We don’t order anything at Sushi Train. Instead, we sit and wait for dish after dish to pass by our table on a conveyor belt. It’s called kaiten-zushi, and while this type of experience is common in other parts of the world, it’s the first of its kind in Edmonton.
None of the items on the belt are marked; instead, you simply go by the colour of the plates. The blue plates are the least expensive, and the black ones are the top-of-the-line items. While you can order from a menu – everything from maki to sashimi to seaweed salad – the novelty is in randomly picking from the long line of items rolling by the table. Many of the items tend to be more of the less perishable variety – lots of deep-fried items and maki, but with a few salads and fresher seafood pieces as well.
Several feet down the line, I see a plate of four deep-fried octopus balls, and hope that those at the table closest to them don’t get the same idea. But it all works out when they opt for deep-fried California rolls instead.
We pick up both the octopus and some avocado California rolls when it’s our turn. Fish flakes lend saltiness to the crunch of the fried exterior, which gives way to a steaming octopus centre. Meanwhile, the California rolls are punctuated by a hit of cream cheese. The edamame comes in a generous portion on the plate and the seaweed salad is also sufficient to share. My next choice is a plate with two large rolls of seaweed stuffed with a fair amount of chopped scallops.
You never know what might come by next; even as we finish our meal and delve into after-dinner conversation, all eyes are drawn to the conveyor belt. When a plate of deep-fried chicken pieces sail past, someone grabs them – despite a few mild protests. (10725 104 Ave., 587-521-7788)