Sure, sushi is a versatile snack, but for too long it’s been used by Melburnians as a quick meal eaten between meetings or – shudder – on public transport. Take your time and add some fun back into this delicious Japanese export with a visit to one of these sushi trains.
A cult classic among sushi lovers, the endless snack track at Sushi Jiro will satisfy any hunger. Choose from plates starting at $3.80 like the purple rice teriyaki and freshly fried tempura, or splurge on a premium plate of tuna belly sashimi. Stay on for dessert as it spins it’s way around the shop – including black sesame ice cream, matcha creme brulee and bouncy mochi.
A locomotive themed sushi train would have been far too obvious – sushi served boat-side is where it’s at. Track adorable floating food vessels at Sushi Boto in St. Collins Lane as they make their way around the circuit then feast on tempura prawn, torched salmon nigiri or classic cali rolls. Whatever floats your boat.
Sakura Kaiten Sushi II
Like a rose among thorns, this secret spot nestled between a pizza chain and a car park is much more than meets the eye. Enter Sakura Kaiten II for a Blade Runner style neon decor experience, where classic Japanese bites spin around on miniature bullet trains reminiscent of the basement diners in Shinjuku. Our pick is the deep-fried clams and melt-in-your-mouth salmon sashimi.
Party with sushi train professionals at Sushi Club, a new venture from the Jiro Sushi crew. Located in the ELLA foodie precinct, this sushi spot stuns with delicious food and mesmerising projections that colour the walls as you eat. Fresh tuna nigiri, salmon roe with sashimi and even soft shell crab sliders are some of the VIPs making their debut on the club conveyor belt.
A dining delight hidden behind a takeaway facade, the bustling Oda Sushi belt can be spotted as you walk through the laneway dining hub of the GPO building. Join the lunchtime throngs for charred yakitori, chicken karaage, salmon roe sushi or a cheeky plum soda. Plates start at $2.80, so bring your appetite!
Come for the sushi train and stay for the green tea ice cream loaded thick shake. Tetsujin offers all manner of Japanese options, from deep-fried sushi tacos to seaweed-loaded nigiri. Enter through the lift on Caledonian Lane and marvel at the precision of their staff as they watch over the perfectly spaced conveyor belt.
Back slicker than ever after a brief face lift, Chocolate Buddha’s beautiful dining room is open for business once again. Once you’ve had a few chai White Russians and treated the kids to a bento, make sure you swing by for some sushi train fun. This locomotive of lovely snacks has a ‘bullet train’ running the tracks, serving sushi with the precision and speed of Japan’s best Shinkansen. The gouda stuffed pork croquettes have got our ticket.
You might feel a bit foolish once you realise where Makoto has been hiding in plain sight at Melbourne Central. The surprisingly spacious restaurant tucked behind a glowing white neon sign spins a tasty selection of sushi, from plain rice wrapped in bean curd to crispy prawns and sweet dessert mochi. Touch screen menus add a futuristic convenience for those who simply can’t wait to order.