Staying at home (involuntarily) has opened my eyes to the scores of food delivery options which I would not have otherwise known if I had continued to eat out. Just yesterday, I had the luxury of relishing a spread of Japanese food on my dining table without stepping out of my house because Sushi Delivery made it possible 🙏🏻
Not like any other sushi joint…
An adopter of the virtual kitchen concept, Sushi Delivery debunks the notion that takeaway foods are of inferior quality with little to no nutritional value by procuring ingredients from Japanese sources and staying true to traditional preparation methods for their sashimi.
Let’s begin with the promised taste: the flavour and texture of the fish is preserved through the employment of the ikejime technique which involves disrupting its brain and spinal cord to mitigate all the effects of biochemical reactions, thus allowing the flesh to develop an umami dimension. Since the fish is sourced only from ikejime-trained suppliers in – where else – Hokkaido and Tsukiji, you can be assured that only the freshest, high-grade catch is used for your sashimi to give the soft, melt-in-your-mouth goodness in every bite.
The sushi-meshi (sushi rice) is made of premium Japanese shortgrain obtained directly from Miyagi prefecture – a place famous for its fertile environment that enables rice paddies to flourish. The rice is processed and packaged in the same year in which it was harvested (“shinmai”) to retain its moisture and flavour, that’s why it has a more glutinous, sticky and plump texture when cooked.
Committed to beating the clock…
Each of the seven kitchens located islandwide is helmed by a Japanese itamae (or head sushi chef, an exceptionally prestigious and revered title given only to those who have undertaken years of training and apprenticeship), and is equipped with state-of-the-art appliances and technology to ensure efficiency and food quality. Orders are also assigned to kitchens with the closest proximity so that they are fulfilled on time. To help you take your mind off delays, a $10 discount code will be given to you to use on your next Sushi Delivery order if they fail to deliver within the selected 1-hour window and the subsequent hour (i.e. delay of more than 2 hours). Granted, it’s not the best way of doing damage control but at least there’s no restrictions on the redemption (apart from having to pay S$5.90 for delivery if you do not meet the minimum order amount of S$60) – it’s $10 off regardless of order amount (their cheapest items are makis, so there’s that 🤪).
My order arrived at 7.23pm, well within the delivery window that I had chosen (i.e. 7.00pm – 8.00pm). The friendly deliveryman carefully handed me two bags at the door – one containing the sushis and makis, and the other the mains, and I must say the neat presentation of the finger foods – despite them having travelled on the roads – had left me really impressed. The dishes looked almost like what you’d expect to see if you were to dine in a Japanese restaurant!
To sidetrack for a moment, that the layout of the website struck me with a sense of deja vu. Like, I thought I had seen it somewhere before. Then, it hit me – it has similar design to that of 8 Crabs! Now, I don’t know if both businesses are run by the same company or if they’re merely using a very common e-commerce website template (and the same delivery model), but I do know both websites are managed by different registrars and were set up on dates far apart.. so I guess these put my suspicion to rest?
Here’s what went into our tummies, courtesy of Sushi Delivery:
Salmon Aburi Maki (8 pieces, S$15.90)
Drizzled with rich mentaiko mayo and black tobiko, the salmon slices were flame-torched to a nice brown texture to give a mild burnt fragrance. There were also tamago and Japanese cucumber wrapped inside the roll for an added crunch. This was a pure pleasure to eat, and definitely worthy of its chef’s recommendation status.
Mango Maki (8 pieces, S$16.90)
This felt like a party in my mouth. Grilled unagi was used in place of avocado (which is a common ingredient in mango maki) inside the roll, giving the maki a savoury yet slightly sweet flavour. There was also diced Japanese cucumber which acted as a crunchy, refreshing ingredient. The top of the maki is blanketed by a generous slice of mango topped with a dash of mayonnaise and tobiko, which made the whole dish even more tantalising on the palate.
The chef who came up with the list of recommendations must have made a mistake. Why isn’t mango maki featured when it’s so delectable? Even my mother, who isn’t really a fan of Japanese cuisine, couldn’t resist the urge to have seconds! This was easily my favourite dish of all!
Salmon Sashimi (5 pieces, S$9.90)
Salmon sashimi wasn’t shortlisted for this review originally because past food delivery experiences had made me weary of receiving lukewarm sashimi. But the Sushi Delivery representative I corresponded with decided that I should still give it a try because… which Japanese food review doesn’t talk about the most beloved sashimi? Silly me!
The salmon sashimi was included in the bag with the other makis and I was pleasantly surprised it came chilled, owing to the ice packs beneath those thick, smooth slices. True to Sushi’s Delivery promise, it was fresh but didn’t appear very dark-hued, which could suggest that the salmon was farmed.
Saba Shioyaki Set Bento (S$12.90)
The bento box menu is ideal for people who aren’t fond of raw food (like my mother). This bento set, in particular, included a piece of severed grilled saba (mackerel) seasoned with salt, and sushi rice topped with furikake served with a side salad and Japanese pickles. It was all right but nothing to write home about. My mother did remark that the freshness of the fish wasn’t quite up to her standard, though.
Cheesy Unagi Aburi Don (S$15.90)
This bowl of sushi rice was served with thick slabs of unagi slices, grated parmesan cheese, slices of Japanese cucumber. The unagi was slightly crispy on the outside and tender inside with a balance of sweet and savoury flavours, and the unorthodox addition of cheese lent a salty note.
There is a mistake in the official description (which I believe was copied from Unagi Don) – the egg ingredient isn’t onsen egg but tamagoyaki, as you can tell from the accompanying image on the website.
Bara Chirashi Don (S$16.90)
The Bara Chirashi Don might look like a mossy mess in pictures but it was actually loaded with a generous amount of ingredients that still felt a little chilled to the touch. There were diced salmon, maguro (tuna), hamachi (yellowtail) and tamago (egg), topped with slices of Japanese cucumber and kizami nori (shredded seaweed), and not once did my spoon emerge from the dish without an ingredient. The portion was more than substantial for me. In fact, I was unable to finish my sushis and makis after having this! (I kept them in the fridge and had them at a later time, don’t worry.)
Besides the taste and quality, prices, in general, are also comparable to those of Japanese restaurants. But since Sushi Delivery operates out of a virtual kitchen, you get to save on service charge and prevailing government taxes, which usually work out to be quite a sum.
That said, I would still prefer to dine in at Japanese restaurants because there’s just something about the experience that food deliveries cannot duplicate. Maybe it’s the act of sipping on a cup of hot Japanese green tea while waiting for my orders to be served, the Japanese music playing in the background that sets the mood, or the fact that I can actually see the sushi chefs in action. However, if the need arises for me to dine at home in the future (but please, don’t let it be due to COVID-20!), Sushi Delivery would be one of my choices.
What are your thoughts about Sushi Delivery? Would you give them a shot? Let me know your views in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!