Taste & Tell

Which supermarket sells restaurant-quality sushi platters?

Many grocery stores now boast sushi bars, but are their offerings both high quality and good value for money? To find out, we put standard sushi platters from five major retailers to the taste test

10 February 2019 - 00:00
Salmon nigiri sushi.
Salmon nigiri sushi.
Image: 123RF/karepastock

HOW WE CONDUCTED OUR TASTE TEST

IT'S FREE AND FAIR!

The Taste & Tell series is a monthly feature where the same or similar supermarket items are put to a taste test by a panel; we gather a different group of people to be part of the panel for each tasting. (This one was made up of chefs from Capsicum Culinary Studio in Randburg, Joburg.)

A theme for each tasting is selected by Sunday Times food editor Hilary Biller, who goes out and shops as a consumer would. In this case, we ordered a standard sushi platter from each of the retailers that have selected stores with sushi bars.

Under the watchful eye of a food expert, the platters were numbered and stripped of all their packaging before being served for a blind tasting.

As the contents of the platters varied, the tasters judged each platter individually and rated them on value for money.

An auditor was on hand to check the score sheet and collate the results.

THE RESULTS

FIRST PLACE: CHECKERS

28-piece combo platter purchased at Checkers Blubird Centre, Melrose, JHB

Price: R130.

Value for money: Fair.

What the judges said:

  • Andrew: Rice lacked mirin and sugar.
  • Awande: The appearance is good, however it could be more refined.
  • Nico: Very average.
  • Ukhonaye: Portion size is small.

SECOND PLACE: FOOD LOVER'S MARKET

12-piece platter purchased at Food Lover's Market, Nicolway, Fourways, JHB

Price: R79.99.

Value for money: Excellent.

From top: sushi platters from Checkers, Food Lover's Market, Pick n Pay, Spar and Woolworths.
From top: sushi platters from Checkers, Food Lover's Market, Pick n Pay, Spar and Woolworths.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

What the judges said:

  • Nico: Great platter and great value for the price.
  • Ukhonaye: Looks great, compact and fresh tasting.
  • Tyrone: Very good.
  • Yolanda: I found it a bit salty.

THIRD PLACE: PICK N PAY

18-piece rose platter purchased at PnP Thyme on Nicol, Sandton

Price: R154.99.

Price rating: Based on quality, a fair price.

What the judges said:

  • Janette: An average platter of sushi.
  • Andrew: The rice lacked flavour.
  • Ukhonaye: Good looking sushi. Price seems on the high side.
  • Tyrone: Above average quality.

FOURTH PLACE: SPAR

20-piece salmon platter purchased at Pineslopes Spar, Fourways, JHB

Price: R240.99.

Value for money: On the pricey side but excellent quality.

What the judges said:

  • Ukhonaye: A beautiful arrangement. Everything looks and is so fresh.
  • Janette: Amazing fresh taste, as if you are eating at a restaurant.
  • Tyrone: Excellent, it could be the best sushi I have tasted.

FIFTH PLACE: WOOLWORTHS

20-piece Bbox rainbow roll platter with salad and dressing purchased at Woolworths, Sandton City, JHB.

Price: R289.95.

Value for money: Excellent quality but most expensive of all platters and panel felt they couldn't justify the purchase.

What the judges said:

  • Yolande: I enjoyed every bite. Platter is fresh and tasty.
  • Chantel: A higher quality platter but expensive. Love the salad.
  • Tyrone: Very good quality. Rice needs more vinegar though.
  • Janette: Very fresh, inclusion of salad a great idea.

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