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Inside Feature

Take a Delicious Ride on the Sushi Express

By Michelle Lee Photos By Leah Friel
October 27, 2013

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Surrounded by the pristine waters of the Pacific Ocean, it is no surprise that Hawaii would be home to some of the tastiest sushi in the nation. For more than 20 years, Genki Sushi has been serving its customers freshly prepared Japanese dishes elevated with local-style flair.

Whether on an intimate date or dinner with family and friends, all will find the kaiten-style sushi restaurant to be an ideal dining destination for unique, quality plates at an affordable price. “We hold our menu items to a very high standard, but it is also important to keep the price point reasonable,” says David Moon, director of purchasing for Genki Sushi USA Inc. “We want our customers to know that it is perfectly feasible to enjoy a delicious Japanese meal without spending an arm and a leg.”

From deliciously simple appetizers to delectably intricate rolls, Genki’s menu can be seen enticingly cascading down the restaurant’s conveyer belt for hungry patrons to take. Every dish is served on a plate that is color-coordinated according to price — yellow ($1.50), green ($2.20), red ($2.80), silver ($3.80) and black ($4.80).

In recent months, the eatery has received much buzz and praise for its newly installed electrical express train at the Ala Moana location. The high-tech delivery system makes ordering sushi both an easy and modern experience. Using a touch-screen tablet, diners are able to select and send their choices directly to the chef, who then sends the dishes down an electrical ramp directly to the table.

Presented on top of fun vessels in the shape of items such as racecars, surfboards and space shuttles, the new express system holds wide appeal for families with children. “Genki is the perfect place for children to truly participate in the dining experience,” says Moon. “Our tablets come pre-loaded with games the kids can enjoy while they wait for their food to arrive.”

The first restaurant in the nation to use the unique transportation system, Genki hopes to bring the modern technology to all of its chain locations, with the Waikele location next. “Our customers have really enjoyed the new express train feature because it not only ensures a meal that is fresh and made-to-order, but it also helps control costs at the restaurant,” says Moon. “It’s absolutely the way of the future.”

By revamping the menu every few months, customers are able to try a wide variety of dishes. Menu favorites include Rainbow Roll ($4.80), a crab meat roll with fresh sashimi and avocado; California Tempura Roll ($2.80), a deep-fried version of the classic staple with an unagi sauce; and Crab Tempura Roll ($4.80), a savory roll stuffed with crispy crab tempura and topped with a spicy sauce.

“All of our dishes are made for the day to keep everything as fresh as possible,” explains Moon. “We get our fish from local vendors, who get them from the fish auction, and whenever possible, we try to cut fish only on the day we need it.”

Devoted to excellent customer service, Genki welcomes customers to approach their servers with suggestions and dishes not necessarily on the menu. “In most cases, whatever the customers want we generally have it on our menu, but if not we can definitely try to make it for them,” says Moon. “We will take any opportunity to fulfill a client’s wishes if we are able.” One of the restaurant’s most celebrated off-the-menu items is the Genki Burger ($4.90), a sandwich-like concoction of Spam, warm rice and spicy tuna.

As Genki continues to renovate and expand its sushi empire, customers have much to look forward to in the coming months. “We will soon be launching a new menu with a lot of tasty new additions,” says Moon. “Given that Hawaii is an ever-changing melting pot of cultures and backgrounds, we like our menu to reflect that beautiful quality.”

Genki Sushi

Ward Centers
1200 Ala Moana Blvd.
591-5600
Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
942-9102
Monday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

(and various locations)