It’s Sushi & Train is a sushi bar located in Sefton Park on Main North Road right across from North Park Shopping centre. The small restaurant serves a variety of sushi, sashimi and other Japanese dishes such as udon noodles, gyoza, chicken karaage as well as beverages such as sake and beer. It is quite similar to Sushi Train in which there is a conveyor belt where the plates of food are placed. Similarly the plates of sushi are also colour coded to indicate different prices.
It is a relatively small restaurant with a seating capacity of about thirty people. There are also three booths to the left of the restaurant in which groups of four can fit at each table. Each booth has its own tablet computer stand in which orders are placed and food is then brought to the table. The sushi conveyor belt is the main seating area in which a sushi chef freshly prepares the sushi and other dishes to be then placed on the belt. The decor is very simple and the place is extremely clean. Although I found the restaurant to be somewhat dull looking and dimly lit.
This was my first time having sushi that contained rice other than the traditional white rice that is used. I was informed that black rice is much healthier than normal sushi rice as well as brown rice. The dark colour distinctive of this type of rice looked beautiful on the plate. The rice was of high quality. It was moist and well-seasoned with a bit of a more earthy and slightly nuttier flavour than white rice. The fresh avocado paired well with the lean chicken. The Japanese mayonnaise drizzled on top tied the dish together well. It was smooth, tangy with subtle tangy undertones.
The prawn is fried in a light and crispy batter. It was crunchy and very delicious. Tempura cooking done well as it had a lovely golden colour and was not oily at all.
The baked salmon wrapped around the roll was juicy and full of flavour. The rice was cooked well and moist. The crab meat inside was soft, subtle and delicious with its distinctive sweet taste.
The tuna was tasty and the short segments of cucumber gave the dish a twist of crunch and freshness. The sushi itself overall was not very spicy but just packed in a little heat that was quite pleasant. It was delicious but nothing extraordinarily amazing.
The fresh pieces of salmon inside the seaweed and rice encasing is delicate and tasty. There is also plenty of that extra creamy and tangy Japanese mayonnaise which paired well with the delicate pieces of raw salmon. The fish roe added a lovely pop of colour to the dish with its characteristic deep orange colour. It also gave the dish texture and light, slightly tasty flavour.
The salmon is beautifully thinly sliced and was vibrant in colour. The fish is considerably of high quality and is quite fresh. The chefs here have carefully filleted and skinned quite well. It melted in my mouth quite nicely. It is not the best or freshest sashimi I have ever had but it was surprisingly quite tasty.
I actually prefer this version over the version found at Sushi Train restaurants. The hot broth is full bodied yet delicate. The thick savoury wheat udon noodles is delicious and chewy. And the crispy, golden tempura prawns contrasted well with the udon noodles and the broth. It was well executed and would be perfect as a Winter warmer.
A variety of sushi you will not find at many other similar sushi restaurants or bars. The flat layer of white sushi rice and seaweed was topped with a layer of seafood meat, seared cheese and some sort of sweeter variation of the Japanese mayonnaise. It took an open mind for me to try this unique piece of sushi but it was surprisingly quite tasty and indulgent. This would be perhaps a good example as to how sushi can be not so healthy.
The couple who run It’s Sushi & Train are extremely friendly, humble and accomodating. I personally was not very keen on the atmosphere. It seemed a bit dreary maybe due to the lack of lighting and it did not have the buzz and coziness that I love about Sushi Train. Price wise it is very much on par with Sushi Train and other similar sushi bars. Their variety of more ‘unusual’, creative dishes which not only includes the sushi pizza but also sushi sandwich and sushi cake, would be a good enough excuse to venture out here and try these creative dishes. It is a good alternative to those living within the area or nearby for some decent quality sushi if the city is too inconvenient but I would rather take the longer drive to the city if I could.
Words and Photos by Linh Nguyen
WHERE: 239 Main North Rd, Sefton Park