Sushigami might be considered Japanese fast food.
I’m guessing a couple of miles an hour.
Sushigami is a sushi bar with a twist. Or more precisely, a twirl. Guests sit at a sushi counter or at one of the booths and plates of sushi rolls roll by on a tiny conveyor belt that snakes along a winding path. If you see something that you like or that looks good to you, you lift the dome-covered plate from the belt and enjoy.
This is not a new concept. It’s not even new to Orlando, and Sushigami has been at its location in Florida Mall for a while.
I first came across a sushi-go-round years ago at the Riverwalk Ft. Lauderdale. If I recall correctly — and that’s iffy at this point — it was Doraku, a concept from the owners of Benihana. Doraku is still around, though not at the Riverwalk, and the remaining restaurants make no mention of conveyor-belt sushi.
But I do remember that it was a kind of fun way to experience sushi. And even at a pace similar to the baggage carousels at the airport, it’s a fast way to enjoy fresh food.
The sushi is constantly prepared by sushi chefs who plate the rolls and place them on the belt. The plates are color-coded, with the colors specifying the price. Guests grab whatever and how many plates they like. When finished, a staff member will tally up the plates and present your check. (Don’t try putting your empty plates back on the conveyor belt to get rid of the evidence. I can’t believe you’d even think of such a thing. And someone is always watching.)
The Four Seasons Roll caught my eye, and why wouldn’t it with its colorful fish roe toppings. The popping tobiko was the best part of it; the crab salad was a bit mild.
So was the Spicy Tuna Roll, for that matter, even with the extra mayo that was provided, along with the usual pickled ginger and wasabi flavored paste.
So, no, we’re not talking the best sushi in town. But it’s good enough, and relatively inexpensive — the Four Seasons Roll was about $5.
You’re not entirely on your own. There are circling servers — they move about conventionally — who will help you with beverages and other items not offered on the Twirl-a-Meal. In fact, i was greeted several times by various staff members, all eager to please.
Sushigami is easy to find as long as you’re not looking for it in the Florida Mall Dining Pavilion. Instead, it is located in an open space near Zales Jewelers and a Puma store. (The mall entrance by Foot Locker is the closest.)
Sushigami is at Florida Mall, 8001 Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando. It is open for lunch and dinner daily. It does not list a phone number for the Orlando restaurant but its number in Ft. Lauderdale is 954-835-9070.