I’ve eaten sushi plenty of times before. I fell in love with the gimmick of conveyor belt sushi restaurants while visiting Tokyo (I forget if the one I visited was in Shibuya or Shinjuku). I heard there was a relatively new conveyor belt sushi place in Boston’s Chinatown so I walked down there for dinner tonight and promptly made a bunch of newbie mistakes in quick succession. Here’s my thought process after I sat down:
- "Wait, why is most of the sushi pre-packaged? What kind of place is this?"
- "Should I stay? What kind of fast food am I getting myself into here?"
- "Well, at least there are a few dishes with actual sushi on top. I’ll let the belt go around a few times and check out the small selection."
A few minutes later…
- "Oh. Those little packages are cubes to cool the food on the plate above them. I feel much better now."
- "But that means there are lots of empty plates. Are they short-staffed tonight?"
- "Oh, right. There are lots of empty plates on the conveyor belt because other people ahead of me are emptying them. Dumbass.”
I was happily consuming my first plate of spicy tuna rolls when the waitress came over and politely asked me to return the cooling container to the conveyor belt so the chefs could use it again for a different dish. I apologized and sheepishly replaced the container.
For the record, the restaurant on Kneeland St. is called Enso and it’s not bad. It’s a friendly looking space with lots of primary colors and two full-sized conveyor belts. The room feels too large for the traditionally cozy sushi experience. One half of the space was completely empty on a Friday night and the waitress blamed that on their lack of a liquor license.
So there you go. Don’t do what I did. I doubt you would anyway. I laughed at myself, had a decent meal, and ended up with a short blog post. Not a bad little adventure.