What I like about the Ren franchise is its ability to vary its restaurants with every new opening. From its original sit down restaurant in Runcorn Plaza, to its little express joint in Little Taipei, I've been pretty happy with their food, which is why I decided to try out their take at revolving sushi, at their Underwood branch.
From the outside, you can already see their massive $3.50 sign, indicating that all plates are $3.50, which immediately makes me think of comparing it to Sushi Edo.
We headed off inside and were soon given a bar seat. I noted the place was still quite sparsely populated, despite the captivating price tag. Perhaps it was the somewhat obscure location (opposite Big Gun, which is itself quite isolated).
As indicated outside, all standard plates of sushi were $3.50, they also had a selection of noodles, cup sushi and party plates which were priced separately.
We started our meal with a few orders of sashimi. Each standard plate comes with three slices, so we ordered two plates of each variety (salmon, tuna and kingfish), and it came served on a wooden platter. The fish was reasonably fresh and for the price, they were considerably thick cut. I particularly liked the chef's attention to detail in slicing one portion of kingfish in half to create the rose formation on the side.
My companions and I are always big fans of the salmon avocado nigiri and the unagi nigiri, so we each ordered a plate, and again it was served on a wooden platter for us. Compared with Sushi Edo, I'd have to say the toppings were a little less generous (especially the avocado), but the quality was still good, and I could see that the chef had made them fresh for us.
Following the nigiri, I still hadn't had my complete fix of salmon and avocado yet, so we followed up with a hand roll each. The seaweed was super crispy and I liked the extra sauce and onions on top, which gave it a slight spiciness.
Another dish I tried was the Tobiko, which was quite generous in being completely topped with flying fish roe, instead of only half (some places put half cucumber half roe).
The fried prawn nigiri unfortunately wasn't warm by the time I picked it off the train, and the prawn had somewhat absorbed the moisture from the rice, making it a little soggy for my tastes.
The aburi wagyu nigiri was served fresh and hot though. With its mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce, coupled with onions and spring onions, it was really quite the flavour hit. I found the beef a little on the cooked side, but still very tender and moist, which is was great.
Wanting to also try something unique here, I settled on a salmon avocado salad cup. The cup was quite worn out with use, but the salad was crispy and dressed with a light vinegarette. It contained salmon, avocado, onions, lettuce and tomato, a rather conservative and safe bet on flavour compatibility.