Ebi sushi enters the ring for this latest seafood showdown.

Whether you know it as “shrimp” or “prawn“, ebi is one of the most popular sushi toppings. Which of the top conveyor belt sushi restaurant chains does it best, though? That’s the question our sushi-loving reporter P.K. Sanjun will be answering today, in this latest edition of his ongoing comparison series between Japan’s four most popular chains.

▼ Clockwise from top left: Kappa Sushi, Kura Sushi, Sushiro, and Hama Sushi.

As always, P.K. visited the chains on the same day, all within the space of three hours, to ensure the fairest comparison. So let’s get right to it and take a look at P.K.’s tasting notes from his ebi expedition!

● Kappa Sushi (110 yen [US$0.81])

“These prawns were tender and delicious. The meat was also moderately sweet, and I couldn’t detect any skimping on quality or flavour here. Standard excellence from Kappa Sushi.” 

● Kura Sushi (110 yen)

“These were even more tender than the prawns at Kappa Sushi. The delightfully soft texture was actually the best out of all four chains. In addition, they were around 50-percent bigger than the morsels at the other restaurants, plus they had a lovely sweetness to them. They were so good I’d rate them as the best sushi I’ve ever eaten at Kura Sushi.”

● Hama Sushi (110 yen)

“These weren’t bad at all, but they turned out to be the weakest of the four chains in terms of texture. They were best described as “moist”, but that’s not to say they were bad — they were a good example of the reliable quality you can expect from conveyor belt chains.”

● Sushiro (110 yen)

“Sushiro turned out to be the strongest in terms of sweetness, but compared to the excellent morsels at Kura Sushi, they weren’t as big nor as carefully prepared. However, they were still good quality.” 

So in the end, it was Kura Sushi that won this round of P.K.’s ongoing seafood odyssey. While all the prawns were good, especially at such a cheap 110-yen price-point, if you want the best ebi for your yen, you’ll want to keep Kura Sushi in mind for the superior size, taste, and texture of their prawn sushi.

All in all, though, P.K. was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the prawns at all four chains, so you won’t go wrong with any of them. And if you’re looking for something substantially meatier, they all do a good hamburger steak sushi as well!

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