Genki Sushi Keeps Local Diners Smiling

Features Inside Feature

October 14, 2012

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

As kaiten sushi, which refers to the popular Japanese offerings that are served on a revolving conveyor belt, keeps gaining popularity worldwide, Genki Sushi continues to spread the Japanese sushi culture across the globe.

With 14 locations in Hawaii, as well as eateries in Washington State, California, Japan and Hong Kong, Genki Sushi serves up flavorful sushi creations in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.

“Genki has always remained affordable and family-oriented,” says director of purchasing David Moon. “We try to keep our sushi within the budgets of our customers, and they know that they get a pretty good deal when they come here.”

Diners choose from different colored plates as they go by on the conveyor belt, and the colors correspond to set prices. In addition to ordering choices from the menu such as rice bowls topped with flavorful toppings, sushi fans may select gold ($1.50), green ($2.20), red ($2.80), silver ($3.80) and black ($4.80) plates as the freshly prepared sushi selections pass by.

Dynamite Spicy Tuna ($4.80) is one of the many customer favorites, and features the spicy fish topped with a layer of zesty garlic mayo. The dish is then lightly torched to bring all the flavors together, and topped with unagi sauce to complete the dish.

In a fun spin on a local plate lunch favorite, Kalbi Bowl ($2.80) offers up fresh short rib meat topped with green onions that are all placed upon a bed of rice. Another customer favorite is Deep Fried Spicy Roll ($2.80), which contains spicy tuna and a zesty sauce in a traditional roll that is coated in tempura batter and fried until a crispy, golden-brown crust ensues.

“We try to get suggestions for menu items from our customers, and a lot of the new items actually come from the ideas of our workers,” says Moon when asked about the inspiration behind some of the creative sushi selections. “We’re actually trying to trim our menu down a bit to give the customers what they want and go back to basics. We evolve, and try our best to keep the customers happy.”

For those who prefer vegetables, Fried Eggplant ($2.20) features a tower of flavor as the crispy eggplant is topped with red and white onions and drizzled with unagi sauce. Kabocha Tempura ($2.20) boasts sweet, crispy squash and is served with tempura sauce to bring all the flavors together.

“The concept was always affordable family dining, and we continue striving to serve that local niche as the local taste is different than Japan (sushi) taste,” Moon explains. “With the cross-cultural flavors, it works well here. For example, with the spicy tuna, that is very rare in Japan — our menu features a lot of variety, while Japanese sushi menus offer mostly traditional sushi.”

Genki Sushi offers a wide variety of nigiri, gunkan and roll sushi dishes, from the simple favorites to extravagant creations. Some of the popular rolled offerings include Salmon Skin ($2.80), Rainbow ($4.80), Scallop Mayo ($2.20), Spicy Tuna ($2.20) and Spicy Tempura ($4.80).

For those with a sweet tooth, Genki Sushi also offers a host of desserts, including Hawaiian Style Sherbet ($2.20), Oreo Ice Cream ($2.80) and Red Velvet Cupcakes ($3.80) that provide a sweet finish to a revolutionary dining experience.

Genki Sushi

14 locations in Hawaii, including 10 on Oahu
Hours vary by location.

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best