Swanston St., Melbourne

Sushi Kissaten
Queen Victoria Market
Shop 26-27, F Shed, Peel St., Melbourne

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