Korea Garden sushi train
Went yesterday because I heard they were trying out their new sushi train (conveyor belt, grab plates and eat) for just $1.50 a plate. It was awesome, they put some really cool stuff out after a while (don't get too full on the boring stuff and keep an eye out for what the chefs are up to) and WOW. I had the best time and got to be a little experimental without fearing the price.
What I had:
sashimi: tuna, yellowtail, salmon, octopus, some fish I don't know what it is but it was good
breaded and deep-fried gyoza (I think)
chicken egg roll
this roll with tuna and 3 different kinds of roe on top
I don't even remember what else. My friend and I split everything, had a stack of 17 plates plus 1 beer and the bill was around $35. Not sure how the pricing will change by Friday (different prices, plates are color-coded) but can't wait to go again. Definitely go NOW while it's still a flat rate!
We went Friday night. The place was completely slammed--we sat at the "end of the train" and hard got any food. After 30 minutes of not getting our drink and watching two lonely california rolls come by over and over, we paid for our 4 dishes and left for Titayas. That's not to say it won't show promise over time, but we'll definitely want to go on a non-crowded night and sit closer to the chefs.
We went Saturday night (7 PM) and a variety of rolls kept coming and also sat at the end of the conveyor. It's hard to see the sushi coming (there's glare from the lights on the clear plastic plate cover and the sushi is coming straight at you), so I recommend not sitting at the end.
A lot of pink ($3.50) plates came by that we couldn't resist, and a couple of rolls came early and never were repeated, so you got to get them while they are there. If there is a specific roll/piece that you want, you should order it. We didn't figure that out until the end.
The egg nigiri (signature of any sushi restaurant) and a few specialty rolls were excellent. The sushi was fresh (fish and eel were not fishy).
The prices are decent. We ate $70 worth of sushi, 20 plates. We only saw a couple of desserts, edamame, and california rolls on blue ($1.50) plates and yellow ($2.00) plates. No red plates. A majority of our meal consisted of pink ($3.50) and black ($4.00) plates that had a lion's share of the conveyor belt.
We also heard that plates were half priced after 9 PM.
KG Sushi Train reminded us of Sushi Lovers in Silicon Valley (Milpitas, California) and is a great addition to Austin dining. Check it out.
We went Friday at lunch and really enjoyed ourselves. Sat right near the prep area on the left hand side. Since the conveyer goes both ways, we were either at the end or the start depending on how you look at it. Had a well-rounded variety of rolls, some were seriously good. Lots of salmon dishes, hardly any eel. Spent a little more than we normally would on the lunch special, but had a lot more variety and it seems the sushi chefs are a much happier bunch now.
Went again on Saturday night, around 6ish. The train was full and there were two other couples. Sat close to the action. However, we ended up a bit dissapointed.
We tried to pace ourselves and just picked one dish right off the bat - spicy tuna, which was quite good. We waited to see what was being made fresh, but for the better part of a half hour only one dish was made (several plates of the same thing) and it was basically an avacado sushi roll.
We went ahead and took a few more things off the train, a tempura shrimp and tuna roll, an odd pink rice paper concoction with a very light tasting fish, some seaweed salad. I finally grabbed a roll that had crab and tuna with a salmon topping resting in two sauces and after one bite, it was very obvious this dish had "gone through the station" too many times. My husband picked out something (sorry, don't remember) and had the same sad outcome. Both rolls had solidified to the plates, the sauces had begun to seperate unter the rolls and were tepid and mushy.
I think from now on I'm, a) going to only go at lunch and, b) exercise the option of asking the chef to make the rolls I like fresh.
Wife and I went tonight for the first time. Kind of a mixed bag. Most of what we had -- salmon nigiri and some sort of pale fish nigiri, spicy tuna roll -- was good and fresh.
But we sure didn't have much to choose from. It seemed like half the options were doused in mayo (a pet peeve of mine) and it seemed like every other plate was a roll with crabmeat (fake? doused in mayo) inside it. (is this an attempt to cater to American palates?) The house was maybe half full, so lots of dishes just kept going around and around again.
We just sat there waiting and waiting for something else to come by that we could eat, and eventually left, profoundly unsatisfied.
As we left, we asked the maitre d about more variety, and she said we could have requested what we wanted. Good to know, but, still, the fun of these conveyor belt set-ups is that lots of great stuff comes along and surprises you. If I have to order stuff to make a meal of it, what's the point?
We'll got again when it's busier and see if we get more options. But I wish I had better news or report.
Maybe I shouldn't let this out, but...
I took a chance this week and went in at lunch and asked if I could get the train "to go" and they said yes. I ordered what I wanted and they made it fresh to go. I had a sunny and a spicy tuna (8 good-sized pieces) for under $6. Man, that's fast-food prices.
Went with a coworker at lunch today. They are having a lunch time special (12-3 weekdays only) until the end this week all plates 2.50 and free Miso soup. The restaurant itself was a little stuffy when we first walked in but got better during the meal. The fish was fresh. I had a tempura roll, a Lion King roll, rainbow roll, and a roll with eel involved. The rolls were good and spicy. Also I had superwhite tuna sashimi - very yummy and fresh. I did not care for the miso soup. Had a slightly off taste I couldn't put my finger on. We both thought the train was a fun experience. Overall I would say, it is a good value.
One of the sushi chefs came by to talk with us and see if there was anything we wanted and answered some questions we had about a couple of plates. I plan to return. I also think it would be a good place to eat alone.