Restaurants in Japan very rarely sell more than one type of food. They usually specialise in one type, be it udon or ramen, soba, sushi, okonomiyaki or even takoyaki, and do it well (and also, to keep the prices down). You’d have difficulty finding one like many of the restaurants in Australia that feature all types of Japanese food on their menu. That’s understandable when they’re catering to a non-Japanese population. But one item on the menu almost always suffers: sushi. And in the city, sushi train is the easiest and cheapest way to get good quality sushi.
Sushi Rio in Westfield Sydney is another branch of sushi train restaurant by the same name on Sussex Street. All dishes, with the exception of sashimi, are $3.50. And returning customers receive a reusable card to redeem a free drink with every visit.
N and I are really here to satisfy our craving for quality sushi so we head straight for fish.
Salmon nigiri – the salmon is fresh and shiny. After this first plate, we see plates with varying levels of fat so we go back for another, and then another. They were super tasty!
Tuna nigiri — this plate never seems to make its way around the sushi train no matter where we eat, so we always order from the menu. Tuna has a meatier flavour to salmon, which might explain why it’s less popular than the salmon. And this was one was fresh and delicious!
Kingfish nigiri – this had a satisfyingly fresh bite to it. It’s another one that doesn’t have the meaty flavour of tuna that we see go around often on the sushi train.
Squid nigiri (raw) – N and I can never seem to remember that we don’t like eating raw squid. While fresh, it’s unfailingly slimy, which we don’t enjoy.
Squid nigiri (cooked) – After the sliminess of the raw squid, we remember that we like cooked squid. The squid is a bit tough, yet we still prefer it to slimy squid.
Prawn nigiri — This was a tasty cooked prawn. It was just as well that they didn’t serve raw prawn nigiri ’cause we probably would’ve tried it only to be reminded that we don’t like raw prawns either!
Fresh eel nigiri -- Isn’t this a beauty? It’s another plate we ordered from the menu. It’s one nigiri, with a generous piece of eel that’s lightly seared and drizzled in sauce. It’s not as caramelised as the eel D and I ate in Japan and while I still prefer that type of eel preparation, this one was delicious in its own right. With this eel, you can properly appreciate the flavours of eel meat itself.
Crab croquette – N and I love our crab croquettes and these did not disappoint. It was made to order, so deliciously crispy on the outside with soft piping hot centres.
I quite enjoy the rice to topping ratio in the sushi at Sushio Rio. The food is fresh, the service is prompt, and it’s just an all round enjoyable experience.
Sushi Rio is located at Level 4 Westfield Sydney, 188 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000.