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NEWS: Conveyor Belt Sushi Chain Comes To U.S.

Surf Clam Sushi
Now, your surf clam can surf over to you via
conveyor belt.
  Is America about to experience conveyor-belt sushi in a big way? Known as kaiten-sushi, a branch of the largest chain, Sakae Sushi, has made the leap to America (“leap” is an appropriate analogy, since the company logo is a frog on a lily pad—although no frog sushi is served). The premiere is the launch of a goal to be, ostensibly, the first successful sushi chain in America. The company, based in Singapore, has 40 sushi restaurants there, and 20 in other countries—none of which offers the market potential of the large and sushi-hungry American public.
The high-tech restaurant should also appeal to the experiential dining desires of Americans. There’s a patented interactive menu at each table, enabling patrons to create custom orders, as well as a hot water tap to refill cups of green tea. There is three-tiered pricing—three different colored plates, priced at $1.90, $3.90 and $6.90, depending on the value of the contents. In a bit of architectural irony, the two conveyor-belt restaurant, totaling 97 feet of rolling sushi, sashimi, soups, salads, dumplings, ramen, yakitori and other bites, is located in the venerable Chrysler Building, one of the country’s most dignified architectural landmarks. It’s an easy location for anyone to get to, right across the street from Grand Central Terminal, at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Taking the train into town? Drop in for some sushi before heading to your destination. The speed with which consumers can get their sushi from the conveyor belt gives new meaning to the term “fast food.”The chain was established in Singapore in 1997 with the goal of offering affordable Japanese food. In New York City, which is not known for conveyor-belt restaurants, it will certainly be the king of kaiten. The restaurant, located at 405 Lexington Avenue at 42nd Street, is open 7 days for breakfast, lunch and dinner, from 7 a.m. to midnight. A 24-hour delivery service will be offered. For more information, visit or telephone 1.877.SAKAE-USA.

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1 Comment »

  1. Nibble Editors said,

    March 13, 2008 @ 8:11 am

    By the way, we did eat at Sakae Sushi and thought it was a good value—affordable and fun. The Chrysler Building branch, open 7 days, is actually on the 43rd Street side of the Chrysler Building, between Third and Lexington Avenues. We were quite pleased to find that the conveyor belt sushi was not in a bar setup (as it is in most photos on their website), but runs between booths for two or four people. So, you can go with a larger group and enjoy conversation, rather than be limited to whoever is sitting to your left or right, sushi-bar style. Two points of interest: (1) On Sundays and holidays, sushi is half price. (2) Across the street, a bit closer to Third Avenue, is The Blue Pig, featuring excellent homemade ice cream. Unfortunately, it doesn’t keep late hours, so you may have to have ice cream before your sushi dinner.

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