Sus Hi wants to be to sushi what Moe’s is to burritos. No, not annoying with a phony “Welcome to Sus Hi” greeting when you walk in the door. It wants to take the customizable, conveyor line concept employed by the Tex-Mex chain and apply it to rice, rolls and wraps. The result is actually rather pleasant.
I wasn’t too sure what the process was when I first entered Sus Hi, which, you might as well know right now, is pronounced suhs HI. You should also probably know that there is somewhat of a ninja theme, and, in fact, the fellow who assisted me with my order addressed me as ninja. I’ll have to go back through my notes of the past 24 years, but I’m pretty sure that’s a first.
When I told the young man, who was dressed in martial arts black and had a headband around his long, black hair, that I had not been there before, he cheerfully walked me through the process.
Here’s how it works. You decide whether you want a roll, a bowl, or a wrap. I chose a bowl, which got me a plastic soup-size bowl filled with rice. Next you decide on the meat: seafood, chicken, beef, or vegetarian (that last one is actually tofu and not technically a meat, though a lot of people try to tell themselves otherwise). I went with an assortment of fresh fish. Then you select from among an array of in-ings, which presumably are not the same as toppings. The in-ings include asparagus, avocado, cucumber, cream cheese, Cheez Whiz, lettuce and bacon.
Wait a minute. Cheez Whiz? OK, we’re not talking authentic sushi here.
Then you choose the toppings, which range from more avocado and Whiz to such things as strawberries and walnuts. You get to decide what goes in it, so the meal is yours to destroy any way you see fit.
The finishing touch is the sauce, one of 13 offered or a combination of any or all.
I allowed my little ninja buddy to offer suggestions, and he didn’t steer me wrong. The result was a bowl of pleasantly sticky rice topped with chunks of fresh fish, asparagus, scallions, tempura flakes and a spicy mayo sauce. I grabbed a pair of chopsticks and took a seat at one of the tables near the front of the storefront space and enjoyed my creation.
If you don’t want to think too much or make so many decisions, you can choose from among a long list of predetermined options printed on the menu, which also features a cartoonish story line representative of Japanese anime productions.
My guess is that the folks behind Sus Hi would like to make this a franchise. And I think it has a chance. It needs to be a bit more polished, and the system more intuitive first, but that’s easily done.
Sus Hi offers an attractive alternative to the usual fast food fixes.
Sus Hi is at 4498 N. Alafaya Trail, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. Rolls run around $6; bowls are about $7. Here’s a link to yousushi.com (annoying music alert). The phone number is 407-826-1682.