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 identified as a culinary art form. Having grown up in Vancouver, that was back then more of a colonial outpost than a global cosmopolitan center, I had never heard the term sushi. However I was keen to use. So for lunch, my cousin took me to a local Irvine sushi bar (whose name I will no longer recall), and I’ve been Places For Sushi Near Me fan from the time.
I recall it becoming a completely new experience, although one today that everyone accepts as common place. You enter the sushi bar, and the sushi chefs behind the bar yell out Japanese words of welcome, and it seems like the person you’re with is a regular and knows the chefs and also the menu as old friends.
The sushi scene has much evolved in North America, and today, just about everyone has been aware of sushi and tried it, and millions have grown to be sushi addicts like me. Of course you can find individuals who can’t bring themselves to accepting the idea of eating raw fish, possibly away from the fear of catching a health problem from your un-cooked food. But this fear is unfounded, as thousands of people consume sushi annually in North America, as well as the incidents of sushi-related food-poisoning are negligible.
Sushi is becoming incredibly popular in metropolitan centers with diverse cultural interests, specially those with sizeable Asian communities, and those that are well-liked by Asian tourists. As such, Sushi restaurants are concentrated up and down the west coast of North America with sushi bars being easy to find on most street corners in L . A ., San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Vancouver. In the last quarter century since its arrival in North America, the sushi dining experience makes an important change in a quantity of key markets, that has broadened its appeal. The growth of the all-you-can-eat sushi buffet has changed the way many people came to know sushi.
Initially, the sushi dinning experience was just for that well-healed. The raw seafood ingredients that make up the basic principles in the sushi menu include tuna, salmon, shrimp, scallops, eel, mackerel, squid, shark-fin, abalone, and red snapper. It is actually imperative that 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 usually marketed in an a la carte fashion whereby the diner covers every piece of sushi individually. Although an easy tuna roll chopped into 3 or 4 pieces might costs several dollars, a far more extravagant serving such some eel or shark-fin sushi can easily cost $4 to $6 or more, depending on the restaurant. It is possible to spend $100 for a nice sushi dinner for just two in an a la carte sushi bar, and also this is well out of reach for a lot of diners.
The sushi dining business model changed in the last decade. Some clever restaurant operators saw a brand new opportunity to make the sushi dining experience much more of a mass-market home business opportunity, as opposed to a dining experience only for the rich. They devised a method to mass-produce sushi, purchasing ingredients in bulk, 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 design that devised the rotating conveyor belt, where the sushi plates are placed on the belt and cycled from the restaurant so diners can hand-pick their desired sushi right off of the belt at their table side. However, the key marketing concept borne out of this model was the single price, all-you-can-eat sushi buffet concept, in which the diner pays a flat price for the sushi they can consume in a single seating, typically capped at a couple of hours by most sushi buffet restaurants. Most major cities in North America will have an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet restaurant, though they are predominantly situated on the west coast.
Outside Japan, without a doubt, the city of Vancouver, Canada, has more sushi restaurants than some other city. Part of the explanation might be the truth that Vancouver has got the largest Asian immigrant population in North America, which is a hugely popular tourist place to go for tourists from all of over Asia. A lot of Vancouver’s immigrants seek self-employment, and open restaurants, many of which cater to the sushi market that is ever-growing. The Vancouver suburb of Richmond features a population exceeding 100,000, and the vast majority of its residents are comprised of Asian immigrants that arrived at Canada over the past two decades. Richmond probably has the greatest density of Asian restaurants to be found anywhere outside Asia, with every strip mall and shopping mall sporting several competing eating establishments. Obviously sushi is a fundamental element of the Richmond restaurant business, and diners can find anything from $5 lunch stops, to $20 sushi buffet dinner mega-restaurants.
Vancouver’s lower mainland (that features a population of some 2 million) is also the world’s undisputed capital for many-you-can-eat sushi restaurants. Given Vancouver’s fame for its abundance of fresh seafood because of its Pacific Ocean location, the city’s sushi restaurants are becoming world famous for trying to outdo the other person by giving superb quality all-you-can-eat sushi, in the best prices to become found anywhere on the planet. Quality sushi in Vancouver is priced at a small fraction of what one would pay in Japan, and lots of Japanese tourists marvel at Vancouver’s large variety of quality sushi restaurants. Some say Vancouver’s sushi offering meets and exceeds that lvugwn in Japan, certainly in terms of price! Not many folks Japan can afford to eat sushi other than for any special occasion. However, Places For Sushi Near Me is so affordable in Vancouver that residents and tourists alike can eat it regularly, without having to break the bank! Before decade, the price of eating sushi in Vancouver has tumbled, with sushi restaurants literally on every street corner, as well as 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 2, with alcoholic drinks can be easily had for less than $CAD 50, which is half what one could pay in a North American a la carte sushi bar, and probably one quarter what one would pay for an equivalent meal in Japan!