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Kaiten Sushi Conveyor: Simple, Tasty and Enjoyable (Restaurant Closed)
Kaiten is located in heart of Hamra on one of the last corner streets after Roadster and Cafe Hamra. Kaiten is a one of my favorites in the area and usually try to visit it every time I get the chance to while having to do some work in Beirut. Literally translated, Kaiten means a "conveyor belt of food". Essentially, what this eatery is based on is the concept of Japanese conveyor sushi bar offering a quality, fast and entertaining dining experience for the fanatic of this crafty cuisine. Kaiten is a sushi place owned by the Boubess Group. It's small and neat with a conveyer bar in the middle and high chairs around eating and chitchatting while enjoying a quick lunch or a long dinner. The huge glass facades give your eyes the luxury of seeing beyond the small eatery enjoying the cosmopolitan passers-by on Hamra's busy street. As we walked in and sat down, the waiter comes and asks if we know how the concept at Kaiten works. It's nice since not everyone is familiar with their idea, which is also available at Cozmo Zaitunay Bay as well as Scoozi, run by the same company. In a nutshell, you eat all you want from fresh items being prepared in front of you and put on the conveyor belt. Each plate is color coded and each color represents a price. There are six different colored coded plates to pick from, each means a different price: (blue LL3750, green LL4750, red LL5750, orange LL6750, yellow LL7750, pink LL8750). You can also order items from their colorful menu which explains each item in an accompanied image. I loved the details in Kaiten that show they truly care about their customers. Things like:
- To protect the quality of the sushi you are enjoying, please refrain from smoking.
- A call bottom is in front of every person at the conveyor belt, when you press a red button appears and a waiter will be attend to you immediately.
- Every plate-stand on the conveyer belt has its name written on it - this way its clear what you're having.
- Three large LCD screens around the place - which give a casual atmosphere
We helped ourselves to anything on the conveyor belt, we had over 10 dishes that included a variety of tasty maki, sushi and their recommended miso soup. The Miso soup was delicious and rich with tofu. The sushi and makis were very good specially that they are served cold but are a bit too big. I would have preferred to enjoy them with less rice and more fish. That is actually the same problem I talked about in the Cozmo review. "Can't see what you want, fancy a hot dish? Order from any team member" We ordered extra items from the menu:
- Dumplings: Hot, tasty and fresh.
- Crispy Salmon Salad: Loved it. Fresh, served at the right temperature with the right amount of crisps scattered on top of it.
No fish is kept on the belt for more that two hours. Everything is prepared live in front of you - its a great show to watch! I recommend you try it if you haven't.