It was twenty five years ago when I was first introduced tosushi, and it was love at first taste. I’ve been a sushi addict ever since. Back in 1981, I was in grade 11 living with my parents in Vancouver, Canada. That Christmas for the holidays, I went out to Irvine, California, to visit with my cousin and his wife, who were studying at UC-Irvine. I recall my cousin asking if I had ever tried sushi. I had no idea what on earth he was speaking about. He explained that it was a Japanese delicacy, whereby raw fish was beautifully prepared usually on beds of rice, and presented by sushi chefs in what could best be identified as a culinary art. Having grown up in Vancouver, which was back then more of a colonial outpost than a worldwide cosmopolitan center, I had never heard the word sushi. However I was keen to test. So for lunch, my cousin took me to a local Irvine sushi bar (whose name I will no longer recall), and i have been Sunday Sushi Near Me fan from the time.
I recall it becoming a completely new experience, although one today which everybody accepts as common place. You enter the sushi bar, as well as the sushi chefs behind the bar yell out Japanese words of welcome, and it also seems like the person you’re with is actually a regular and knows the chefs and the menu as old friends.
The sushi scene has much evolved in North America, now, almost everyone has heard of sushi and used it, and millions have become sushi addicts like me. Obviously there are individuals who can’t bring themselves to accepting the concept of eating raw fish, possibly from the fear of catching a disease from the un-cooked food. But this fear is unfounded, as huge numbers of people consume sushi every year in North America, as well as the incidents of sushi-related food-poisoning are negligible.
Sushi has become wildly popular in metropolitan centers with diverse cultural interests, specially those that have sizeable Asian communities, and people who are well-liked by Asian tourists. As a result, Sushi restaurants are concentrated up and down the west coast of North America with sushi bars being simple to find on many street corners in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vegas, and Vancouver. Within the last quarter century since its arrival in North America, the sushi dining experience has made an important change in a variety of key markets, which has broadened its appeal. The creation of the all-you-can-eat sushi buffet has changed the way lots of people have come to know sushi.
Initially, the sushi dinning experience was just for your well-healed. The raw seafood ingredients that define the basics in the sushi menu include tuna, salmon, shrimp, scallops, eel, mackerel, squid, shark-fin, abalone, and red snapper. It really is imperative that the raw seafood be properly cleaned, stored and prepared, and in most markets (even on the west coast) these raw ingredients are costly in comparison to other foods. Therefore, the expense of eating sushi has historically been expensive. Sushi bar eating is normally marketed in an a la carte fashion whereby the diner pays for every piece of sushi individually. Although a basic tuna roll chopped into 3 or 4 pieces might costs two or three dollars, a more extravagant serving such a bit of eel or shark-fin sushi can easily cost $4 to $6 or even more, depending on the restaurant. It is possible to spend $100 for any nice sushi dinner for 2 with an a la carte sushi bar, which is well unattainable for a lot of diners.
The sushi dining business structure changed within the last decade. Some clever restaurant operators saw a whole new possibility to create the sushi dining experience much more of a mass-market home business opportunity, as opposed to a dining experience only for the rich. They devised a way to mass-produce sushi, purchasing ingredients in bulk, training and employing sushi chefs in high-volume sushi kitchens, in which a team of 5 to 15 skilled sushi chefs work non-stop creating sushi dishes in large capacity settings, where such restaurants can typically serve several hundred diners per night. It absolutely was this business design that devised the rotating conveyor belt, where the sushi plates are positioned on the belt and cycled through the restaurant so diners can hand-pick their desired sushi right from the belt at their table side. However, the key marketing concept borne out of this model was the single price, all-you-can-eat sushi buffet concept, where diner pays a flat price for the sushi she or he can consume throughout a single seating, typically capped at 2 hours by most sushi buffet restaurants. Most major cities in North America will have an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet restaurant, though they are predominantly situated on the west coast.
Outside Japan, certainly, the town of Vancouver, Canada, has more sushi restaurants than some other city. Part of the explanation might be the truth that Vancouver provides the largest Asian immigrant population in North America, in fact it is a hugely popular tourist destination for tourists coming from all over Asia. Most of Vancouver’s immigrants seek self-employment, and open restaurants, many of which focus on the sushi market which can be ever-growing. The Vancouver suburb of Richmond includes a population exceeding 100,000, and the majority of its residents comprise Asian immigrants that came to Canada in the last two decades. Richmond probably provides the greatest density of Asian restaurants to be found anywhere outside of Asia, with every strip mall and shopping center sporting several competing eating establishments. Of course sushi is an important part of the Richmond restaurant business, and diners can find anything from $5 lunch stops, to $20 sushi buffet dinner mega-restaurants.
Vancouver’s lower mainland (that features a population of some 2 million) can also be the world’s undisputed capital for those-you-can-eat sushi restaurants. Given Vancouver’s fame because of its abundance of fresh seafood due to its Pacific Ocean location, the city’s sushi restaurants have become famous for seeking to outdo one another by offering superb quality all-you-can-eat sushi, on the lowest prices to be found anywhere on the planet. Quality sushi in Vancouver is priced at a small part of what one could pay in Japan, and lots of Japanese tourists marvel at Vancouver’s huge selection of quality sushi restaurants. Some say Vancouver’s sushi offering meets and exceeds that lvugwn in Japan, certainly when it comes to price! Only a few people in Japan can manage to eat sushi apart from for a special event. However, Sushi All You Can Eat is really affordable in Vancouver that residents and tourists alike can eat it regularly, without having to break the bank! Previously decade, the cost of eating sushi in Vancouver has tumbled, with sushi restaurants literally on every street corner, as well as the fierce competition has driven the cost of an excellent all-you-can-eat sushi dinner down for the $CAD 15-20 range. An all-you-can-eat sushi dinner for just two, with alcoholic drinks can be easily had cheaper than $CAD 50, which is half what one would pay with a North American a la carte sushi bar, and possibly one quarter what one would purchase a similar meal in Japan!