I Stuffed Myself with Sushi in the Name of Journalism

As a self-proclaimed sushi addict, I decided to take on the All You Can Eat lunch special at Sushi Junai to see how much I could actually consume.

Story by Sara Donovan

Photos by Kristen Hubby

 

ARRIVING TO THE CHALLENGE

The expansive All-You-Can-Eat menu offers customers a lot of options.

The expansive All-You-Can-Eat menu offers customers a lot of options.

At $21.95 for lunch and $29.95 for dinner, the All You Can Eat menu seemed like a pretty sweet deal to me. The menu went beyond sushi to include noodles, rice and meat dishes.  I decided to stick with sushi and see what damage I could do. The special menu does have one condition: you must eat everything, or pay full price for the dishes you do not finish.

Before I even entered Sushi Junai, I knew I had made my first mistake: I didn’t come on an empty stomach. This was a result of eating too much pad thai the night before, which was still taking up room in my stomach by 11 a.m. that day.

 

WHAT I ORDERED

I ordered an avocado roll, and added a rainbow roll to my order, which was topped with tuna, salmon, shrimp with fish and filled with cucumber and crab. I also ordered a banzai roll, which contained crab, avocado, cucumber, shrimp tempura, topped with eel sauce and tempura flakes. I only ordered one roll with tempura to avoid getting too full too quickly.

 

MY STRATEGY

I start my challenge with the banzai roll.

I start my challenge with the banzai roll.

I decided I would start  with the banzai roll to get the tempura out of the way before I got too full. Then, I would eat the rainbow roll since it’s raw fish and rice, something I figured would be easy to get down. I would end with the avocado roll. While I normally eat my avocado roll with my other rolls, I chose to save this roll for last, in case I didn’t finish the plate and had to pay full price for the roll. It was the cheapest plate I ordered.

 

THE CHALLENGE

The six pieces of the banzai roll went down easily, disappearing off of my plate in a matter of seconds. It wasn’t too heavy on eel sauce or tempura, which made it a delicious way to start my meal. The rainbow roll came next. At eight pieces long, I took a deep breath and started eating. The first three pieces, which were topped with tuna and salmon, were refreshing and went down with ease. The next two were a bit more of a struggle, and I could definitely feel myself slowing down as the waistline of my pants started to squeeze my stomach.

I looked at the last three pieces of rainbow roll sitting on my plate. How was I going to eat these last three pieces and an entire avocado roll? I took one more long look at my plate and picked up the first of the last three rainbow roll pieces. I fought the urge to gag because of  my fullness, while trying to finish the roll. After what felt like a lifetime, I finally managed to get the last three pieces down. I looked at the untouched avocado roll, waved my white flag and told the waitress I had given up and was going to pay full price for the roll. Fortunately, the waitress gave me the roll for free.

After a minute of staring at my last piece of rainbow roll, I finally eat it, abandon my hopes of finishing the avocado roll, and end my filling and painful adventure.

After a minute of staring at my last piece of rainbow roll, I finally eat it, abandon my hopes of finishing the avocado roll, and end my filling and painful adventure.

 

WAS IT WORTH IT?

Did ordering off of the All You Can Eat menu even save me any money? Well, I did the math. With my free avocado roll included, I ended up saving $3.90 (before tax and tip).  While my savings weren’t too crazy, I could’ve saved more money if I went in with an empty stomach, or ordered heavier, more expensive rolls on the menu. I suggest taking a couple of friends with you if you want to order from the All You Can Eat menu so you can divide and conquer and get more than your money’s worth.   

 

TIPS FOR NEXT TIME

Even though I left Sushi Junai feeling slightly defeated, I was already making plans in my head to come back again and save even more money. Next time I will come with an empty stomach and wear loose, stretchy pants.