Sakura Kaiten Sushi is located on the Paris end of Little Collins Street and catches your eye only once you walk past it. It occupies a narrow but efficient space and during lunchtime, there are often many people crowding the entrance waiting for seating. The first time I came here, I arrived just after noon and managed to secure the last seats for 2 at the sushi train bench. They also have high tables adjacent to the sushi train but you're also welcome to order everything off the sushi train, or, just sneakily squeeze between diners to reach for the plates like some people I witnessed.
At Sakura Kaiten Sushi, they offer a large variety of plates however, from for someone like me who is quite picky, my choices are limited. I dislike choosing dishes that I can get at a chain sushi shop, like maki rolls or inside out sushi rolls. You can get full very easily if you eat a lot of rice based dishes so I try to choose wisely and save stomach space for the good stuff. Prices vary according to the food on different coloured plates starting at pink plates for $3.60, black plates for $4.60, white plates for $5.80 and the deluxe red plates for $6.80.
We downed our drinks before I remembered to take a photo.
Our first plate was a pair of Scallop Nigiri. Served raw on a mound of sushi rice, lightly torched and then topped with alfalfa and a sweet soy sauce, it was delicious. The Scallop was fresh, sweet and melted away in my mouth.
Next up was the Tuna version served the same way as the Scallop Nigiri. Although I much preferred the Scallop, this was a good combination of flavours also.
The Salmon was lightly torched and topped with alfalfa. It was quite tasty and tender with soy sauce & wasabi.
The Salmon Steak was very thin so it was almost overcooked after torching the top. The Wasabi Mayonnaise had a distinct horseradish taste and kick to it however wasn't able to save the dish.
The Scallops were standard and nothing you wouldn't be able to get at a fish and chip shop. I actually prefer them raw as you can taste the natural sweetness better.
The Korokke was freshly made and provided the much needed carb factor to our meal. It was tasty and delicious with the mayonnaise.
I did mention that I don't normally eat these rolls, didn't I? Well, that's because Mr A picked this one. He found it a bit dry and it was an average dish.
We continuously picked up the Scallop, Tuna & Salmon Nigiri plates as they were favourites for us.
I can never resist Salmon Sashimi - it was fresh, thickly cut and I really enjoyed it. So much so, that I consequtively picked up 2 more plates of Sashimi.
Our last savoury plate was 4 slices of Scallop Sashimi which was incredibly refreshing, sweet and delicious.
The Red Bean Ice Cream was delectable with pieces of Red bean studded throughout the Ice cream. The texture wasn't as creamy or smooth as I preferred but it was still delicious. I've tried Green Tea & Black Sesame Ice Cream other times and they were also great.
In Japan, the sushi train restaurants are incredibly superior, providing fresh, delicious produce, that it's hard to find a restaurant in Melbourne that remotely compares. Majority of the sushi train restaurants that I have visited in Melbourne are lakclustre but Sakura Kaiten Sushi delivers fresh and tasty sushi at a decent price.
Edited: I have since been back on 19th Sept 2012 and found that the thickness of the raw fish on the nigiris has decreased which really detracts from the deliciousness of it all. Not sure if this was an off night but something to consider.
Will I return? Yes, a solid sushi train restaurant.
Sakura Kaiten Sushi
61 Little Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9663 0898