Sushi restaurants aren’t all that common this far from Chicago, so when I hear about one, I make the effort to check it out, which recently led me to Sushi + Rotary Sushi Bar in Aurora.
I’ve increasingly become a fan of sushi, but I don’t often have the chance to enjoy it, so when I heard about Sushi +, I made the trip out to the restaurant, located in one of several strips of stores outside the Fox Valley Mall. The low-key exterior of Sushi + hides a wealth of activity inside, reminiscent of a downtown Chicago eatery, instead of one found outside a mall.
Upon walking into Sushi +, my guest and I were promptly seated at one of the booths surrounded by a conveyor belt that carried color-coordinated plates of sushi and desserts around the room. A second set of booths is located in the rear of the restaurant, separate from the conveyor belt, for those who may not wish to order from the conveyor.
I had never eaten at a location like Sushi +, so the conveyor system was fascinating. Each plate or bowl is color-coordinated to match a set price. Dishes are stacked at the end of your booth, so servers can total up the cost of your meal. Prices were surprisingly low, with the most expensive dishes coming in at $6.50. But no matter the cost of the dish, everything my guest and I had was delicious.
To complete the atmosphere, my guest and I dined with a Japanese light beer and a bottle of sparkling peach-flavored sake. Having never had either before, my guest enjoyed his beer, comparing it favorably to Miller Lite, while my sake reminded me of a refreshing glass of peach moscato.
We shared several plates from the conveyor and enjoyed some by ourselves, taking the time to examine the signs that preceded each dish to determine the ingredients. Some plates held simple servings of nigiri or sashimi, while “adventure rolls” were elaborate preparations with several ingredients – even Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Standouts from our visit included the delicious Zuke Sake Nigiri, salmon with seven-spice seasoning and unagi sauce served on rice; the Philadelphia Maki, made with smoked salmon, avocado, cream cheese and sesame seeds; Tako Nigiri, boiled octopus on rice; and the Sake Nigiri, fresh Scottish salmon on rice.
Ultimately, my guest and I both agreed that the nigiri dishes were some of the best we had; as all of the fish tasted fresh and at the proper temperature. Though servings were relatively small, we quickly filled up on the wide range of options available, deciding to split a dessert between us – a slice of green tea cheesecake, creamy and delicious, with a half of a strawberry for additional flavor.
While the cost of a meal can rise quickly if you’re not paying attention to the color of the plates you’re choosing, the quick-serve style of eating at Sushi + Rotary Sushi Bar allows visitors to stay for as long as they want, to enjoy a quick lunch or a long dinner among friends and family.
But if you want to enjoy the experience of eating directly from the conveyor belt, I’d recommend getting to Sushi + early, because the line forms quickly. I know I’ll get there bright and early the next time I visit.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Record Newspapers. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. The Mystery Diner is not intended to be a restaurant critic but does highlight the parts of a dining experience that he/she can recommend.