Monday, 9 June 2014

Sushi Express @ Westgate

So on Friday, to celebrate the official end of YEAR 2 TERM 1 (!!), us kids went to Sushi Express @ Westgate with the oh-so-lovely Miss Clarice! (hello Miss Clarice if you happen to be reading this, you're super adorable and i hope you're having a wonderful day! ♡)


Sushi Express is pretty much your average grab-off-the-conveyor-belt sushi and Japanese food restaurant, but here's their selling point: every single plate of food that you eat, costs $1.50. No matter what it is, whether it's a basic tamago sushi, or slices of fresh salmon sashimi, everything that you lay eyes on is only a dollar fifty. Pretty awesome right?

Value is one thing, but I guess what you pay for is what you get because I didn't really enjoy my first and what will probably be my only experience there :\

I'll tell you why in a bit.

First things first, the decor of the place is pretty freaking swaggular. Very hip and modern, with nice crisp furnishings in their red and white theme. At first glance you definitely wouldn't think that this was a "value" restaurant! If anything, it looks rather swanky.

ALSO. We walked in and as we were shown to our seats, I froze in my steps and had to grab on to Summer's arm for support. THEY WERE PLAYING EXO's SONG. ("History", to be exact.) I almost collapsed onto the floor and began foaming at the mouth. After the song ended and I had pretty much collected myself emotionally, I prayed that they wouldn't play any more Kpop songs. And BAM.

Now playing: "Thunder" by EXO.

AND IF YOU KNOW ME, YOU'D KNOW THAT THIS SONG HAS THE MAGICAL ABILITY OF STIRRING SOME TINGLY FEELINGS WITHIN MY BODY AND SOUL.

WHAT THE HELL, SUSHI EXPRESS?! MY BODY WAS NOT SEXUALLY PREPARED!!

And so, despite being a Japanese restaurant, Sushi Express proceeded to blast a whole bunch of Kpop songs on their speakers throughout our meal, about 55% of which were by EXO. (other than the two which i've already mentioned, they also played "MAMA", "Baby Don't Cry", "Into Your World (Angel)", "Overdose" (i died at this point), and "Growl" TWICE, with only one song in between the first and second time, for some reason)

They also played some awesome 2NE1, BIG BANG, A Pink, and SNSD tracks, among others but I've forgotten because I was too fixated on the abundance of EXO songs lmao

Great if you're the type who likes to listen to music while eating, but I personally like to be in a relaxed environment when I'm savouring my food rather than have to resist the intense urge to groove along to the music, burst out into song mid-chew or get up and start dancing on the tables.

Alright, mini raving session about the music over. It was very important to me lol, and I think I mildly terrified Miss Clarice with my hardcore enthusiasm for EXO heh :P

Introducing, the prettiest lecturer you ever did see...


*GASP!*

Have you ever seen such ravishing beauty, such a dazzling smile, such PERFECTION?!! *no angkat i swear*

Miss Clarice, 你的笑容怎么那么的灿烂?! 简直太迷人了!! *faints*

Also featuring a wild Kenneth who was in serious contemplation of which sushi to get next.

And now, we proceed to the food pics!

Please do take note at this point that as they're a value sushi chain, they obviously do not specialise in having the best presentation ever. As such, the following photos will probably not be as enticing as say, the pics from the Ichiban Sushi post I did just recently. Don't blame me for having shitty photography skills lol, I did my best :P


Marinated scallops sushi!

I told you it wasn't gonna look pretty lol. In fact, the sauce and the "vein"-looking things kinda make the scallops look like balut?! Gross LOL definitely not something you'd want to think of when you're eating actual food!


Inari sushi!

Yum yum~~ Sweet beancurd skins are always A+ :)


Raw scallops sushi!

The scallops were INSANELY soft, almost mushy and melt-in-your-mouth! Pretty cool but I actually prefer my scallops a little more solid with some bite to it :P


Tung hoon, also known as cellophane or glass noodles!

Now in my opinion, it's kinda hard to get tung hoon wrong coz it's such a delicious food to start out with, so this was pretty average.

Nothing spectacular about the sauce, a bit less watery would've been good!

Also, bonus points for the cute scallop-shaped dish it was served in lol!


Ebi prawn sushi!

My first time trying out this basic staple sushi and it was pretty good :)

Really succulent and you could literally taste the freshness of the prawns, great job on that front!


Ebi prawn sushi, grilled edition!

Now, THIS one I was really excited about! Growing up watching the Crayon Shin Chan anime cartoon series, I'd always been fascinated by how grilled Japanese food were always so beautifully charred and just looked soooo good!

I mean seriously, how mouth-watering does this look?!


All I know is, every time a grilled food scene came on my stomach would just growl relentlessly at the TV lol.

And on Friday, after more than a decade I finally got to savour what something so tantalisingly grilled tastes like! HAHA.

It possessed a delightful burnt aroma, just as I expected. Very tasty seafood flavours and just the tiniest hint of sweetness from the sauce it was marinated in! A must-try, definitely.

And now, we move on to the much-awaited (more on this later, when i touch on the service of the restaurant, bleh) desserts!


Wibbly-wobbly mango pudding! Yay pudding!! Lol~~ #number1puddingfan (cy)

It was pretty cool, nice but nothing that would make me go OH MY GOD, you know? Still, $1.50 for a mango pudding is a decent price considering that ordering it at other restaurants would probably cost you three to five dollars.

I thought it contained a little too much fruit syrup, and was too sweet as a result :\


Yay so many mango puddings lol! If you're a massive fan of mango pudding, you can just grab a whole bunch of the conveyor belte and stuff your face into it all hahaha


Blueberry cheesecake sent straight from the heavens!

The cake was pleasantly creamy with just the right amount of sharpness from the cheese, mixed with the slight tang of the blueberry swirl, it really was delicious! The biscuit base was terrific too, definitely a satisfying dessert and soooo worth it for $1.50! Five stars!!

Next up I had some seriously yummy pink mochi, which I actually forgot to take a picture of because I was so carried away by eating a mini buffet of desserts lol but here's a pic of me holding it in its cute scallop dish because the colour matched my sweater HAHA


My face looks like an overweight seal's arse so I did your eyes a favour by slapping a sticker over it, you're welcome.

The mochi was strawberry-flavoured with a delightful filling of azuki beans! Yum!! And so Japanese-y haha~


A trail of mochis going by on the conveyor belt! (is it just me or do they totally look like testicles LOL) (NOT something you would want to think about while eating hahahahaha i apologise)


And lastly, cream puffs!

Although they seemed really unfresh and probably have been kept in the restaurant's refrigerator for a long period of time and as a result was super hard and unpleasantly stale, the pastry still had a delightfully buttery taste to it that I find very important when it comes to cream puffs! A lot of people only care about the cream filling, but I've had enough cream puffs to know that the puff pastry makes a HUGE different to the overall taste!

And on the inside,


surprise jam filling!! I was not expecting that haha~

The cream was nice and sweet and the fruity jam gave a sour-y kick to it! Not a huge fan of fruit jams so I'd actually have preferred it if it were just plain cream lol. Or chocolate, mmmmm I love chocolate~~

Oh damn I have a sudden intense craving for Beard Papa's legendary giant cream puffs OMG WHYYY


Anddd...that brings the grand total to 10 plates! That's fifteen bucks perfectly, but there was a GST charge too so I wound up having to pay $17.50 haha alright then.

Okay, lemme just rant about the service a lil bit.

As this was my first visit to Sushi Express, I knew nothing about it and so while I was on the MRT ride to Jurong East, proceeded to do a bit of research prior to dining there. I went to their Facebook page which was pretty empty and not well-maintained, which honestly I don't really give two hoots about but what caught my attention was that their wall post was full of customer feedback from Facebook users. All of them were unsatisfactory, and bored pretty much the same complaints.

That the service was terrible.

Many of the customer feedbacks had the recurring complaints of bad attitudes from the staff, lack of knowledge about the food and just general unpleasant experiences as far as the servers were concerned.

I dismissed this entirely when I first read it, it's not like I was going to pass judgement of Sushi Express before getting to experience it myself, neither did I preempt any dissatisfactory service because of it.

When I was actually eating there for the first time though, the entire meal was going pretty well until the point where we were pretty much done with the sushi and wanted some dessert. We had waited for a fair bit of time and no desserts were coming by on the belt (and i was really looking forward to trying the cheesecake), so I wanted to approach the staff for assistance.

First problem: getting the attention of the staff.

We were lucky enough to be seated near the utensils counter, which is where the staff are stationed at to clean the plate covers and such. There were three servers congregated there when I needed to ask them about the desserts, THREE. And they were so engrossed in their chatting that it was almost impossible to get their attention! This is so annoying, you have no idea.

When I finally got this Chinese lady to come to our table, I asked her how the system works, do I request for a certain dessert when I want to order it? Or will it come by on the conveyor belt in due time? As I was verbalising my enquiries, she had the look of utmost confusion on her face and I was worried whether I should start speaking in Chinese instead (which i absolutely could've done, no problems at all).

She told me that if I wanted a dessert, I have to request for it and she'll tell the kitchen. So I'm like, okay cool thanks, can I see a menu? And she told me that they did not have any menus. Then I'm like, okay then what desserts do you offer? And she says that SHE DOES NOT KNOW. At this point I was kind of exasperated so I told her, how am I supposed to know what to order then if I don't know what desserts are available here? And she gave me this blank look and, without a word, turned around and walked away to talk to her colleague.

UMM. You couldn't have asked me to hold on for a moment?!

And that's not all, far from it!

Right in front of my very eyes, she explained to her colleague what I had just told her but GESTURING AT ME WITH HER HANDS, DISPLAYING BODY LANGUAGE THAT PLAINLY EXPRESSED THAT SHE THOUGHT I WAS SOME SORT OF AN IDIOT.

I swear, you HAD to be there to fully experience what an outrage this was.

She was clearly the one who lacked basic knowledge of the menu and how the f*cking restaurant even WORKS, and she had the nerve to tell her colleague about what I said while trying to convey the message that I was some moron?! Oh, excuse me for not knowing what the hell kind of desserts were on offer on that particular day!

At this point, Summer and I were both flabbergasted by this totally horrendous standard of service, and I was fuming. I literally couldn't believe this waitress, who stood right in front of me and disrespected me as a customer, was for real.

Her colleague then came over to me, I believe she was a manager or something, and I thought to myself, oh good, at least she'll be able to help me. So I asked her when and how we'd be getting our desserts, and she asked me what I wanted, so I told her cheesecake (which was the only dessert i knew they would have because Vanessa got it when she was here) and guess what?

THE SERVER WALKED RIGHT AWAY FROM ME.

AGAIN.

OH. MY. FREAKING. GOODNESS.

What the hell is up with this place and the attitude of their servers?!

No basic level of courtesy and respect for the paying customers?? A simple, "hold on while I go check" isn't possible?!

At this point I was ready to scream at someone.

I buried my face in my hands, utter disbelief over the pathetic service that this establishment has to offer.

The lady came back after about five minutes, explaining that the kitchen was preparing the desserts and would have them out on the conveyor belt in a few minutes time.

I thanked her and that was that.

Overall, I will probably NOT be returning to Sushi Express again, in the near future at least. Reason being, the food is average at best. Sure, it's cheap, but it is NOT value for money if you're paying low prices for food that is not good.

The desserts are worth it, yes, but I'd probably give the sushi a score of 4/10. Can I just add at this point that I never realized until visiting Sushi Express that the rice in sushi is equally, if not MORE important than the topping?

Usually people think it's just plain ol' rice, it's the ingredients on top that matters. Nope. The rice that Sushi Express uses is extremely low quality, and anybody who has had not even good but just DECENT sushi would be able the taste the differences, it's literally worlds apart.

I'd say that it's worth going for the salmon sashimi, which my friends said is very fresh and delicious but I couldn't try for myself because of my horrible fish allergy.

Also, I don't like how there's no menu for you to order from, and there's no control over what the chefs decide to put out on the conveyor belt either. It's all based on luck, you could be served an endless array of dishes you don't like, and you could go there looking forward to your favourite dishes in particular and wait hours and not see them, like we did with our much-anticipated tuna mayo sushi that never came.

Needless to say, the service there is terrible but I'm not gonna slam them too much as a whole because for the two servers who had absolutely craptastic attitudes, there were also two servers who happened to be very kind and cheerful, so I guess that evens things out haha.

All in all, if you ever want to pay Sushi Express a visit, I'd urge you to keep your expectations superbly low if not you will be very, very disappointed.

And do not be fooled by the $1.50-for-anything price tag as it does NOT equate to a filling and delicious meal. My bill totaled up to $17.50 and I left feeling neither satisfied nor full. I could've easily gotten a way more enjoyable meal for the same price, with food that tastes a hundred times better, make me more full AND with easily much better service.

I had a super fun time with Miss Clarice and my friends though, so I wasn't too fussed about the shitty dining experience!


Yay, good company always makes the worst situations just that less shitty lol. Also, the EXO songs were a huge plus ;)

4 comments:

  1. I was thrilled by the idea of $1.50 sushi train. It's a pity that you get what you pay for and that the food is not that great. It's also a shame that some of the waiters are not nice as they really affect the reputation of the restaurant.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I guess the waitress didnt tell you about the main things you need to know when dining in sushi express.
    Firstly, the waiters do not take orders or serve food. Everything is on the belt. If its there, its there.
    Secondly, there's no menu, since you only choose the food from the belt.
    Lastly, they do not have cold drinks. Outside drinks are allowed though.

    ReplyDelete
  3. your miss clarice damn chio

    ReplyDelete