Staff reveal their favourite items on the menu.

Recently, we’ve been visiting some of the country’s top chains, in an ongoing quest to find the best deals on offer. We’ve dubbed it the “Clerk’s Own-Pocket Recommendation” series, because at each store we ask staff what they would purchase at their place of work when paying out of their own pocket.

▼ This time we’re off to Hama Sushi, one of the nation’s top conveyor belt sushi restaurant chains, to find out what recommendations are lurking on the menu.

It’s not just foreign tourists who might feel overwhelmed by the choices on the extensive menu because our reporter P.K. Sanjun found himself spoilt for choice when he stopped by Hama Sushi for this visit. He usually eats at his local conveyor belt sushi restaurant, a branch of Sushiro, so a visit to Hama Sushi can make him feel as if he’s swimming in foreign waters.

Thankfully, though, P.K.’s young waiter, a man in his 20s, was here to help by sharing his own personal recommendations with us. So let’s take a look at the recommendations below!

Torobincho Rare Steak (121 yen [US$0.87])

Torobincho is fatty albacore, and the waiter was particularly enthusiastic about this one, saying it’s the first thing he orders every time. After trying it, P.K. was just as enthusiastic about it, describing it as “super delicious”, and praising it for its perfect amount of fat and amazing aroma. This is firmly on his list of must-eats from now on.

Tokusei-zuke Maguro (121 yen)

The waiter said he eats tokusei-zuke maguro (“special marinated tuna”) more than he does ordinary tuna, and P.K. can definitely see the appeal. The marinating process gives the meat a firm yet slightly sticky texture that you can’t get with normal tuna, and the extra flavour made it absolutely delicious — perfectly refreshing for a hot day.

Ikejime madai (187 yen)

Hama Sushi’s madai (red sea bream) is so renowned for its high quality that some say it’s synonymous with the chain. P.K. has enjoyed this dish before, and he himself believes you can’t go to Hama Sushi without ordering it, so he was pleased to see the waiter recommend it for its freshness and delicate flavour.

Ton Shio Karubi (121 yen)

When P.K. asked for a recommendation from the meat sushi category, the waiter immediately recommended these Salted Pork Ribs. The impact on the taste buds upon first contact with these is amazing — no matter how fatty the fish you’ve just eaten, the flavour completely fades away once you’ve had this delicious pork dish. This acts as a great breather between fish dishes.

Ika Ten Garlic Mayo (121 yen)

Heading back for more fish, the waiter recommended a squid dish that he says is better than plain squid: Ika Ten Garlic Mayo. “Ika” means “squid” while “ten” refers to “tempura”, and we’ve gotta say, we have absolutely no complaints about anything fried tempura-style so this one was another winner, especially with the drizzle of delicious garlic mayo.

Karaage (198 yen)

Heading back to meat for the final dish, the waiter recommended a classic — karaage fried chicken. While karaage is a tasty dish that’ll put a smile on anyone’s dial, the waiter pointed out that at Hama Sushi you can order either a four-piece karaage or a two-piece, the latter being better suited to solo diners. P.K. appreciated the fact that he could indulge on fried chicken and not feel guilty about it, and these were fantastic — fresh, crispy and totally delicious.

▼ The six items a Hama Sushi waiter would order at Hama Sushi when paying out of his own pocket.

P.K. left with a full belly and a satisfied grin on his face after his six-plate meal at Hama Sushi. He highly recommends ordering these next time you visit, and don’t forget Hama Sushi is the best place to go for this other dish too!

Related: Hama Sushi
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