324 Pitt Street, Sydney CBD
On our morning of departure, Marc and I were just about done with fancy dining and wanted something fast and easy. We had plans to walk up to The Rocks and get pizza, then cab it straight to the airport after lunch, but that plan greatly overestimated how willing we would be to walk with hand luggage after a night of drinking. Instead, we took the easy route and headed towards Pitt Street Mall, reasoning that out of the millions of eateries in Sydney, one of them would do.
We stopped at Makanai because we had walked past it the day before and the cute decor and nice smell seemed inviting to us then. We figured we might as well try it out. Sushi trains work well when you're on time restraint since there's no waiting. You effectively just grab and eat.
Makanai is a typical sushi train set-up with a central 'train line' that loops twice so there's extra seating space. You can pick-up sushi or order from the menu that has more sushi plus noodle and rice dishes. I also noticed some Asiany-flavored ice-creams on offer.
Once we started, I felt like I was on the hunt. Bystanders would have been shocked because I was eyeing off plates from afar, grabbing and devouring whole sushis in one bite. As someone who normally picks the rice off sushi before nibling bits and pieces slowly, this was an alarming change of behaviour. I must have been starving or something.
We worked our way through many plates of sushi and also ordered some karaage chicken and takoyaki balls.
Various sushi plates:
I don't normally pick the hot dishes off the sushi train. After I tried one of the dumplings, I remembered why. They're so much better fresh and hot! A lukewarm dumpling is a bit gross.
The plate of karaage chicken was huge. It must have come fresh out of the frier because the chicken pieces were piping hot. We knew we should've waited but it was so yummy we got impatient and suffered minor burns.
The takoyaki was fairly run of the mill. It had a creamy interior with a few notable octopus pieces plus the usual coating of bonito flakes.
I thought Makanai was pretty good for a streetside sushi joint. I notice that the reviews on Urbanspoon are mostly negative. Sure, it's not gourmet and 'Oh my God' good but we still enjoyed the sushi. There wasn't anything terrible about it! Sydneysiders are a tough crowd. I suppose there must be tonnes of sushi restaurants around so they are spoilt for choice.