Austin Sushi News

Sushi news in and around Austin, Texas

Sushi Kyu Automates

Sushi News: 

Suzumo Sushi Machine

The former Origami Express at 2438 West Anderson Lane (the North side of Anderson Lane) has changed hands and is now Sushi Kyu (this web site does not seem to be responding). It's main claim to fame is their set of sushi robots that automate various sushi bar tasks including sushi rolling (see video above). The robot in the video is the Suzumo model SVR-BRX ($18,000 U.S.). It rolls sushi but does not perform all the steps necessary for more complex rolls. Still, Sushi Kyu's owner says that the machine replaces roughly one sushi chef at a reasonable cost (he's a regional distributor for the Suzumo line of automated sushi machines, by the way).

Corporate Sushi at the Kona Grill

Sushi News: 

Kona Grill is perhaps the largest sushi bar chain in the United States today. They're a public company listed on NASDAQ (KONA) and have 18 locations nationwide, from Nevada to Florida to Conneticut. Their Austin location is at The Domain, a somewhat strange manufactured retail/dining experience hewn out of the barren corporate landscape next to IBM in far North Austin (it's like an outdoor version of Barton Creek Mall). In the synthetic landscape of The Domain, Kona fits perfectly, offering cheeseburgers and turkey wraps alongside a full-service sushi bar that has a very expensive salt water aquarium behind it. We recently sampled their corporate sushi with, admittedly, some trepidation. The sushi was actually ok. The green tea teabags and cups of "soybeans" (edamame) made it feel more like a diner, though.

Tyson Cole And Secrets Of Iron Chef America

Sushi News: 

The packed audience at the Slammo (South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse) was delighted to witness Uchi's Tyson Cole take on Chef Masaharu Morimoto on Episode 7, Season 6 of Iron Chef America last month. Though Cole lost, 49 to 42, it really wasn't about the winning. These were two culinary masters in their element (the secret ingredient was ginger) and the results were spectacular.

In true Alamo style, the broadcast of the episode was interspersed with revealing locally-taped segments where Tyson talked about his experiences on the show. A few things Tyson pointed out:

  • The Iron Chef America announcer indicates that Tyson has "picked Matsomoro as his challenger," Tyson says that the show's producers make that decision, not him. In other words, it's a small lie.
  • Despite appearing otherwise, the food Tyson and Matsomoro prepare in front of the cameras is not the food served to the judges at the end of the episode. The actual food served to the judges is prepared later (off-camera) by Tyson and Matsomoro.
  • Contestants are given a list of three ingredients weeks before they show up to compete, but only one of those ingredients will be the secret ingredient. So, Tyson had to practice three different food preparations, one featuring each ingredient. Tyson thinks that the Iron Chef (in this case, Matsomoro), gets to know what the secret ingredient is beforehand (a significant advantage).
  • Tyson wished that Ted Allen (food critic on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) had been one of the judges on this episode because, Tyson noted, "for some reason, gay men love my food."

Sure, Tyson lost on Iron Chef, but with Uchi grossing upwards of $100,000 per week, we think he'll be ok.

Sushi Pimp Turns Sushi Tricks

Sushi News: 

DK Our favorite neighborhood procurer, panderer, knave, and scoundrell, the Notorious DK (only on Monday night folks, the rest of the time, he's cool), owner of Seoul Sushi Bar, has purchased the Asian market at 5610b North Lamar Blvd and is turning it into a "one stop sushi shop" featuring a sushi teaching kitchen and plenty of Asian groceries. Bookmark this page to find out when the fun begins.

Speaking of sushi pedagogy, if you haven't ventured down to the Sunset Valley Famer's Market yet, you might want to check out the delightful bento boxes made by the husband and wife team behind They also offer sushi-making lessons in your home and will teach your kids too! Read the review on Austin Tidbits

Newer Sushi Bars In The Far North

Sushi News: 

We confess that we haven't done justice to the growing number of sushi bars that are spreading northward towards Waco and beyond. Those sushi bars would include Sushi Caliente in Cedar Park, Tomo on Parmer Lane, Hayashi in Georgetown, Hakata in Pflugerville, Origami in Round Rock, Kaprow Leaf on Howard Lane, and Chon Som on Wells Branch Parkway (have I missed any? Probably...). And while we're at it, Origami Express near Anderson Lane and Burnet Road has changed owners and will soon be opening as Sushi Kyu, pronounced 'Q' (their web site does not appear to be up yet).

Have You Been To Kenobi?

Sushi News: 

A recent visit to the new Kenobi Restaurant and Sushi Bar confirmed that it is, indeed, the nicest sushi bar we've seen in Austin since Uchi and Maiko opened. The innovative wall textures, towering ceilings, and challenging bathroom sinks made up for the less-than-stellar sushi we feasted upon. But, like any new sushi bar, getting the culinary machine ramped up can take some time and we fully expect Kenobi to kick some sushi arse in 2008. Check them out and report about it in our forums. Check out the Kenobi website, for more details.

Midori Sucks!

I have eaten at this place several times in the past and I always questioned whether or not the food was fresh. Sometimes I order Ton Katsu or Tempura. I ordered sushi the last time and was not impressed, but the worst experience was tonight. I ordered beef teriyaki and my friend ordered chicken teriyaki. This was the most disgusting thing that has ever touched my lips. The meat wasn't marinated and it was tough. I asked the owner how many people had tried to chew on it before it was served to me because neither of us ate our food and they had the audacity to charge us.

Chon Som 1 year Anniversary celebration

Hi there!

My name is Marisa, one of the owners of Chon Som. Chon Som is a family-owned Thai/Sushi restaurant up in the Wells Branch area. Some of you might have heard of our sushi chef/owner, Nat from

We are excited to be celebrating our 1 year anniversary this upcoming weekend. For more details on this weekend's event, you could visit our website,

For all of you that never try us, please come check us out.

Hope to share our joy with you!

Pregnant Sushi Advice needed

I just found out I am pregnant, and my sister is coming to town this weekend. We ALWAYS go eat sushi together. She doesn't know I am pregnant yet. So, I want to tell her over lunch. I have read there are certain restaurants that make a 'pregnancy roll' with ingredients 'ok' for moms to be. Has anyone found these? It would be just the trick to order one.. and see the look on her face! =)

PS: Also.. what else can pregnant women eat at sushi restaurants? Im kinda clueless to this.