Friday, 6 July 2007

Genki Sushi

3/F, Yuen Long Plaza, 249 Castle Peak Rd, Yuen Long
Visited 6th July

The Japanese chain Genki Sushi is amazingly popular in Hong Kong. Despite the massive queues I've seen in other branches Naomi and I easily managed to get a seat Friday lunchtime. We were tucked away in a corner next to the huge winding conveyor belt that dominates the restaurant.

Normally I tend to order sushi off a menu, but I thought I'd see what chance threw at me and pick as I went along. I ended up with mini-squid and octopus sushi, a fried ebi roll and a rolled sushi stuffed with salmon and cream cheese. Naomi had her favourite little beancurd packages, miso soup and mini profiteroles (yes they were on the conveyor belt!). The food really was pretty average; nothing seemed particularly interesting or fresh. I'm not sure how much I was influenced by sitting next to the kitchen (a word I use lightly) were I watched the rice being prepared by machines and the fish pulled pre-cut from packaging trays. Eating sushi is about enjoying quality fresh ingredients prepared with skill and innovation, something Genki Sushi does not appear to offer. While our meal wasn't overly expensive at just over $100 for the two of us it wasn't particularly good either and there are plenty of other sushi places one can get a feed for a similar amount.

Our visit to Genki Sushi was one big conveyor belt ride; I sat next to a conveyor-belt, I watched my sushi being made by a conveyor belt and I was in a manufactured chain store were the whole experience felt like I was on a conveyor belt. Average service, average food and a plastic fast food atmosphere I can't understand why this chain is so popular - perhaps it's the cute company motif? Sushi in the style of 'Disneyland'; why bother?

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