Sushi Express is a Taiwanese conveyer sushi belt concept located at CityLink Mall.
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Sushi for the budget conscious, on the go
If you are looking for a place with free flow hot green tea and cheap sashimi on the fly, look no further. Sushi Express is the McDonalds of Japanese cuisine - when there’s no queue. With the average lunchtime crowd at Westgate, you may sometimes have to wait a few minutes for a seat. Whenever the open a new outlet and have a $1 per plate promotion, the queue can get crazy, the entire length of Jurong Point 2 crazy.
My favourite dish is the Aburi Salmon. They don’t always have it, and it's usually gone almost as soon as it hits the belt. So I’ve tried many ways to get more aburi. The best is to ask the staff nicely, and they may get the kitchen staff to start making some. Otherwise just wait for the telltale smell of aburi in the works, and pounce when they appear. By pounce I mean shamelessly stand outside the kitchen window to receive the fresh plates before it even touches the belt. Aburi is best eaten hot.
Aside from the sashimi and the aburi salmon, my other favourites are Hana Maki and the chocolate cake. Nothing that will blow you away, though satisfying nonetheless. Also, during peak hours they may choose to enforce their 40min time limit. Either way the seating arrangements don’t encourage staying. They mostly have bar seats that don’t make for good conversation and their tables pretty cramped.
Eat and Go
As the restaurant's name suggested, Sushi Express is a place where one can quickly satisfy their sushi craving at just $1.50 per plate of sushi. I reckon it's the perfect restaurant for shopaholics like me to take a meal break in between a crazy shopping spree especially during this GSS season.
At $1.50 per plate, don't expect top quality food on the little pink plates going around the restaurant. If you’re a true foodie looking for an authentic sushi bar, this is not your place. To work with the selling price of each dish, the quality of the food is rather low with little to no taste. This is a place for one to fill one’s stomach instead of satisfying one’s palate. Oh, and definitely the place to binge eat Singaporeans’ favourite salmon sashimi without burning a hole in your wallet.
The duration of the meal can take as little as 15 minutes. Dining there for one hour would feel like two. It’s perfect for busy people who just wants to get a quick meal.
Of course due to its low prices and convenience, there's always a long queue up front. Hence, I suggest having a go at Sushi Express during off-peak meal periods.
Reasonable and Affordable
Managed to spot a short queue during early dinner time and decided to try this.
Dishes priced nett at $1.50 is definitely reasonable when you are in the town area and searching for dinner venues.
They have pretty limited variety and you will see the same few dishes circulating after a while., But I wasn't that hungry that day and I like to eat abit of everything.
The size of fish atop the rice was reasonable, and there was also 3pcs of sashimi (albeit small) for $1.50.
There's no GST and service charge if I'm not wrong, and no surcharge for the wet towels too.
Recommend you to try if you are around the area and there's no long queue for it(:
Ridiculously overrated - do NOT oversell.
When I first decided to try Sushi Express, it was because the people around me who have tried it were raving endlessly about it.
"$1.50 per plate of sushi only!" "They have ALL types of sushi" "Their $1.50 plates include Ikura!"
So I decided to try it. I visited the CityLink Mall outlet at around 3pm. My experience was so torrid that to continue this review in prose would be to give it undue credit. Here are three reasons why it was so bad:
1) The food was stale. This was because I visited at the period of 3pm where there was no queue. Good, right? No. Because the food the served to us was food made two hours ago that people didn't want to eat. They didn't even bother to make a fresh batch, and honestly why would they? They're a budget sushi restaurant.
2) The food was bad. Even when it wasn't stale, it was just bad. Ikura Sushi had always been my favorite type of sushi but over at Sushi Express, I'm not even sure if they're using the real thing or if they're using 7 day old Ikura to top their sushi. The worst part? They're not even generous with their poor-tasting Ikura. Less than half of my Gunkan Sushi was covered with it.
3) It gave me food poisoning. I don't think there's a need to further explain.
For some absurd reason, I decided to return to Sushi Express when they opened in Tampines. This new outlet only presented a whole new array of problems.
1) It was crowded. It was so crowded. Your personal space is nonexistent. You can hear the conversations going on at the table in front of, beside, and behind you. Except that there are only three tables. And you're probably seated at the counter seats.
2) 40 Minute time limits apply. So you can't enjoy your food either. You have to eat and get out. Move along the production line.
But the bottom line, after two bad experiences at sushi express is this: it certainly isn't that worth it, unlike what people may be saying. Sure, I came out feeling full, but also feeling violated - the quality of their sushi is akin to sushi takeout at 10pm: not fresh, and certainly without quality. Furthermore, at $1.50 per plate, it rounds up to $1.75 nett approximately which is at best a few cents cheaper than other sushi restaurants with more quality. If you want to opt for quick, cheap sushi, you have a better chance eating at outlets like Umi Sushi, Men Men Don Don, or even Supermarket Sushi sections.
Hence, I have only two words to sum Sushi Express: stay away.
Sorely lacking in variety!
Sushi Express markets itself as a fast sushi chain, with each plate going for only $1.50. While this concept may appear desirable when compared to the other numerous Japanese restaurants in Singapore with significantly higher price ranges, the reality is that what Sushi Express has to offer in affordability, it direly lacks in variety.
Given that there was a time limit given to each group of customers, the conveyor belt was uncomfortably scarce. And after watching the conveyor belt for 15 minutes, I was pretty dismayed to find that the variety of sushi offered was so limited, and the sushi on the conveyor belts were probably all that I was going to get. I settled for a few plates of boring crab meat sushi and salmon sashimi.
The crab meat sushi was a little too stiff and bland for my liking, and the sashimi certainly isn't as fresh as the ones you'd be able to find at other sushi restaurants.
However, it is undeniable that Sushi Express offers a rather affordable restaurant dining experience - with the total bill coming up to less than $10 per person. That being said, Sushi Express seems a little overhyped to me, since you can probably find a more extensive variety of sushi at similar prices in Cold Storage or NTUC.
You pay for what you get - and what you get in this case is limited options, sashimi that is clearly past its freshest, and a packed and uncomfortable dining environment.
The prices, though, may be much more appealing to you - my mother brought my brother and I to this place, and the 3 of us spent less than $30 altogether, which is uncommon for Japanese fare. We managed this despite eating almost to bloat - all of us left with full stomachs brimming with sushi rice and fish.
This isn't the most romantic place, nor is it the place to be for gourmet Japanese food. But it is a good place to bring your family when you tire of hawker fare and want something different, at near hawker prices. I suppose sometimes, really, affordability is all that matters.
Affordable Sushi If You Don't Mind the Queue
What a crowd! There was a long snaking queue during a Saturday afternoon and my stomach was rumbling. We waited 20 minutes to try the conveyor belt sushi. My friend and I each took 15 plates of sushi, fresh prawns, salmon sashimi, pudding, cake and 2 miso soups.
The miso soup was special and came with chunks of salmon. The sushi tasted OK but I had to wait very long as the conveyor belt carried same types of sushi many times. We left the outlet quite satisfied and with a free packet of pudding.
The quality of sushi is not bad, but please skip the desserts, it's not worth it.
Fresh too for its price!
Sushi for $1.50 per plate seemed too good to be true. Initially I was doubtful when my friends suggested having Sushi Express for dinner. We went to the [email protected] outlet and at 6pm, there was already a short queue outside. Thankfully, we only waited for 15 minutes before we were seated.
My friends went crazy and ordered about 5 plates of salmon sushi. I did not want to try the salmon sushi in the beginning as I only take fresh raw salmon slices. And a $1.50 for a plate of salmon sushi didn't sound convincing. After much persuasion from my friends who began digging into the salmon pieces, I decided to try. And I was truly taken aback! The raw salmon is indeed fresh and delightful! There wasn't the slightest fishy smell and it simply melted in my mouth. I fell in love.
The other sushis were as good and fresh too. For $1.50 and for quality like that, I think I found my favorite sushi chain. When we finished our meal, the queue outside was snaking. And I could definitely understand why so.
Great value, average sushi
I would say that sushi express has great value - but don't expect amazing sushi at $1.50 per plate.
I visited on a Saturday night and waited in queue for 15 minutes. It's a pretty reasonable timing for cheap sushi that doesn't taste too bad.
I was particularly disturbed that their salmon sashimi had blood stains on it - that was an absolute turn off for me. But the next batch of salmon sashimi that came along was beautiful - so I guess that saved the night for me.
I would recommend ordering the miso soup. It comes with salmon chunks and tofu cubes, and is both flavourful and worth the $1.50 you fork out.
I also like the swordfish sushi - absolute value at just $1.50 for two slices.
I will revisit again and I hope there won't be blood in my sashimi this time.
Each plates of Sushi for only $1.50?
Yes. As compared to other sushi restaurant, this makes Sushi Express stands out. Being an avid lover of Japanese food, my friend bought me here. I came to the store slight earlier than the dinner time (5.30-6pm) and there are still many people. Seem like everyone is really attracted to this price. Okay. So ITADAKIMASU.
We began eating and the first thing that I saw was desserts. I’m like WOW; there are desserts on the conveyor belt. Cheesecake, Mochi, Pudding. Instead of eating desserts, I focus on my sushi. Raw salmon, Ebi, Unagi, Raw Octopus. Hmm, I find that the rice lack some vinegar (just don’t find it strong enough). Stop at 7 plates and decided to leave.
Oh and something that I wanted to point out, no staff came to help us. We wanted to order certain sushi but no staff came to assist. (Kind of disappointing). At the same time, similar dishes keep appearing on the conveyor belt, we have to wait quite a long time for the dishes that we want to appear right in front of us. I’m unsure whether it is because of the ultra-long conveyor belt or the people in front who took it (I sat at the end corner of the store).