Our Man Sietsema and the Wierd Sushi Bar


This week, Our Man finds himself a stranger in a strange land, trying to decipher the strange culinary landscape of Sakae Sushi—no small task as the sushi bar offers 208 dishes in 28 catagories.

The sushi, which you can pluck ready-made off a conveyer belt, or order (by keying it into your own little computer or by telling a real live server), is generally middling. Our Man samples a lot of it, and it comes down to this:

Some of the sushi isn’t half bad, and the price is right

But Sakae Sushi isn’t just another run-of-the-mill neighborhood sushi bar. It turns out that the chain hails from Singapore, which accounts for its through-the-looking-glass take on Japanese food.

I invited my thespian friend Carmen, who grew up in Singapore, to scan the menu. She giggled when she came upon “chicken katsu cheese yaki,” which turned out to be a flattened gray cutlet smothered in cheese sauce flavored with sharp mustard. “That’s like something my Chinese mom would throw together,” she exclaimed. It was awful. According to her, the menu’s obsession with jellyfish turned out to be another tip-off to Singaporean influence, as did the red and rubbery baby octopi

Sushi with a side of globalization—get used to it!