I first came across Kura Sushi when I spotted a review on a travel magazine. After reading it, I was completely sold. Kept that name in mind and did a bit of research. Kura Sushi is actually a conveyor belt sushi chain that was founded in Japan in 1977. Today, they have more than 500 outlets across Japan, Taiwan and the United States.
In Taiwan itself, there are currently 48 outlets according to Kura Sushi Taiwan’s website. You can check out the locations and addresses here.
We visited Kura Sushi – Taipei Guanqian Shop, which was a mere 4-minute walk away from Taipei M Hotel Main Station, where we were staying.
How to get to Kura Sushi Taipei Guanqian Restaurant
The restaurant is located above Uniqlo. At this side entrance along Guanqian Road, you should see this lift lobby. Just take the lift up to 5th floor.
Didn’t know this outlet was actually a Global Flagship Store.
Glad that we got here at an unearthly time so we wouldn’t get stuck in a peak lunch queue. There was practically no one waiting so we were immediately served by someone.
Before the staff ushered us to a table, she asked if it was our first time at Kura Sushi. We said yes and she went on explaining stuffs and the how-tos like a well-programmed robot, lol. See this Guide for First-Time Visitors. Honestly, she was talking so fast (in Chinese) that I wasn’t sure if I understood everything correctly. But we got the idea, nonetheless, haha.
What’s unique about Kura Sushi?
On every table, you would see this little machine above the menu screen that seemingly resembled a capsule toy vending machine. I will explain how this works later below.
Order via the touch screen digital menu
To order, just use the touchpad screen. You can toggle between the Chinese or English version. Prefer the latter as traditional Chinese words are a bit hard to read, haha. Oh, and my neck ached because of the fixed position of the screen. Spent too much time looking at the menu because there were so much we wanted to order, haha!
Once done, you can help yourselves to the green tea powder (strong roasted aroma!) and freshly grated wasabi. Fresh wasabi tastes so much better because it doesn’t have that spicy, pungent flavour of fake wasabi that will otherwise mask the freshness and natural sweetness of the sushi ingredients.👍👍
The top tier is for the delivery of whatever you’ve ordered via the touch screen. The bottom tier is the regular conveyor belt with various dishes to choose from.
Just lift it
If you want something from the bottom tier, just lift the plate up.
Unlike other conveyor belt sushi chains where we need to remove and return the plastic covers, here we just need to lift up the plate without touching anything else. This lifting motion will release the cover but the cover will remain on the conveyor belt itself.
Excellent variety of sushi
Notable dishes that we had seconds and possibly thirds of included Pork Belly with Sesame Sauce, Chawanmushi, Seared Salmon with Cheese Sauce, Avocado Shrimp and Mushroom Tempura.
The Hokkaido Scallop, Golden Crunchy Roll, Shrimp Salad Hand Roll, Tuna Belly, Broiled Salmon and Seared Salmon with Garlic Soy Sauce were pretty good too!
For desserts, we tried the Soy Milk Donuts and Matcha Soft Serve. The donuts were like bready you tiao. Couldn’t taste soy milk in the soft serve. It was more like vanilla soft serve, which was really sweet. Preferred the Matcha Soft Serve with crunchy corn flakes.
Here comes the fun part
Remember I was talking about the toy capsule vending machine earlier? Well, at Kura Sushi, we are entitled to a ‘lucky draw chance’ with every 5 plates of sushi consumed. Just need to slide the empty plates down this plate collection slot on the side, enjoy a little animation cartoon on the screen and prepare to beam with joy when you strike a win, lol. Ok, I must say it’s not a sure win every time. In our two visits to Kura Sushi, we had like 40 plates in total and we only won two capsules. But it was still VERY fun!!
The items inside the capsules would change every now and then, depending on the theme. They are just little knick-knacks or collectibles like mobile phone hanging accessories, key rings and the like.
A meal of 20 plates sushi (some premium ones were charged as double plates), 2 chawanmushi and 3 tempura set us back by NT1140 (<S$52). Super worth it!
Thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience at Kura Sushi. Food was top-notch and truly exceeded our expectations. Before we came, we really thought this restaurant would be similar to other sushi chains. But after our meal, we just felt Kura Sushi had so much more to offer.
We came back again the day before we left Taiwan. Ate to our hearts’ content. Price wasn’t the cheapest compared to local food options but definitely no regrets! If Kura Sushi would come to Singapore with the same standards, it would definitely be my number one sushi chain to go.
Kura Sushi, please open an outlet in Singapore! 🙂