Tomi Ro Sushi
Shop 2, 46 Maki St, North West Shopping Centre, Massey
$40.40 for two
"Sushi for brunch?" you ask. When it's this good - absolutely. There're plenty of cafes offering eggs and the usual brunch fare in the mall a minute's walk away but Tomi Ro has become an anytime go-to if we're in the area. This is a sushi train restaurant. There are tables but the smart option is to get a seat by the conveyor belt, because that's some of Auckland's best sushi passing you by and you don't want to be getting up out of your set for every dish. There's a menu too, which repeats what's coming down the belt and adds some robata - charcoal-grilled meat and fish (four skewers range from $15.50 to $19.50 depending on the type of meat) and other Japanese dishes but most people come here for the sushi. There's also a range of beverages and beer available. Its opening hours are staggered - lunch from 11am-3pm and dinner from 5pm-9pm. We turned up just after opening.
We observed: There's a board outside that tells you what type of tuna or salmon (they use Ora King) or other fish is fresh that day. The price of each plate is colour-coded so you know how much you're spending. Lots of families (young kids love this place), a few shoppers, some couples - vibe is casual - the couple next to us were obviously on their way to the beach. It's a big space, clean and light.
We ate: There's a wide range of sushi available - aburi (flame seared), inari and nigri as well as plates of chicken katsu and edamame beans. Even this early the belt was busy. The salmon and avocado sushi (simply Big Salmon on the menu, $4 for three pieces) became my go-to. We also ordered some karaage chicken off the menu - all chicken is free-range - two miso soups, some beef skewers and miso. The beef skewers come hot off the grill sprinkled with sesame seeds - tender and tasty. A chef across the counter is constantly preparing fresh dishes. Other parts of the menu we haven't got to yet - including udon, mini donburi and desserts. A great, affordable Japanese restaurant out West - perfect for brunch, lunch or dinner - Greg Fleming.