Sushi Guide – Sushi Restaurant Reviews

The last time I went to Sushi Ran in Sausalito, I found it more difficult than before to translate Japanese sushi terms on the menu into plain English (or German). Although I spent quite some time at sushi restaurants over the years, I am challenged from time to time by the terminology. So I decided to create my own little Sushi Guide to help me out.

Sushi Guide - Overview Map

Over the past few weeks I experimented with chat bot solutions and developed a Sushi Guide Chat Bot in Facebook Messenger to help people translate sushi terms in real time and to provide additional information about the dish if available (It’s still in beta but drop me a direct message if you interested in checking it out).

As usual, one thing led to another and I started looking through some of my restaurant reviews on this site and all the photos I took during sushi restaurant visits all over the world. So I decided to build a companion website, called sushiguide.me, where I will put all of my sushi restaurant reviews in the future. Also I already collaborated with some fellow sushi aficionados and their reviews with be incorporated as well.


Sushi Guide Features

The website provides an overview map with locations of the sushi restaurants I went to over the years and allows the user to drill down and explore the map. Each pin represents a sushi restaurant and provides address information as well as a link to reviews of the restaurant. Since there are sushi places I or my fellow sushi guide team members have visited quite often, there might be several reviews of one particular restaurant.

The reviews contain a general description of the restaurant, information about the menu options and details about the dishes I ordered during the visit with high resolution photos and both Japanese and English terms for the fish. Also each review will incorporate a review score with the categories atmosphere, menu options, food quality, drink variety and service. This rating scheme might evolve over time, but I think it is a good start.

Sushi Guide - Rating Scheme
Sushi Guide – Rating Scheme

The website will entails a searchable sushi term glossary with translations of Japanese sushi terms in to plain English. The glossary will be kept as up to date as possible and will definitely include everything I came across over the years. The terms in this glossary will of course be integrated into the Sushi Guide Chat Bot.


So if you are into sushi or care about my approach of reviewing restaurants, check out sushiguide.me, join me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and let me know what you think.

Back at Sushi Ran

During my last trip to San Francisco in early 2017, I once again enjoyed an amazingly awesome omakase style dinner at the sushi bar at Sushi Ran. I have been there a few times and still enjoyed it as much as every time I went there.

Sushi Ran - table setup
Sushi Ran – table setup

First, I started with a moriawase 1o piece sashimi platter with aaa grade big eye tuna, yellowtail, ocean trout, bonito and barracuda at two pieces each. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures.


Omakase Sashimi

I opted for an 11 piece omakase sashimi plate after that and once again I was blown away. It came with uni (deep sea urchin), katsuo (cherrywood smoked bonito tuna), kamasu (barracuda), tennen hamachi (wild yellowtail), aji (horse mackerel), kusshi oyster, hotaru ika (baby firefly squid), kinmedai (golden eye snapper) and buri toro (wild yellowtail belly). This time I took some photos.


Omakase Nigiri

Since there was time for more, I switched to nigiri and tried some more of the sushi bar exclusives. I was served chu toro (medium fatty blue fin tuna belly), toro (fatty blue fin tuna belly), kasugodai (baby red snapper), kinmedia (golden eye snapper), kamasu (barracuda), mahatma (black grouper), buri toro (wild yellowtail belly), wagyu a5 beef striploin, shirayaki and unagi (two types of freshwater eel).

I never had black grouper before and liked it very much. The bluefin was also awesome, as was the barracuda. All in all it was as amazing as always.


I will surely be back next time I am in San Francisco.

For some reason I had more issues than usual with Japanese sushi terms and had to ask more than once about the variety of fish I could choose from. A few times I even had to take out my iPhone and look stuff up. That felt rather weird, considering I have been a rather frequent sushi eater. Also, it took far to long to find what I was looking for.

This is why I think I will come up with a chat bot to help me out next time. Wouldn’t you like that?