Kura Revolving Sushi Bar - Philadelphia, PA
Originally posted 1/1/2023:
A quick review of Kura Revolving Sushi Bar from yesterday.
The first thing to keep in mind is that a place like this is more about the experience rather than the food. This is not where I would go to have exquisite sushi. For that kind of experience in Philadelphia, I’d go to Morimoto, where omakase with sake is about $ 260 per person (does anyone want to sponsor a meal there?). Kura charges $ 3.55 per plate and each plate has 2 – 4 pieces on it.
So I’m not going to say much about the food at Kura other than it was exactly what I expected for $ 3.55 per plate, with the exception of the conch. And that one is on me – I know better than to eat conch this far north! Other than that, the sushi was enjoyable, with nothing too far out of the ordinary one way or the other. I was pleased to see inari sushi coming around. I don't think I've seen that at any of the restaurants here in Lancaster.
I’ve been looking forward to this restaurant since it was announced a sushi conveyor-belt restaurant was opening in Philadelphia. The concept is just fun! This opened on Thursday, 12/29, and the app confirmed it was popular. At one point on Friday, the wait was over 260 minutes for a table or a place at the counter. The app was not taking names for the waitlist, so Jilly and I decided to get into Philly early and get onto the list.
At just after 11:30 we were given number 14. Only 13 tables ahead of us, in a restaurant that has over 20 tables. Not bad! Took a little walk and came back a few minutes before noon, which was their opening time for this weekend. Their normal hours will start at 11 am after this. By the time we walked a little bit and came back, a crowd had developed outside of the restaurant. It was warm and grey, but not raining, so everyone was in a good mood. We were seated around 12:30, which was not bad at all.
Since this was their grand opening, the first 100 guests on Saturday received a sushi towel. I didn’t get a picture of what they looked like, but I think Jilly did. It’s an adorable towel rolled up to look like a piece of sushi.
We were seated and the server explained the concept of the restaurant and the proper way to order anything not on the conveyor belt. And then we were off!
Since it is the opening weekend, I wasn’t surprised to see a very light beverage menu. Because of my caffeine allergy I was limited to water or Sprite. The other few offerings were Mr. Pibb, hot tea, or iced tea (I don’t think I missed anything but please correct me if I did!). I did see they had hot water as an option, so maybe next time I’ll just bring a noncaffeinated tea bag and order that since I love having a hot drink with sushi. I’m not sure if this location is going to have any stronger options in the future.
Your drinks are delivered by the cutest little server robot ever (servo droid?). It plays music as it trundles around the restaurant and even has blinkers for when it needs to turn a corner.
What you pay is determined by the number of plates you remove from the belt and the number of other items you order from the screen at your table. The only items we ordered were our drinks, chicken gyoza, and, for dessert, taiyaki. You are rewarded with a short animation for every five plates you put into the slot at your table. On your fifteenth plate, a ball containing a prize is dropped from the container sitting above your table. These are secure! To open it, you need to press the ball between the heels of your hands like a walnut. The prizes are cute little things. Ours was a little Tetris clip to go on a bag.
Items that you order are delivered via a second conveyor belt. I tried and failed to get a decent video of my taiyaki flying down the belt at me, but it was fun to watch.
When you’re done you can choose between checking out yourself or having a server help. I’m not too fond of their check-out process. I think it can be streamlined a bit more, but it wasn’t difficult. My only complaint is that the system in Philadelphia doesn’t seem to be connected correctly to their overall program, so I need to figure out how to get my loyalty points assigned to my account.
This was a fun experience and I’m glad we made a trip to Philly just for lunch. Would I go just to eat there again? I don’t think so. However, the next time I’m there I’d be more than happy to swing by for lunch or dinner.