November 09, 2016 Lebanon Middle East

A Comparative Review: Sushi for Lunch, 3 Places, 1 Winner!

The comparative series are a set of reviews I'll be publishing from now on. Feeling like having an enjoyable meal, I'll be ordering the same item from three to four different places for a constructive comparison... let's enjoy lunch and start with Sushi.

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Craving Sushi today I said to myself, why not try three restaurants instead of only one. While visiting a friend in Hazmieh we ordered from the three local sushi places and asked for the salmon platter: same order, ordered at the same time... let's see the result.

In Hazmieh, three sushi places can be ordered from. The famous Ginger & Co, Ichiban Express who had taken Ginger's previous location and a newbie on the block called Sooshi. Part of their delivery menu is the salmon platter which I ordered noting the time of delivery, price, number of pieces, presentation and last but not least, taste.

  • Ginger & Co: 34 minutes, 15 pieces, LBP28,000 (Best value)
  • Sooshi: 31 minutes, 19 pieces, LBP39,500
  • Ichiban: 32 minutes, 16 pieces, Delivery Charge LBP2,000, LBP40,900 (The Most Expensive)

Presentation and Box:

  • Sooshi uses a plastic box, in which the sushi pieces are stuffed unceremoniously, a box usually used for shawarma platters. No investment has been put into making a nice delivery package.
  • Ginger & Co uses a small box, still in 2016 using the plastic leaves which I personally hate, but made a small investment in a carton box printed in two colors.
  • Ichiban surely wins, no plastic leaves, beautiful presentation, a big box, nice branding, three chopsticks, beautiful colors.

Taste:

  • Sashimi: Sooshi's have a vague metallic taste, Ginger are hard in texture, Ichiban are dull. Ginger is better than Ichiban then comes Sooshi.
  • Salmon maki (rice and salmon): Ginger's is sticky, Sooshi's rice is undercooked, Ichiban's are too crunchy and chewy at the same time. Ginger wins followed by Sooshi and Ichiban comes last.
  • Sushi salmon: Ginger's salmon is not pleasant to bite into but the rice has an interesting sweetness, Sooshi's is as good as it should be, Ichiban's has a rice issue and salmon isn't substantial enough. Sooshi wins, Ginger next and Ichiban comes last.
  • Salmon maki without nori: a bit sweet, good rice, good salmon from Ginger & Co, too commercial with lots of cream cheese from Sooshi, unfortunately for Ichiban, it's the rice that kills it all despite the freshness of the salmon piece. Ichiban wins, Ginger next and Sooshi comes last.
  • Crispy salmon maki: Ginger is correct, Ichiban has it with teriyaki sauce, more flavors, juicier and lightly crunchy. Sooshi is an overdose of fake orange caviar. Ichiban wins followed by Ginger and Sooshi comes last.

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Notes:

  • Delivery time: similar
  • Price: Ginger is the best value.
  • Delivery charge: Ichiban only! 
  • Presentation: Ichiban wins by far!
  • Number of pieces: Sooshi provides the largest number.
  • Ginger: Ichiban and Sooshi use pink ginger as for Ginger & Co they use a better quality one that's white. Ginger has the best of the three.
  • Napkins: none of the three thought of sending napkins.
  • Taste: none of the three are exceptional but Ginger & Co wins this time especially since Ichiban's rice is undercooked. 

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Grades:

  • Taste /50: Ginger 35, Ichiban 30, Sooshi 10
  • Salmon Quality /10: Ginger 6, Ichiban 6, Sooshi 4
  • Packaging /10: Ginger 8, Ichiban 10, Sooshi 2
  • Presentation /10: Ginger 6, Ichiban 10, Sooshi 3
  • Delivery Time /10: Ginger 9, Ichiban 9, Sooshi 9
  • Value for Money /10: Ginger 8, Ichiban 6, Sooshi 5

Total: Ginger 72, Ichiban 71, Sooshi 33

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This round's winner: Ginger & Co

My recommendations:

  • Ginger: stop using the cheap plastic leaves, get bigger boxes, ensure variety of flavor between differing sushi and sashimi
  • Ichiban: I'm sure the rice is a one-off cooking mistake. Taste is good, quality of ingredients is good and packaging is excellent. The order is LBP10,000 more expensive than competition which is not justified. The delivery charge needs to be reconsidered.
  • Sooshi: change the packaging, change the salmon provider, reduce the use of the fake caviar, stop using the plastic leaves, work on the taste.

Ordering Sushi in Hazmieh, now you know what to do!




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been there? what was your impression? (9.33/10)

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happy
0
good
0
euhh
0
meh!
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nah!
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never again