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 talking about. 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. Having grown up in Vancouver, that was back then more of a colonial outpost than an international cosmopolitan center, I had never heard the phrase 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 All You Can Eat Sushi fan since.
I recall it being a completely new experience, although one today which everybody accepts as common place. You enter the sushi bar, as well as the sushi chefs behind the bar yell out Japanese words of welcome, and it seems like anyone you’re with is a regular and knows the chefs and the menu as old friends.
The sushi scene has much evolved in North America, and now, just about everyone has heard about sushi and used it, and millions are becoming sushi addicts like me. Needless to say you can find individuals who can’t bring themselves to accepting the thought of eating raw fish, possibly away from anxiety about catching a condition through the un-cooked food. But this fear is unfounded, as millions 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 that have sizeable Asian communities, and those that are well-liked by Asian tourists. As a result, Sushi restaurants are concentrated up and down the west coast of North America with sushi bars being simple to find on most street corners in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vegas, and Vancouver. Within the last quarter century since its arrival in North America, the sushi dining experience makes an important change in a variety of key markets, that has broadened its appeal. The growth of the all-you-can-eat sushi buffet has changed the way lots of people came to know sushi.
Initially, the sushi dinning experience was just for your well-healed. The raw seafood ingredients that comprise the fundamentals of the sushi menu include tuna, salmon, shrimp, scallops, eel, mackerel, squid, shark-fin, abalone, and red snapper. It is actually imperative the raw seafood be properly cleaned, stored and prepared, and then in most markets (even on the west coast) these raw ingredients are costly when compared to other foods. Therefore, the price of eating sushi has historically been expensive. Sushi bar eating is usually marketed within an a la carte fashion whereby the diner pays for each piece of sushi individually. Although a basic tuna roll chopped into three or four pieces might costs several dollars, a far 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. You can easily spend $100 to get a nice sushi dinner for 2 at an a la carte sushi bar, which is well out of reach for many diners.
The sushi dining business design changed in the last decade. Some clever restaurant operators saw a whole new possibility to make the sushi dining experience more of a mass-market business opportunity, as opposed to a dining experience only for the rich. They devised a way to mass-produce sushi, purchasing ingredients in large quantities, training and employing sushi chefs in high-volume sushi kitchens, when 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 had been this business design that devised the rotating conveyor belt, where the sushi plates are placed on the belt and cycled through 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 from this model was the single price, all-you-can-eat sushi buffet concept, where the diner pays a flat price for all of the sushi he or she can consume during 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 of Japan, certainly, the city of Vancouver, Canada, has more sushi restaurants than any other city. Area of the explanation might be the truth that Vancouver provides the largest Asian immigrant population in North America, and it is a hugely popular tourist place to go for tourists coming from all over Asia. A lot of Vancouver’s immigrants seek self-employment, and open restaurants, a few of which meet the needs of the sushi market which can be ever-growing. The Vancouver suburb of Richmond includes a population exceeding 100,000, and the vast majority of its residents comprise Asian immigrants that came to Canada in the last two decades. Richmond probably provides the greatest density of Asian restaurants to get found anywhere outside Asia, with every strip mall and shopping center sporting several competing eating establishments. Of course sushi is an integral part 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 (which has 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 due to its Pacific Ocean location, the city’s sushi restaurants have become world renowned for attempting to outdo one another by giving superb quality all-you-can-eat sushi, at the very best deals to become found anywhere on the planet. Quality sushi in Vancouver is priced at a fraction of what one would pay in Japan, and many 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! Only a few people in Japan can afford to eat sushi apart from for a special event. However, Place For Sushi Near Me is really affordable in Vancouver that residents and tourists alike can eat it on a regular basis, without breaking the bank! Previously 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 expense 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 had for under $CAD 50, that is half what one would pay at a North American a la carte sushi bar, and probably one quarter what one could purchase a similar meal in Japan!