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12 December 2006


It's a curious regional idiosyncracy, but here in Australia, we call it 'Sushi Train' rather than 'Conveyor Belt'.. There was a chain of restaurants who actually used model trains for a while. There's 'sushi boat' as well. That involved small wooden boats on a submerged track, themepark style..

There's one of these in Portland, Oregon, too! My friends go there every week.

Not just for Japanese food anymore.
Since a few years, there's a Spanish tapas (actually Basque pintxos) place in Brussels, Belgium, with 2 long F-shaped belts (some pictures through Google).

Born and raised in Japan, I expect to see the same Nigiri items at any sushi restaurants in Japan. From Maguro, Ika, Ikura to Uni, just about every sushi restaurant serves the same items and people are content with the same old tradition or at least they don't ask for anything other than what they are used to see. What you enjoy is a subtlety your pallet distinguishes after all. A skillful chef at a established sushi restaurant can provide that.

Having lived in Portland, Oregon for the last 30 years, I saw how people embrased sushi and raised its status from "raw fish" to "delicacy" over time.
What I find most amusing is the American ingenuity. My favorite sushi restaurant in Portland serves Nigiri with seared salmon, octopus salad, deep fried sushi, or even a thin slice of roast beef to name a few. I quickly became a big fan of this new invention.
When I was visiting Tokyo last year, I found myself missing these American sushi.
People back in Japan don't know what they are missing.

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