Medium fatty tuna go head-head in our latest kaitenzushi showdown.

For the past few months, our Japanese-language reporter P.K. Sanjun has been conveyor-belt hopping — jumping from one budget kaitenzushi (revolving sushi) chain to the next, in order to compare menu items between the nation’s top four top chains.

▼ The top four chains, clockwise from top-left: Kappa Sushi, Kura Sushi, Sushiro, and Hama Sushi

This time around, P.K. is trying their chutoro, or medium fatty tuna, which is one of the top-selling types of sushi in Japan. As always, P.K. visited the four chains on the same day within the space of around three hours to ensure a fair tasting.

▼ As you can see, not all kaitenzushi chutoro are the same.

So let’s take a look at P.K.’s tasting notes to find out what makes them all different, and which ones are really worth trying.

● Kappa Sushi (165 yen [US$1.28])

“This is a light-tasting medium fatty tuna — the umami of the fat isn’t as pronounced as I’d like it, but the overall impression isn’t bad. While some might like the light flavour, others who want a little more tuna flavour might find themselves disappointed with this. It’s not bad, but it’s not great either — it’s a medium medium-fatty tuna.”

● Kura Sushi (220 yen)

“This is the only one that uses an aged medium fatty tuna so the oiliness is good, and the flavour impact is great. However, like Kappa Sushi, the ‘tuna flavour’ isn’t as strong as I’d like, so we’ll have to wait and see if the extra expense is worth it for this one, which is the highest priced out of all of them.”

● Hama Sushi (165 yen)

“The fatty flavour isn’t that strong, but the taste of the tuna is firmly pronounced. The tuna slice is thickly cut, and the moist texture leaves a good impression. There are no complaints regarding the quality at this low price point! Definitely one I’d recommend.” 

● Sushiro (165 yen)

“On this particular day, the quality of the chutoro at all four joints didn’t seem to be as good as usual. However, it was Sushiro that delivered the most satisfying tuna flavour out of all of them. Although the fat content was a little lacking, this one had the faint astringency peculiar to tuna that I’d been looking for this whole time. This is the most addictive chutoro of the bunch.”

So in the end, P.K. gave the chutoro crown to Sushiro, and to celebrate, he ordered a few more tuna dishes while he was there.

Given that P.K. likes to taste the tuna in his chutoro, he recommends both Sushiro and Hama Sushi for similarly minded chutoro lovers. And looking back through his notes, it’s interesting to find that these two chains blow the others out of the water when it comes to negitoro and regular tuna as well!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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