Japanese Restaurant where food comes out in boats?
A friend of mine told me about a Japanese restaurant in Toronto that has the food coming out on a "boat" down a stream that passes by all the tables. Has anyone heard of this? Where can I find this restaurant? Is there a name given to this serving practise?
I'm not sure whether you order the food and it comes out on the boats, or whether it's first come first serve to the food being "shipped" around.
Fune on Richmond has been around for over ten years if I recall correctly. I've been there once and the sushi is really nothing to write home about. When I went, they didn't even use the boats in the water to send the sushi over. They actually just brought it over. This kind of sushi restaurant is known as *kaiten sushi* which means *revolving sushi.* In Japan (where incidently I am now), this is really popular, and sushi goes around on a conveyer belt with the chef(s) in the centre making new plates and any requests the customers may have. Here, the rule is never eat at such a place when there is no one around, which pretty much guarantees that the sushi has been going around the belt for an extended period of time. FUne is a variation on the conveyor belt, but only with boats on water. I've heard that there are *kaiten sushi* restaurants in Banff and Vancouver. I'm guessing that Fune originally tried to bring the concept here, but failed and just went back to the standard restaurant formula.
On an aside, I went to have an "all you can eat" sushi dinner last night at Tsukiji in Tokyo which is where the central fish market is. Man, that was good... I guess lacking an ocean really does make a difference in quality...
I would agree with the earlier comments about the quality f the food there. When I recently went there with my dad, I asked the sushi chef how the toro (fatty tuna was) and he replied that he didn't (and implied he didn't really care). I think this has got to have been the first time I had ever received such a reply. I think the place is pricy for the quality of the food involved. The novelty of the boats just isn;t worth it to me.
The place was correctly identified as 'Fune' by other chowhounds.
I would like to warn you that the quality of the sushi is disappointing. First, they use very standard varieties of fish that can be found at any street-corner sushi shop. Secondly, the handi-work is awful. The ratio of rice to fish was much too high (i.e., too much rice), the pieces of sushi were sloppily assembled, and they failed to capture the balance in flavours and textures that sushi should ideally achieve.
It was pricey for the quality of sushi, but I guess it also depends on what you're willing to pay for the novelty of the sushi being delivered on a conveyor belt (which is common in Japan, but not here in North America). They've decided to go the cheesy route and make the conveyor belt into boat shapes.
The service was slow to fill up on tea, slow to bring the bill. They were friendly, however.
Mind you, I haven't been to that place for a long while now, so I'm not sure if anything's changed (for their sake, I hope they made improvements!).
If you go, post your comments. I'd be interested in seeing if it's worth trying again.
Yes it is Fune, it is on Simcoe @ Richmond if ... I have never been in but it is quite cool because the resturarant is slightly below street level so if you look in you look down at the boats... Someone told me that it is similar to Dim Sum where you take what you want and each plate "type" has a different price. At the end they add up your empy plates and give you your bill