Back in December we mentioned that Jidai Kaiten Sushi is open in the Shoppes at Boca Grove (near Bonefish Grill). We finally got there for lunch today so we could write a review, and we liked it.
Kaitenzushi (回転寿司) is pronounced kai-ten-zoo-she with the “kai” like start of the word kayak. A popular translation is “conveyor belt sushi”, though the word kaiten literally translates to automatic circle. This is not an Americanization – we’ve had it in Japan. You can get the idea from the video we shot today:
The sushi is made in the central area, and then placed on plates on a moving platform (the conveyor belt) which travel around so that customers can reach them. Jidai has an interesting variation with the main section being a triangular area. When the place is full they extend the moving platform to reach more tables in a shape like an umbrella over that triangle.
In Japan the plates come around uncovered, but Jidai has covers on them. This is probably a smart move to comply with some obscure health regulations. Our dining partner is picky about food safety and definitely appreciated the covers.
We tried a variety of items, mostly from the conveyor belt. Manager Asuka Tamura (it’s unusual to see a real Japanese person working in a Japanese restaurant these days) told us to order something if we didn’t see it on the belt. We did order a couple things, a salmon-avocado roll and gyoza (dumplings). There is a menu for items that you would not see on the belt, such as bento box lunches and other lunch specials. Please note some photos are after we started eating.
We had a couple of interesting and tasty items including the tuna roll with mango.
The pancake stuffed with sweet red bean paste was good. Red bean paste is a common item in Japan and something you don’t see in a lot of Japanese restaurants here in the US.
At the end of the meal your bill is determined by adding up the plates by their color, with prices per plate ranging from $2 for the pink up to $5 for the yellow.
It’s a fun way to eat sushi – you see dishes you might not have thought to try. We enjoyed our meal too. Every item tasted good, with no problems in quality or service.