Food: Asia and japan19 Jan 2011 09:42 am

Mike and I eat kaiten (conveyer belt) sushi about once a week. We normally go to a place about 15 minutes on foot away from our home, but now that we have a car we are able to travel further afield to other places. You would never know this because other than our non photo documented trip to Sushi Imai in Kyoto, I never write about sushi! It is just such a part of my daily life I do not think about it that much, I guess. That is a good problem to have!

One of the places we visited most recently is in the swank area of Naha called Shintoshin. Next to a very luxurious looking dental office and in a neighbourhood where many import shops exist is Miyabi kaiten sushi.

We were seated right away at a counter despite a long row of seats  near the entrance that I imagine fill up quickly with people waiting for booths. And even despite using Japanese, the English speaking staff member was dispatched to wait upon us. Normally we have no problems spouting off Japanese sushi orders to the chef (even for my limited Japanese, I still know what I like to eat at sushi joints), so this was strange. Although it was nice to have an English speaker around, it felt very stilted and awkward as she checked in on us often, making sure we knew how to make matcha tea, how to order special rolls and if we were eating enough. Very doting, but also kind of forced and intrusive as this is not really the service you get here, and I felt bad that she had to work harder to serve us, when there really was no need.

Miyabi serves up more rolls than are normally available at most kaiten sushi places, and they have a wider selection of hot/fried foods like soups, croquettes and french fries. It is a good place to take someone who is not that into legitimate nigiri sushi and prefers cooked fish tempera sushi or vegetable maki rolls, as it is a stylish affordable place with a lot of non sushi selections.

Those familiar with kaiten sushi know that you just grab what you fancy off the belt as it rotates around you, and the plates are tallied up at the end. Miyabi has a two level belt system with sushi on top and tea mugs and shoyu dishes under neath. It is kind of fun to wait for “your mug” to come around. Plates run 130-390 yen at Miyabi, and each seat has a mostly pictorial menu to help you point and pick rolls from if need be.

There are also seasonal items, denoted by special signs heralding them on the belt.

The matcha powder. There were stir sticks, mugs and hot water spouts at each seat. You could drink as much of the nutty green tea as you liked.

“Second level” with mugs and soy dishes

Salmon, salmon roe and uni (urchin) special sushi whizzes by, 390 yen.

We can be so predictable when it comes to what we order off the hot item menu; almost always hot torched unagi and hot roasted nasu, or eggplant. This is not my favourite version…our mainstay restaurant grills the skin so it is crackly. 130 yen.

Very busy kitchen. In addition to a few taishos, or sushi chefs, there was a guy working fried foods, a girl on rolls, a guy on the blow torch and someone making insanely beautiful oyster displays you could eat.

Cool bubble wall

Tuna roll with ume; plum powder, plum leaf, lettuce and sesame. A really delicious roll. Although this is probably not one of them, Miyabi has several rolls and nigiri pieces that will appeal to vegetarians.

While Miyabi is a little out of our neighbourhood, I could definitely find myself returning if I was stuck in Naha without dinner one night and was too hungry to find a new place to try. However, I think we will stick to our local kaiten sushi restaurant. Not everyone knows our name there, yet, but I hope they do soon.

Miyabi kaiten sushi
Shintoshin, Naha (2 other locations, one in Tomigusuku, one in Oroku)
11am – 11pm, everyday
* They do process credit cards.

2 Responses to “miyabi kaiten sushi, naha”

  1. on 19 Jan 2011 at 3:00 pm Julie

    Looks so delicious. I miss. *tear*

  2. on 20 Jan 2011 at 2:00 am Chris

    Salmon, salmon roe and uni (urchin) special sushi – Hollah, that sounds awesome.