Not so long ago, the thought of chowing down on slivers of jellyfish and slices of raw eel would be enough to turn the stomach of many a little travelled westerner. These days however, we’ve pretty much all jumped on board the sushi train… and Sydney being Sydney, it’s no surprise that there’s plenty of gems to choose from.
Chatswood isn’t short of great Asian cuisine options, but when it comes to sushi trains, Makoto steals the crown. The diminutive eatery squeezes in 57 diners at one time, yet sees up to 500 pass through its doors each and every day. Known for market fresh fish and quirky desserts such as green tea brulee and sesame ice cream, the variety here is huge, but the quality remains consistently high. Come here for casual dining, cheap eats and top-notch Japanese fare.
Need to refuel after a hard day of retail therapy? Head to Sushi Rio in the city’s CBD. Grab a spot by the sushi train and help yourself to old favourites such as salmon nigiri and soft shell crab hand rolls, as well as a few slightly more leftfield options, or go for a private table and place your order with one of the many attentive wait staff. With most dishes priced around the $3 mark, you’ll be able to work your way through the extensive menu guilt free.
Located in Sydney’s eclectic Galeries shopping complex, Sushi Hotaru offers fresh, authentic sushi in a chic Japanese-inspired environment. The modern layout of the eatery is emphasised by a sleek iPad ordering system that allows you to order ‘off-train’ quickly and easily, although with a sushi train that seemingly stretches for miles, it’s likely you’ll find what you’re looking for without having to wait. Don’t be put off by the queues here—the nature of the restaurant means they move surprisingly quickly.
Coupling a traditional sushi offering with a more high end ‘gourmet’ menu, the award winning Sosumi isn’t just your average sushi train—think wagyu teppanyaki, edomae sushi and steaming hot bowls of udon soup all prepared before your very eyes by a team of highly skilled chefs. Located in the glamorous GPO building, Sosumi specialise in ‘iki-jimi’ style fish preparation, which is said to guarantee freshness, thus improving the quality and taste of sushi and sashimi dishes. Try it for yourself and see!
Umi Kaiten Zushi
Translating directly from the Japanese term for ‘conveyor belt sushi’, Umi Kaiten Zushi is everything you’d expect from a modern Australian sushi train and more. Feast on an array of beautifully presented seafood, meat and vego options such as oyster with orange soy, pork gyoza and miso eggplant and look out for daily specials and monthly deals. Umi Kaiten Zushi also offer a VIP loyalty program, meaning you can save up your points and receive discounts, members only promotions and plenty more. Sushi with benefits? Sign us up!
With a $2.50 per plate offer for holders of valid student cards, this one’s a no brainer for the budget conscious scholars amongst us—not that the prices are that much higher for everyone else. Smack bang in the heart of Chinatown, Takumi offers a fusion sushi menu with 40 rotating selections, as well as hot dishes and a-la-carte options available to order. Don’t leave without trying their famous hamburger sushi. Trust us, it tastes a whole lot better than it sounds!
Having expanded from Chatswood onto a second branch in Hurstville, Ozeki Sushi are clearly onto something. Consistently busy, the buzzing sushi train offers a broad range of ready-to-eat and made-to-order dishes, making it an ideal stop off for both a quick bite on the go or a long, casual lunch. What really makes Ozeki stand out from the crowd though are their enormous party platters, piled high with fresh sashimi, chunky rolls and mouth-watering nigiri, perfect for bringing the sushi train experience to the comfort of your home or office.
Still hungry? Head here for the best pho in Sydney.
Image credit: Claudia Shmueli at Sosumi