Sakura Kaiten Sushi II, 282 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Phone: 9077 1167.
Our visit to this Japanese eatery is one of those random things – we could’ve ended up anywhere in the guts of the CBD and in and around Chinatown.
But we are happy with our impulsive decision.
Owing to our previous familiarity with this place’s competition around the corner, we are well acquainted with the ins and outs of sushi trains.
And we imagine it’s that other place’s pricing regime and that of the area in general that help make Sakura Kaiten Sushi II – apparently there’s another branch in Little Collins Street – so affordable.
But Sakura Kaiten Sushi II has a few wrinkles that are new to us.
For starters, the place is something of a shrine to Japanese pop culture.
And in addition to the regular sushi train goodies trundling by at a measured pace, there is an elevated rail line that carries items ordered by iPad and freshly prepared in the kitchen.
These are delivered by two express trains – one of the cop variety (our side), the other of the firefighting kind (the other side).
I think it would take very many visits to not find the whizzing by of these two trains, silent and stealthy, as somewhat unsettling.
Again, I think it would take several visits to really get a handle on what is good, what is not and what is marvellous.
Low prices are not everything.
But marvellous I suspect there is, simply based on the high turnover and the number of staff – both front of house and in the kitchen – taking care of business.
We enjoy our visit – we have some good stuff and enjoy the novelty value very much.