Sushi go round – Itsu vs Moshi Moshi Sushi
I loves me sushi! And I also like eating without being hassled so conveyor belt sushi or Kaiten sushi is sometimes the perfect combination. My first experience as most peoples was at Yo Sushi, the ubiquitous fishy-go-round found in most medium to larged sized cities, I mean, even Leicester has one! In my opinion, quality has taken a nose dive at Yo Sushi and they seem to be moving from offering more exotic options to just sending round chicken nuggets in a sweet sauce and some of the beginner sushi such as salmon and prawn. Spreading my wings further and now with London in my realm I recently tried the small chains of Itsu and Moshi Moshi Sushi.
My first visit to Itsu was on its first restaurants in Wardour Street, London. Following the Yo Sushi model of sending around popular items with waiter service for more unique fare I remember enjoying its more sophisticated environment (Lower lighting, more intimate feel, lack of huge plasma screens and bleeping robots). Interestingly, they sent round hot food on the conveyor also with tea lights burning underneath which I thought was cute.
My recent visit was to the Canary Wharf Branch at Cabot Place. Being the only diners there the atmosphere was a bit dead but we got our flask of Sake and pulled up to the belt. The food was alright I suppose, lots of meat dishes and hybrid ‘oriental’ items such as duck crystal rolls. Miso soup went around sitting on the tea lights but were scalding hot and almost impossible to remove from the belt without burning yourself. The a la carte menu was uninspiring and seemed to consist of hand rolls and little else. In the end we classed it as a starter and paid up to go somewhere else for ‘dinner’ as it was a real struggle to construct a meal.
Moshi Moshi Sushi
I have a feeling that MMS was the first conveyor belt sushi joint even before Yo Sushi though I could be wrong. Anyway, it seems to have been at the mezzanine level of Liverpool Station for ever. Meeting a friend during a connecting train journey we talk the trip to the nearly hidden doorway into MMS. It has a great atmosphere and is a cocoon away from the windswept platforms down below. The decor is innovative though seems a bit tatty and dusty on the day we visited. Food is prepared in a traditional kitchen (unseen) and emerges to wind its way around patrons before disappearing again into the kitchen. The food is extraordinary and I would imagine very traditional. Unusual flavour combinations incorporating ingredients such as natto bring bring back a feeling of discovery that has long been missing from other sushi joints. Along with the sushi you can choose larger courses such as noodles or ton katsu (breaded pork with bulldog sauce and sticky rice). The service was kind and attentive and the atmosphere relaxed. I could really imagine hanging around here and would not feel out of place if I was dining solo.
I would highly recommend a visit to Moshi Moshi Sushi and in my book it wins hands down.