Laura Simis

Conveyor Belt Sushi

Laura Simis
Conveyor Belt Sushi

"You don’t realize how little control you have in this world until you’re 44 pieces deep into a sushi buffet." - Confucius, probably

There’s no shortage of amazing sushi in the Raleigh-Durham area, but the concept of conveyor belt sushi was new to me a week ago. When one of my coworkers suggested we make a pilgrimage to Durham to visit the new Rockin’ Roll Sushi Express, I was envisioning a long buffet table of sushi options.

I was wrong.

Allow me to paint a very dramatic picture for you: Literal conveyor belts, delivering an endlessly rotating all-you-can-eat supply of fresh sushi directly past your table. See something you like? Just reach out and take it. And smother it in spicy mayonnaise. And swallow it whole, and add the eleventh plate to the teetering stack in front of you.

The world is your oyster – or, more accurately, the world is your salmon-topped Rainbow Roll.

It was the closest I’ve come to both a near death experience and love at first sight. From my first bite, to alternating exclamations of “Grab me that plate!” and “I DON’T LIKE THE PERSON I AM IN HERE!” to the following hours of digesting all 44 pieces of sushi, I had several revelations.

1. $10.99 is vastly underestimating the quantity of sushi a committed person can consume.

I’m not confident that this is a sustainable business model.

We did the math as we were leaving the restaurant. $10.99 plus tax is $11.76. $11.76 divided by the 44 pieces of sushi I shoveled into my mouth is $0.27 per piece of sushi. I also ate a quantity of spicy mayonnaise, shredded crab, and ginger that I’m not comfortable publicly disclosing that probably knocks me down to almost a quarter per piece.

Have I tasted better sushi? Yes.
Have I found a better way to get sushi for 25 cents apiece? Nope.

2. It could have been much worse.

We were three ladies on a mission, but just imagine the damage I could have done if I’d skipped breakfast that day?

While we funneled chunks of rice and fish into our mouths, I questioned our odds of being kicked out if we came for lunch, paced ourselves, and just stayed through dinner. My coworker asked if we thought she could fit a big piece of Tupperware in her purse next time.

3. Not even 8 months of successfully adhering to a vegetarian diet could hold me back.

I’ve turned down chicken fingers, burgers, and bacon. I even gave up my beloved McDonald’s french fries after I was so rudely informed that they contain beef tallow. (Let a lady live in the dark a little bit longer, damn you!)

We were seated inside the restaurant for about 2 minutes and 13 seconds before I practically inhaled a piece of sushi with crab in it.

I would like to offer my deepest apologies to the sea creatures that were implicated as I took a flying leap off the vegetarian wagon. For penance, I have spent the last week watching ocean documentaries and teaching myself how to pan-fry tofu.

4. You will still be hungry again in record time.

I ATE 44 PIECES OF SUSHI! (This is both a cold, hard fact, and the first sentence of my very dramatic, 5-star Yelp review.)

44 pieces is about 5 and a half rolls of sushi – more than twice the amount of sushi that I have ever eaten in one sitting.

The stack of plates I left behind as evidence was almost tall enough to completely obscure my view of my coworker across from me. Giggling in the car on the way home (From physical shock? From horror that we’d actually eaten that much?) we Googled “Can you get mercury poisoning from eating too much sushi?” and “Effects of mercury poisoning, uncontrollable laughter.”

And 3 hours later, due to scientific phenomena that the Japanese have harnessed to keep us in line, I was so hungry I could’ve done it all again.


I did not receive compensation or free sushi for this post. If the sushi restaurant would like to offer me $10.99-worth more of sushi to thank me for my public review, I can be there in roughly 30 minutes.

To read more and/or to invite me to grab sushi with you, follow Girl, Interrupting on Facebook!