zushibento – cannington
There is something incredibly alluring, watching food circle round and round on a conveyor belt. The assurance of never ending food and good service (well, you are serving yourself mostly!) has a calming effect. There’s less stress when the waiting and the bad service is cut out of the equation. The place is Zushibento, one of a few places in Perth with a sushi train – and one of two Zushibento branches with a dim sum train too!
Two conveyor belts wind their way around a Y shaped bench, the closest belt carrying varieties of sushi, while the top belt carries little steamers of dimsum. It’s an interesting concept of grazing and if there’s any dining concept which gets us through the door, it’s a novel one!
Like a well disguised after thought tacked on to the entrance of Carousel, the restaurant cleverly looks contained within four walls and a ceiling. However, hot summer air easily blows through the restaurant from the open ceiling and awnings. The heat is hardly contained by the air con unit as it escapes into the atmosphere and around the sushi train, the dim sum steamers add to the swelter. However, we did visit on a very hot day and still found it bearable to eat.
We were quickly seated and the best thing about sushi trains – you can eat straight away! It’s even faster than conventional dimsum. The only constraint is waiting for something appetising to roll around and hope no one else poaches it. The sushi is priced is by plate colour and the dim sum is of one price category. We initially start slowly with sushi and go on picking and feasting through an assortment of dishes.
The sushi with raw ingredients such as salmon or tuna, are all placed on little ice bricks to keep them cold. The crab sushi was exemplary but at $6.50 for two pieces you would expect it to be. With (what I suspect to be) imitation crab meat – like shredded crabstick – in a spicy mayo and rolled in a sesame seaweed mix, the sushi was delicious.
Another sushi with a crab/prawn filling was pretty good, despite the imitation filling. I’m not a fan of crabstick and the like, and imitation crab made too many appearances on the sushi train. Even what we expected to be real crab meat was the imitation stuff!! For example the crab claw nuggets, complete with a real crab claw, was actually a ball of shredded (you guessed it) imitation crab. Strange.
A salmon roll with a tobiko coating was eaten joyfully – the salmon was fresh and the sushi rice perfect. Fried prawn dumplings eventually tempted us from the dim sum conveyor belt. Looking very tasty on the outside, petite golden pouches, I found the filling to be quite disappointing. The filling had some prawn in it, but the one I bit into was composed mainly of fish paste or some kind of filler, which masked the prawn flavour.
The dim sum did not fare much better. The beancurd rolls appeared to have been on the train far too long. The exposed beancurd skin was dried and shriveled, leaving the dumpling with a two faced look very much like the Batman villain. The filling was mostly vegetables with an unidentifiable meat (prawn or pork, who knows) and tasteless. To my dismay we found the same filling inside the pork and prawn dumplings – bathed in an overpowering lemongrass sauce. It was the beancurd rolls reincarnated into something that really did not work. We had to have a tobiko gunkanmaki to clear the taste of the sauce from our mouths!
The pork dumplings was the only dim sum dish I enjoyed. Topped with fish roe, they had a pallid look but were tasty with identifiable pieces of prawn and pork.
There were plenty other options circling the train – takoyaki (fried octopus balls), fish cake and numerous sushi. We found as time went by, the fried items became deflated and cold. Mayonaise became runny. The avocado on some sushi pieces started to oxidize and turn an unsightly grey. Clearly a sushi train needs a certain turnover to keep items looks fresh and inviting.
The problem with novel ideas, is being their nature, are either very fabulous or very disheartening. Zushibento’s sushi train incorporated with dim sum is a great idea but I think the choices available to diners doesn’t justify the price – it’s a pretty expensive way to eat lunch. The set meals are probably better value than eating off the sushi train. I used to often eat at the Garden City branch and their sushi quality seems consistent across branches. However the dim sum is below average, perhaps it’s a case of diversifying a bit too much.
Up’s: Sushi train, always a crowd pleaser. Resist the dim sum temptation and stick to the sushi! A quick meal option (no waiting for food to arrive).
Down’s: Imitation crab meat. Pricing is steep.
Zushibento, Westfield Carousel, 1382 Albany Highway, Cannington WA 6107
T: (08) 9258 6228
7 days 10.30 – 9
add a comment.
You may use Markdown syntax in your comments.