We went to Ho Jiak in Haymarket last night, and happened to see Sushi Rio next to it. The promise of $3.50 sushi drew us in and made us unfaithful to Sushi Hotaru.
Overall Sushi Rio was great. I’m not going to do a detailed review of 14 different items so I will instead review the vibe. It was a very cosy restaurant with a small train around a central sushi preparation area. There was only one sushi chef, who was very responsive to us and the 3 other parties who were dining at the same time. It felt very intimate, like in Japan, to have the one sushi chef catering to us individually.
The fish was fresh and the servings were generous. There was definitely more fish per piece of nigiri than at Sushi Hotaru and at numerous other similarly priced restaurants, and the price was very good for what you get. The two hand rolls we got were both great, and of good size and value too.
All of the nigiri and sushi we had we enjoyed. We also had the kingfish and salmon mixed sashimi (not pictured) which was good too. While the quality of fish was good, the range was slightly limited. It was odd to have kingfish, scallop and oyster and not have tuna, so I suspect that they may have just run out for the day.
The ikura gunkan was saltier and less creamy than I would have hoped. Still, there was a very generous quantity of roe for the $3.50 price for a plate of 2. The taste was probably a function of their supplier rather than a fault with the restaurant themselves.
Sushi Rio did not have uni (sea urchin), however this is commonly missed on Sydney sushi menus.
The green tea is a must have, and if you’re in the mood for alcohol BYO is only $2 per person. This is a sharp contrast to Ho Jiak next door, where BYO is $10 per bottle.
Overall comment: I really like Sushi Rio. It feels like the staff really care about their restaurant, and it comes across in their service and their food. The food is well priced and high quality, and there are a number of other lunch options (for example aburi salmon don, chirashi don) for under $ 10 which would be great if you work in the CBD. I would strongly recommend Sushi Rio to anyone looking for a sushi train in the Sydney CBD.
90 Hay St, Haymarket NSW 2000
0411 047 996