From what was the demise of another sushi train, a brighter and better (you be the judge of that) one has opened up inside Event Cinemas on George Street. Welcome to Umi Sushi. Otherwise known as Umi Sushi Express.
As soon as this establishment opened its doors to some sushi hungry cinema goers, and otherwise back in May; the crowds are still fairly content. At opening time, all sushi plates (with the exception of sashimi) were $2 a pop, now $3 a pop. Small servings, yet still fairly cheap, and yes when you do compare this to other Japanese fare in and around town, its fairly good value.
Expect to wait in line for a bit when you come for dinner after 6pm, on most weeknights.
It feels like you're living in the streets of bright Tokyo, and not Sydney. The designers behind the stores layout are quite smart. Brightly lit Japanese characters spelling sushi, and (amen) good food reigns. That with a bare black floor with a zebra crossing. Then again, all of us who custom here have literally come off one of the city's busiest streets. I just had to take a picture of one of the chairs (that zebra crossing theme) to show you how clever the design truly is.
Salmon Nigiri - half eaten
The food is there too, yet a few flaws. Out of the three different dishes I sampled on a busy Wednesday night come 6:30pm, the wait was just worth it. The crab was my favourite. Why? I'll get to that in a moment.
This is a cash only establishment. Be organised. Do not realise that you suddenly need to go to an ATM to get some cash out, and while you make it to the front of the queue. You will know why.
Love it Sydney
Complimentary water is available, and the staff are rather approachable.
First off the Salmon Nigiri ($3) was a great starter, but just a bit too small. Fresh pieces of sashimi were laid with the right amount of rice. Be patient when the wasabi comes to you on the belt. Not bad, yet I would not have this dish again. Will go for some sashimi next time.
The Black Sesame Ice Cream
Otherwise, the Crab balls ($3) was the dish of the day, or rather night. The crunchy coating on the outside was rather delicious, and a thick ball of quality crab meat was delightful, with a crab stick to hold onto. The only letdown/qualm: the dipping sauce container was way too small to dip these thick balls into. Two in all, yet a satisfying dish.
The seats. A clever zebra crossing design...unusual for a sushi train, yet it's effective.
There was a dessert I wanted on the placemat, yet was only told it could only be enjoyed at their Darling Harbour store. A little misleading, yet I did not mind, so off to Black Sesame Ice Cream ($4) we go. Disappointing to begin with: like where is the dish shown on the menu picture with a scoop right there? Not visible, it came in a pre-packaged tub as opposed to a proper plate you come to expect as per the visuals. Needless to say, the taste lifted my spirits.
More to try...next time.
A busy, busy sushi train. Fresh food indeed. That was the overall verdict.
Where: Umi Sushi - Event Cinemas
Why: Sushi dishes $3 each (except for sashimi) - love those Crab Balls.
Cost: My bill came to $10 (2 sushi plates and a dessert)
When: Lunch or dinner. Come before 6pm if at all possible.
Good for kids: Only if your child/children love sushi, and don't mind the crowds.
Take away: Yes, just ask.