From its humble beginnings as a street food in its native Japan, sushi has absolutely transformed, becoming one of the world’s top cuisines. In the United States alone, according to statistics from IBIS World, there are over 4,000 sushi restaurants, generating more than $2 billion in revenues each year.
As you might imagine, only a very small portion of those 4,000-plus restaurants are actually good sushi restaurants. More often than not, these bottom of the barrel restaurants skate along on the popularity of sushi versus any real quality. You don’t have to give in to probability. With these simple tips for spotting low quality sushi restaurants, you can avoid getting sick and spend your hard-earned cash on only the best.
Warning Signs That You Aren’t at a Great Sushi Bar
- The Chef Station is Filthy
- Good Seafood Restaurants Don’t Stink of Fish
- Fine Sushi Restaurants Sell Sushi
- Real Sushi Chefs Don’t Encourage Soy Sauce or Wasabi
Being that sushi and sashimi use raw ingredients, it is paramount that sushi chefs keep their stations clean in order to avoid harboring any nasty microbes. If you walk into a sushi restaurant and see that the chopping block, the knives, or any other materials are dirty, walk yourself right back out the door.
As EatSushi.com points out, a clear sign you’re walking into something that is nowhere near the quality of good sushi restaurants is a fishy smell. Fresh, high quality fish, despite what you might think, doesn’t smell like fish. It smells like ocean brine. Do yourself a favor and choose someplace else.
This may seem like a really stupid statement, but hear me out. The best sushi restaurants in the world aren’t trying to please everyone. They don’t need to serve terrible fried rice or half-baked ramen noodle soup to try and draw in customers. As MySushiSet.com so aptly suggests, good sushi restaurants serve sushi. That’s it.
Here’s the thing: you know how when you visit a sushi restaurant you see people swirling together a sickening slurry of wasabi and soy sauce in a dipping dish? The best sushi restaurants don’t encourage that kind of behavior. Why? Because each piece of sushi has already been balanced in flavor before being served to you. If a restaurant insists on covering the flavor of their sushi with salt and spice, you really should wonder why.
Do you run one of the world’s good sushi restaurants? How do you think consumers can spot the best sushi restaurants? Share your tricks with us in the comments below. Helpful info also found here.