An ardent sushi lover, I would never miss out on a chance to savour some of that fast and healthy Japanese cuisine. When (and quite accidentally) I discovered Sushi Culture, a Japanese sushi train type of restaurant hidden tucked away in a busy office building in Bella Vista; I was not going to pass on the chance of a visit.
One very significant difference at Sushi Culture that I noticed in comparison with other Sushi trains I have visited is the absence of that all familiar greeting "Irasshaimase." Generally, as we all know, the chefs join in with the wait staff shouting out this (or a similar greeting) when patrons enter through a sushi train eatery door. But this isn't so at Sushi Culture. There were no shouts of welcome greetings or anyone to acknowledge your presence. Standing at the counter for a few minutes for someone to assist us with seating; we realised that's not how its done here at Sushi Culture.
You just have to find your seat, choose your food and start eating. If you fancy a drink, there is a well stocked fridge you can help yourself with. The process was easy and straightforward. But saying this, I did have reservations about the place, thinking that the staff were not friendly or efficient. But my initial impressions were all wiped away when I sat down and scanned the plates of Japanese cuisine floating in front of me on the carousel, and thus observed how efficiently the chefs behind the counter worked cutting, chopping and preparing these delicate works of art.
Sushi Culture definitely offers great variety. The freshness of their food speaks for itself. The train carries everything; sushi, sashimi, seafood salads, dumplings, and even desserts. The menus placed on the bar are enough to educate you to chose well. Prices are coded according to the colour of the plates, and this certainly makes choosing even less complicated.
Though its a train type of set up with plates parading in front of you; that does not necessarily mean you have to choose only from whats displayed in front of you. The menu offers other options from bentos to soups that you can order from, if you do not fancy anything on the carousel.
Some of my recommendations off the carousel include deep-fried balls of crab meat which are artistically presented as crab claws ($5.00). This dish comes with a creamy white dipping sauce that is able to enhance the flavour of the minced crab meat.
The chilli prawn plate ($5.00) is also a must to try. Battered prawns are presented on a bed of greens. The highlight of this dish is that sweet chilli sauce/paste that the prawns are dipped into prior to plating. How I wished that same chilli sauce/paste was available for use as freely as the soy sauce, the ginger pickle, or the wasabi.
Although there isn't a large vegetarian selection, however, one that needs to be tried is the vegetable tempura ($5.00). Chunks of vegetables are dipped in tempura batter, and they're deep fried till crispy. Vegetarians take note; even a small plate of this is enough to fill you up.
Sushi Culture seems to be popular among the office crowd, for I noticed a considerable number of men and women clad in their office attire walk in, with take away containers full with the choices from the carousel. Easy: pay and leave in a hurry.
Though my initial impressions of the place were not as great as one would want it to be; I realised that at Sushi Culture, they do the work their own way, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. After savouring the food and observing the goings-on at this somewhat quiet restaurant, I walked out convinced that Sushi Culture, Bella vista is indeed as good as any other sushi train around.
Where: Lexington Drive Bella Vista NSW.
Why: Healthy, clean fast food.
Cost: Staring around $5.00
When: Lunch & Dinner