Choo Choo Train Sushi brings fun and good food on toy trains

Settled about 30 minutes away from campus in Leonia is the comfortable, delicious restaurant known as Choo Choo Train Sushi. Known for the novelty of its choo choo train carrying small plates of sushi around an oval track atop a bar, this place offers a fun experience and flavors that lodge themselves in your heart for days.

My family and I decided to try Choo Choo this past weekend for my birthday, and it was everything I could have ever wanted. When we walked in, we were greeted by the train bar, three little huts on the opposite side of the restaurant in yellow, green and pink, and Japanese umbrellas hanging upside down from the ceiling. The counter was speckled with models of different buildings, such as houses, a dog bakery, an all-white church and a train station. Plus, at the far end of the restaurant stands a cotton candy machine!

When we sat at the counter, we were immediately handed menus and instructed on how to take the plates off of the train: just grab them. This was a nice little surprise, as Kura Revolving Sushi Bar requires you to push down on the tray while pulling the plate out in order to pop the lid of each dish.

While my parents aren’t fans of seaweed and thus couldn’t take part in the sushi train, my boyfriend and I started snatching plates off of the train immediately. The quality of the sushi was amazing, with the salmon sashimi melting in my mouth. It was so delicious that I was even able to eat rolls with cucumber, even though I absolutely despise cucumber and think it shouldn’t exist.

Then, we decided to actually take a look at the menu. It is full of interesting foods from noodle dishes to rice platters, yakitori (skewers) and desserts.

My boyfriend ordered the sansai soba, a buckwheat noodle dish with Japanese mountain vegetables, while I ordered the fish cake udon.

I still can’t stop thinking about the udon. I reheated it last night as my dinner and am thoroughly heartbroken that I have no more to eat. The dashi broth was slightly salty and smooth, with every slurp warming my soul. 

Meanwhile, the fish cakes came in various shapes, creating a variation in how much broth each one soaked. My favorites were the round, flat pieces that looked similar to naruto, with pink ridges and a white middle.

The food is absolutely worth the visit. However, there is one little thing that makes this destination a risk: it is so, very, extremely expensive. I can understand, since the food is such fantastic quality, but this means that this is a destination only for the most special of occasions. 

For instance, at Kura, it is roughly $3.70 per conveyor belt sushi dish. Meanwhile, at Choo Choo, every dish off the choo choo train is $5. So, once my boyfriend and I counted our dishes, we realized we had already hit $25 when we hadn’t even tried all of the rolls we wanted to. Plus, the meals themselves were somewhat expensive with my udon being $17 and his soba being $16. 

Overall, this place has a lovely vibe with decor that makes you feel at home and expensive food that puts regular meals to shame. If you have an opportunity to celebrate some marvelous occasion soon, definitely check this restaurant out.

5/5 stars


Featured photo courtesy of Pixabay, Pexels