Archive for 'Sakae Sushi'

Conveyor Belt Sushi Fail: Midtown Sakae Goes Bye Bye

The Midtown branch of Sakae Sushi (the conveyor belt sushi chain from Singapore that is hugely popular in Asia) has been permanently closed down.  I can’t say I’m entirely surprised… the prices were kind of high, the quality of the fish was not the best, and the place was never at capacity.  I’m still kind of bummed it didn’t work out though-  I do love conveyor belt sushi.  Their West Village location (on 3rd Street just East of 6th Avenue) is still open, so we’ll see if this overseas chain can make it work in the states.

Related: Sakae Sushi is Betting That You Care More About Fun Than Value

Sakae Sushi is Betting That You Care More About Fun Than Value

******************THIS PLACE IS NOW CLOSED***********************

What kind of price do you put on having a fun meal?  It’s not a new question.  For example, are you willing to pay $50 to eat mediocre roast chicken with your hands?  That doesn’t sound like a good deal.  What if there are grown men jousting in the middle of the restaurant?  Hello!  Or perhaps you’d like some chicken and steak stir fry for $30?  I can get that for $7 at any food court.  What if a “Japanese” guy named “Jimmy” prepares and cooks the food right in front of you, throwing the shrimp tails into his giant chef’s hat?  Now that sound likes fun!

In the end Sakae Sushi is no different then Medieval Times or Benihana.  They’re asking how much extra are you willing to pay for sushi when it moves around the restaurant on little colored plates.  Not enough fun?  Let’s throw in computerized ordering!  This sounds awesome.  I love conveyor belt sushi!  And, I also love weird rolls.  And mayo.  And I don’t have to know what I’m eating to eat it.  And that’s what Sakae is all about.  If you like crazy rolls that pair fried stuff with cooked stuff, topped with raw stuff and smothered in some mayo based sauce, then you’re golden.

Loves conveyor belt.  Check.  Loves weird rolls.  Check.  Loves fun.  Check.  I should have loved Sakae Sushi.  Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out that way.  All the reasons why, after the jump… Read more »

Qdoba To Add 3rd Midtown Location, Sakae & Five Guys Popping Up Elsewhere


According to their website, a 3rd Midtown Qdoba (on 46th btw. Madison & 5th), is coming soon.  I tried the newest one on 53rd St. & 3rd Ave., and I have to say I don’t find it to be that much different then Chipotle (or, as the kids say- “meh”.)  The selection at Qdoba is a little larger, so the chances of finding that one thing you can tolerate is greater- but I ain’t willing to put in that kind of time.  So, if you’re sick of Chipotle, and looking for something new, you’ll probably enjoy Qdoba.  If you hate Chipotle, and are hoping for that burrito savior, I’m guessing this probably won’t be it.  (The Baja Fresh vigil continues…)

While Chipotle expands its Midtown holdings, other Midtown Lunch favorites are branching out.  Five Guys & Sakae news, after the jump… Read more »

First Look: Sakae Sushi’s Conveyor Belt, Computers & The Full Menu

Have you figured out yet that I’m excited for conveyor belt sushi from Singapore?  It’s not open yet, but after much begging, they finally let me into Sakae Sushi (43rd btw. Lex+3rd) last night for a first look at the conveyor belt and computer system (which they’ve been putting together all week). 

The belt itself, which snakes in a u shape around the entire restaurant, carrying little small plates of sushi to every table, doesn’t actually go back into the kitchen- where all the food is prepared.  There are no sushi bars either.  All the food is made in the back, and brought out by servers to be placed on the conveyor belt.

For those “crazy” people, who don’t want to eat sushi off a conveyor belt, there is a mouse operated computer at each table you can use to order anything off of the menu.  This not only includes freshly made small plates of sushi, but larger things that don’t fit on the conveyor belt as well.

A look at the complete menu after the jump, plus an update on their “Friday” Grand Opening… Read more »

Sakae Sushi Still Not Open… Despite What You Might Read Elsewhere

It looks like we are just days away from the opening of Singaporean conveyor belt sushi chain Sakae Sushi on 43rd St. btw. Lex+3rd.  Already enormously popular in Asia, this will be their first location in the USA, complete with signature computerized ordering and hot water spouts (for refilling tea) at every table, plus the main event… little plates of sushi ushered from seat to seat via conveyor belt.   

Two emails were sent out today about the place, with both Urbandaddy giving the impression that the place is already open (it’s not), while and Thrillist are reporting a Friday grand opening (albeit without hot water spouts, which they report will be installed in the next month).  (Urbandaddy did make a fleeting mention of the Friday opening, so I’ve modified the post to reflect that.  I just didn’t notice it when I read their email.) The photo above was taken at Sakae Sushi today at 2pm, and our sources are saying they *hope* to be open on Friday, but if not Friday- then ”probably” Monday.  With the way red tape works in NYC, I’ll believe it when I see the conveyor belts fired up, and moving little plates of raw fish.  Either way, as soon as I know, you’ll know…

Bits & Pieces

The Fish Sandwich at Kim’s Aunt Kitchen Cart comes on a hero roll!
Posted to the Midtown Lunch Flickr Photo Group by “The Flooz

  • The Treats Truck is (again!) hoping to park  parked on 45th & 6th today, in a space vacated by a hibernating Ice Cream Truck.  Check their website for updates… 
  • At Sun Yip/Ho Yip on 45th btw. 5+6th, the price of the by the lb. buffet after 2:15 has gone from $3.75 to $3.99.  
  • Serafina at the Time Hotel (49th btw. 7+8th) opens tomorrow
  • The Goodburger on 45th btw. 5+6th is still a “few weeks away” from opening
  • Sakae Sushi (with the conveyor belts) on 43rd btw. Lex+3rd isn’t even close to opening
  • The Yolato near Grand Central is *supposed* to open on Tuesday the 13th.
  • FreeFoodsNYC is starting to come into its own.  Saw a little bit of a lunch crowd in there yesterday
  • If you live in Brooklyn (or are looking for an excuse to go there on a Wednesday night), tonight is the 1 Year Anniversary Party for The (Amazing) Brooklyn Kitchen (Williamsburg’s version of Williams Sonoma, on Lorimer).  It’s taking place at Union Pool, and there will be food, and music, and THE BODEGA CHALLENGE (which I will be participating in, in a judgemental role).  And the best part is, it’s free… so come check it out.