Heavenly Sushi Right Before Your EyesDigest On the Menu
February 15, 2015
Story By: Lindsey Appleton | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
Sometimes when I dream, I dream about food magically appearing in front of me. No fuss, no waiting, just an endless array of dishes within reach. At Genki Sushi, my dream became a reality. Officially called kaiten sushi, or revolving sushi, Genki is famous for its conveyer belt of food. Some may call it genius marketing, but I call it food heaven. With 13 locations in Hawaii, Genki Sushi is the local go-to spot for consistently delicious and convenient sushi.
“The idea behind kaiten sushi is that customers can pick and choose which dishes they want at the speed they want,” explains Chelsea Ganer, store manager of the Aina Haina location. “People love the visual element of it and having the freedom to grab and eat. Seeing an item pass in front of you is a much different experience than ordering blindly from a menu.”
Customers can select dishes from the revolving food belt or order from waiters who happily greet each customer as they enter the eatery. While Genki has its popular set items, diners also can try new dishes particular to each locale. In Aina Haina, discover a new special that has quickly become a customer favorite: Bacon Baked Mussels ($4). Plump, juicy baked mussels are served on the half-shell and topped with a heaping spoonful of crispy bacon mixed with garlic and green onions.
“The Bacon Baked Mussels were something we just created one day in the kitchen,” says Ganer. “It was a huge hit, so it’s not going away anytime soon. Who doesn’t love bacon?”
From the menu, enjoy one of Genki’s new rolls, Spam/Tamago Tempura Roll ($3). Featuring Hawaii’s beloved Spam and sweetened egg, the sushi is rolled rice-side out, flash fried in tempura — giving it a slightly crunchy exterior — and topped with a thick unagi sauce that’s both sugary and salty. For a sweet and colorful meal, order the Pink Tiger Roll ($3). Imitation crab, mayo, cucumber and avocado is presented California-roll style and topped with thinly sliced shrimp and sweet chili sauce.
“Genki launched a new menu in December,” says Ganer. “We brought back some old favorites and added new options like the Spam roll. It’s the best of both sushi and local flavors.” If you like your sushi spicy, try the Crawfish ($3). Mixed with mayo and wasabi, the bites are full-bodied in flavor but perfectly balanced against a base of rice and nori wrap. Make sure to try the Saba Aburi ($3) — seared mackerel topped with freshly grated ginger and green onions.
“Our business revolves around the customer — pun intended,” laughs Ganer. “Genki is the best at fast, affordable, high-quality sushi. When you say ‘Genki,’ everyone knows what that means.”
Aina Haina Shopping Center
820 West Hind Drive, Honolulu (and various locations)
Sunday–Thursday, 11 A.M.–9 P.M.
Friday–Saturday, 11 A.M.–10 P.M. (hours may vary at each location)