Kaitenzushi... it is a somewhat meditative experience for me. Sitting quietly in a row, watching as dish after dish of things I mainly do not eat flow by without cease.
Kaitenzushi is actually a huge boon for vegetarians. I love sushi, but facing a sushi chef and ordering is something I try to avoid at all costs.
If you think about it, these guys (because the world of sushi is intensely male-dominated) have spent many years learning how to get each cut of fish to the perfect thickness, in order to showcase the taste of each individual fish. And then I show up, asking for kappa, inari, tamago, ume shiso etc...
Needless to say, it kinda gets on their nerves.
But here, at the kaiten, I do not have to upset the chefs, and in addition pretty much everything I eat is on the 100 yen plates! Total bargain. Admittedly, the quality level is not the same, and it can get a bit noisy, but at the same time it has a strangely relaxing effect.
Maguro, maguro, aji, corn salad, shrimp, cake... a conveyor loop of bite sized, relatively innocuous junk food.
It makes me wonder what other kind of kaiten might do well... a fancy sweets kaiten, all of the desserts on Delft-printed plates and little doilies? Cheese kaiten, small bites of unusual cheeses, with choices of breads, crackers and honeys to accompany them? I found out about a wine equivalent in Ginza, which I must go check out.
I find this passtime particularly satisfying on days I know that dinner/ drinks will be extremely fancy and high grade. There is just something about getting the cheapest and priciest in one day, combini onigiri and 3 Michelin stars.
The contrast this time was with the unbelievable KitaAoyama Salon. The dark, antique-filled space. The terribly discreet little door. The mind-blowingly delicious cocktails, champagnes and hand-made truffles. Even I, who usually stop at two drinks, was swayed by the sheer quality of their creations, like the ginger /copper-infused cocktail and the shiso mojito. This place is a gem... but take note, like all precious things it comes at a price.