Sushi Trains. When I was a kid it was literally the coolest thing to me. Food travelling around to you, as if it were your own personal delivery vehicle. We’ve all heard of Sushi Hotaru and we’ve probably all eaten there before, so lets throw it a little bit of a review shall we?
Having multiple locations, the one I visited was the one in the Galleries Victoria and given that everyone’s heard of it, it was packed. Line and all. But hey, that’s comforting news for your appetite!
Instead of sitting in front of the conveyor belt of glory, we were instead taken to the back where they had small private booths with our own personal ordering tablets. And when I say small, they were small. Seating up to 4 people but really, should be only 2, felt my camera was bigger than the table at times. But hey, I guess it’s reminiscent of that whole Japanese tight-fit sort of thing.
Now. FOOD. BEGIN.
Obviously, the first thing I was going to get was a big fat plate of sashimi. Look at it. There’s nothing more beautiful. And my oh my, can I just say, they were mighty thick cuts tonight. Nothing much to say here. Salmon was fresh, firm and had a slight acidity to it. Pretty much what you’d expect in a good plate of sashimi.
Next up is scampi. A crowd favourite when it comes to sashimi nigiri. Now while the scampi was great, it had that nice slimy texture while having a BIT of bite to it, the most disappointing part of this (and many others) was the rice. It was a bit on the dry side and couldn’t hold it’s shape when picked up. I suspect a lack of vinegar in its making. Oh well, at least this seafood was brilliant.
Spicy seared scallop nigiri. The sauce did indeed give that little kick of spice to it and the scallop was nicely seasoned, seared and firm. Same problem with the rice, but it was delicious nonetheless. It’s a shame I’m not the biggest fan of scallop.
Awwwww yiss. Seared salmon. You know what I love about seared salmon? If done right, it’s soft to the bite and the texture is soft and rough at the same time. Oh and that seared flavour. That slight burnt flavour is mint. Did Hotaru nail it? You bet! Seared salmon for days.
Next up, we felt like we needed to shake things up a bit. I mean that menu did have things other than sushi. Like this lovely bowl of cold udon noodles. And I’ve said it before on my Instagram, but boy do I love cold noodles. It’s like giving what you want without worrying about the heat. Also flavours just taste so immensely different when chilled. It attacks the tastebuds differently and certain flavours come through the coldness while others taste differently. I’m talking about that sweet umami baby. Yes I enjoyed it.
And back to sushi, and with this delicious specimen too. Dubbed the Volcano, it certainly does look like one. The wrapped seared salmon was delicious. The creamy mayonnaise was a match made in heaven and that sauce which accompanied it just lifted the sweetness that extra bit it needed. My favourite one for sure.
Obviously croquettes were on my agenda for tonight and am I glad it was! These crispy little things were amazing. The outside got the thumbs up approval when you scrape your fork over it (that krrrrrrr noise) and the inside was creamy, fluffy and certainly crabby. Flavour was there. Not so much that crab texture but I guess that’s what you get when you pulse it to nothing. Would order this again for sure!
Easing into the end of the night, we decided to order a light heart-warming chawanmushi. The only problem was that…it wasn’t very light. I like my chawanmushi to be like light clouds of egg with some incredible dashi/bonito soup laying underneath. While the flavours were there and the toppings were jam packed, that lightness and soupyness I was expecting just wasn’t there. It was more like a full fledged solid steamed egg rather than a chawanmushi. But at least the flavours were there.
And finally of course….dessert. Now you know me, I don’t have the sweetest tooth in the world so black sesame is usually my go-to dessert flavour. Thankfully enough, my tastebuds were spared from overly sweet desserts tonight. The black sesame was apparent in every bite I took but the king of this show was the texture. That pudding was just perfecto! It was jiggly but when you took a bite, it just becomes liquid gold. Awesome. Dessert.
So to wrap things up, Sushi Hotaru was overall a great experience. The food was extra tasty for a Sushi Train and it had an excellent range. With downsides only being that clumpy rice and also that more-thick-than-I’d-prefer chawanmushi, Sushi Hotaru will be up there as one of my more favourite sushi train locations.