It was 25 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 referring to. 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 described as a culinary art form. Having grown up in Vancouver, which was back then more of a colonial outpost than an international cosmopolitan center, I had never heard the phrase sushi. Having Said That 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 Sushi Nearby fan ever since.
I recall it being a completely new experience, although one today which everybody accepts as common place. You go to the sushi bar, as well as the sushi chefs behind the bar yell out Japanese words of welcome, and it also seems like anyone you’re with is really a regular and knows the chefs and also the menu as old friends.
The sushi scene has much evolved in North America, and today, most people has heard of sushi and used it, and millions have grown to be sushi addicts like me. Needless to say there are individuals who can’t bring themselves to accepting the thought of eating raw fish, possibly away from fear of catching a disease from the un-cooked food. But this fear is unfounded, as millions of people consume sushi every year in North America, and 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 popular with Asian tourists. Therefore, Sushi restaurants are concentrated up and down the west coast of North America with sushi bars being easy to find on many street corners in La, San Francisco, Vegas, and Vancouver. Over the past quarter century since its arrival in North America, the sushi dining experience makes a substantial change in a variety of key markets, that has broadened its appeal. The growth of the all-you-can-eat sushi buffet has evolved the way in which many individuals came to know sushi.
Initially, the sushi dinning experience was only for the well-healed. The raw seafood ingredients that comprise the basics in the sushi menu include tuna, salmon, shrimp, scallops, eel, mackerel, squid, shark-fin, abalone, and red snapper. It really is imperative 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 typically marketed in an a la carte fashion whereby the diner pays for each piece of sushi individually. Although a simple tuna roll chopped into 3 or 4 pieces might costs two or three dollars, a more extravagant serving such a piece of eel or shark-fin sushi can easily cost $4 to $6 or maybe more, depending on the restaurant. It is easy to spend $100 for a nice sushi dinner for 2 with an a la carte sushi bar, and this is well unattainable for a lot of diners.
The sushi dining business structure changed in the last decade. Some clever restaurant operators saw a new chance to have the sushi dining experience much more of a mass-market online business opportunity, instead of a dining experience only for the rich. They devised a method to mass-produce sushi, purchasing ingredients in large quantities, 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 was this business structure that devised the rotating conveyor belt, in which the sushi plates are placed on the belt and cycled from 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 only price, all-you-can-eat sushi buffet concept, where diner pays a flat price for the sushi she or he can consume in a single seating, typically capped at a couple of hours by most sushi buffet restaurants. Most major cities in North America could have an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet restaurant, although they are predominantly situated on the west coast.
Outside Japan, undoubtedly, the city of Vancouver, Canada, has more sushi restaurants than any other city. Area of the explanation might be the truth that Vancouver has got the largest Asian immigrant population in North America, in fact it is a very popular tourist place to go for tourists from all of over Asia. Many of Vancouver’s immigrants seek self-employment, and open restaurants, a few of which cater to the sushi market which can be ever-growing. The Vancouver suburb of Richmond features a population exceeding 100,000, and the majority of its residents are comprised of Asian immigrants that got to Canada in the last two decades. Richmond probably has the greatest density of Asian restaurants to get found anywhere outside of Asia, with every strip mall and shopping mall sporting several competing eating establishments. Needless to say sushi is an important part of the Richmond restaurant business, and diners can find everything 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 are becoming world renowned for trying to outdo each other by offering superb quality all-you-can-eat sushi, in the very best deals to be found anywhere on the planet. Quality sushi in Vancouver is priced at a fraction of what one could pay in Japan, and several 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 with regards to price! Not many individuals Japan can afford to eat sushi besides for any special occasion. However, Sushi Near Me Now is so affordable in Vancouver that residents and tourists alike can eat it regularly, without breaking the bank! Before decade, the price of eating sushi in Vancouver has tumbled, with sushi restaurants literally on every street corner, and also the fierce competition has driven the cost of a top quality all-you-can-eat sushi dinner down towards the $CAD 15-20 range. An all-you-can-eat sushi dinner for just two, with alcoholic drinks can easily be had for under $CAD 50, which can be half what one could pay with a North American a la carte sushi bar, and in all likelihood one quarter what one could pay for a similar meal in Japan!