Food, Japan

Sushizanmai – Shinjuku

On our way to the Robot Restaurant show, we decided to pop in for an early dinner at the large sushi chain Sushizanmai.

Many reviews for this restaurant were positive, and they have so many chain stores! Since we hadn’t tried a chain store sushi restaurant before, we thought it would be worth giving Sushizanmai a chance. Who knows, perhaps affordable and good seafood in a convenient location is possible?

As we were heading for the robot cafe in Shinjuku after, I searched up the closest sushizanmai which happened to be in east Shinjuku too. It was located in a rather suburban location which I totally didn’t expect, but it wasn’t difficult to find the store at all.

When we arrived, there were a few guests in the restaurant. Considering it was around 3:30 or 4pm, I was pretty surprised! I guess people in Tokyo eat at all hours of the day… isn’t that why 24 hour restaurants exist? xD

 

Between the two of us, we ordered a sashimi platter, and a kaisendon. I was craving kaisendon so so so much!

Seafood dons are the best way to try a variety of seafood from a single establishment without paying an exorbitant price – plus it usually comes with a good amount of rice to fill you up!

Sashimi platter sushizanmai
Sashimi platter – complete with raw shrimp!

The most special part of this platter is probably the shrimp. They left both the body and the head on the plate. I’m not sure if we were actually supposed to eat out the head, but of course me being asian AF, I usually eat the shrimp head too. It was flavourful ok!! No regrets!!

Seafood donburi
Seafood donburi. It looks super pretty and yummy!!

The kaisendon had only 1 of each kind of fish/meat apart from the sweet shrimp which are tiny so they served two, and the egg rolls. Sadness :'(

miso soup, side dish of fishball, and oolong highball sushizanmai
Miso soup, side dish of fishball, and oolong highball

I’m not sure if miso soup is complimentary, or came with each ‘main’ that was ordered.

We also got a cold side dish of very strong fishballs in a soup. I rather liked it, but it might be an acquired taste for some. I also ordered oolong highball which was not too bad for its price considering sushizanmai is a restaurant.

The fish selection was on the whole pretty good for a place that’s not in the fish market. It is clearly better than what you would get in a sushi train chain like uobei, but some of the fish definitely weren’t as fresh as others. And most of the fish are definitely incomparable to what is served in Tsukiji market. The price for this meal probably totalled around 4,000yen (for a platter, a don, and two drinks) which makes it marginally cheaper than eating at the market.

 

In my opinion, chain restaurants in Japan are like chain restaurants everywhere – even if people say it’s good, it’s probably more just average/not bad. I feel like for the quality of the fish that was served, the bill was on the expensive side. The only reasoning for the pricing is just that it is a restaurant setting with sushi chefs behind a working table, rather than being a ‘stall’ or a more industrialised sushi chain kind of establishment.

 

All in all? Not worth the hype I had seen online.