One of this month’s most buzzworthy restaurant openings is Sushiro’s. The 162-seater restaurant at Tiong Bahru Plaza, the Japanese conveyor belt sushi chain’s first outlet in Southeast Asia, opened to public on August 19, and has been attracting large crowds daily.
Like everyone else living on our little red dot, we here at Toggle are more than willing to queue for good stuff – but when we were presented with an option to geng (scheme) our way to a shorter wait time, our Singaporean instincts kicked in.
Just in case you’re wondering: no, it’s not a Toggle-only-VIP-card that we used. Sushiro Singapore has an app.
Make sure you see the 'Check in completed' stamp on the top right - after which, you're free to roam around until your app notifies you that you have to return
And this app is now our new best friend, because it does well in serving its one and only purpose – helping us score a table at 162-seater restaurant in a shorter amount of time.
After downloading the app (Sushiro talked about it on their Facebook account, but not many know of it just yet), we made a reservation for last Saturday (Aug 24) at 12:45pm. While we were on our way to the restaurant, a quick peek at the app showed a 125 minute wait time, which made us a tad antsy.
Even if we had a reservation, how long would we have to wait?
Our worries were for naught as we were quickly (and cheerfully) asked to check in with the reservation number we were given, and were whisked to our tables within 10 minutes.
For those who didn’t know about this marvelous app, however, there was a comfortable waiting area, or you could also have the option of roaming around the mall while waiting for your number. One thing to note, however: don’t go back too late, or you’ll risk having to get a new number if yours has been called.
Everything you need to know is written on signs right in front of you
Once at our counter seats, we spied something very important: a small sign that told us that we only have 60 minutes to eat during peak period. Cue a very auntie moment where we rushed to figure out how to fill our bellies within the given time frame.
First things first: not only do you have a conveyer belt that has little signs announcing what exactly it is on the plates immediately after it (very useful when we peered suspiciously at unfamiliar sushi such as the Crab Meat Butter Gunkan ($3.20)), there’s also an express lane where food that you order through a tablet is delivered straight to your lane.
The fast-moving belt serves the entire row of seats, but you’ll definitely get the food that you ordered as the little ‘door’ will only open for the counter that it belongs to. There’s only one catch, the designated lane that the door ‘opens’ to can only hold four plates at a time, so that’s also the maximum number of pending orders you can have at a time.
Our sushi rolled onto our dedicated lane minutes after ordering it on the tablet
If you’re ordering their miso soup (either with clams, seaweed or fish ($2.50)), you don’t have to worry about the hot contents of the bowl spilling onto you as they speed down the delivery belt. They come with special covers with side locks that instantly had us going ‘wah, I also want to buy leh’.
What we also found out is that the food gets delivered relatively quickly, so for those who don’t like waiting, order your first round of easy-to-prepare stuff like Salmon Sashimi ($4.80), Big Red Shrimp ($2.20) and Large Scallop Sushi ($3.20) before popping over to the drinks dispensers.
There’s only one dispenser located near the entrance of the restaurant, however, so you may expect to have to wait a little while to get your refreshments – especially when you have the option of customising your drinks. Think vanilla Coke Zero, mango Dasani – definitely something that people will ooh over the first time they see it.
For the less adventurous, there’s the usual hot and cold green tea, and free-flow soft drinks from $3.50.
If you are not keen on raw food, there are also plenty of cooked options like Dongpo Pork ($2.20), Roasted Beef (S$4.80) and Premium Grilled Eel (S$3.20), though some of these were cold when we picked them off the conveyor belt. Having it warm would definitely make all the difference, so we would recommend ordering it to have a higher chance of getting yours served warm.
They also have special concoctions exclusive to Sushiro, such as the Broiled Salmon with Basil Cheese ($2.20) which we couldn’t get enough of, along with the Mapo Eggplant ($2.20) and Shrimp with Coriander, which came drizzled with a mildly spicy, savoury sauce ($2.20).
Sushiro’s current opening special includes a $2.20 otoro sushi that has gotten the attention of many, but if you ask us, go for the $4.80 version instead – it’s well-marbled, melts in your mouth and much more worth the calories.
Close to the 60-minute mark, we finally got around to the dessert menu. We ordered the Mille Crepe Melba ($4.80), Hattendo Cream Bun ($3.30) and Matcha Warabi Mochi ($3.80), but felt like we should have stuffed ourselves with more sushi instead.
The mille crepe was tasty, but the cream bun had too strong an eggy taste for us. Perhaps the matcha version would fare better as the bitterness would balance out the egginess. The warabi mochi was simply too firm for our liking.
All in all, it was an enjoyable experience – not only were we next to a Japanese family whose intermittent exclamations of oishi! (delicious) made our dining experience feel a little more authentic. There will be some items that we’ll be giving a miss (such as the desserts) the next time we pop by, but we’ll definitely go back to fill up our loyalty card, which promises some cute soft toys after collecting at least three stamps.
Sushiro Singapore is located at #02-118 Tiong Bahru Plaza and is open daily 11am-10pm (last order at 9.30pm).