After having a great time watching Clash of the Titans my wife and I walked down to the lower level of Downtown East to look around and decide on dinner. We hadn’t eaten at Hei Sushi before and the conveyor belt full of sushi looked pretty appealing, so we got in line and waited to be seated.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Hei Sushi but the entire experience was more than a little under-whelming. There’s a restaurant by the pool and gym in Tampines (that I can’t remember the name of) that sells sushi off a conveyor belt and their selection is impressive. The taste and quality is impressive as well. I’d expected the same thing from Hei Sushi. We’d eaten a heavy lunch and we weren’t that hungry so the idea of just getting a few items from the conveyor belt is what roped us in. The place also has an interesting method for ordering items: an interactive computer screen complete with an optical mouse on your table. I was excited to play with it!
The table we were seated at was near the front of one of the conveyor belts, so I was sure we’d get the best pick from the items coming out of the kitchen. That would have been true, I’m sure, but no items were actually being added to the conveyor belt the entire 30 minutes we sat there. Not that I could tell anyway. Plates with the same, six or seven varieties, of sad looking pieces of sushi with wilted fish kept going round and round.
We initially took a few plates to try them, but after sitting for 30 minutes and realizing that they weren’t going to add anything new, we turned to the menu in disappointment. After looking through the menu for a while we settled on an item we could both enjoy, the ika teriyaki (squid). So, my wife took the mouse and tried to place the order. She couldn’t get it to work, so I tried it. The screen was frozen. Left click, right click, it all resulted in no click.
At this point we were both disappointed with the place and decided to leave. A meal is supposed to be a relaxing experience. I shouldn’t have to face technical difficulties after already being disappointed by the small selection of choices on the conveyor belt, which, by the way, were barely a fraction of what their menu said was supposed to be available. We were supposed to call for our bill by clicking a button on the computer screen, but that didn’t work so I had to flag down a waitress who seemed rather surprised that we were leaving after only eating 6 plates from the conveyor belt.
Speaking of those plates, they’re also overpriced. That restaurant by the pool (wish I knew it’s name) had set the price at 1 dollar for two pieces of sushi on a plate. Hei Sushi had the price set at 2.18 per plate, not including GST.
Now for my final complaint. We were charged a 10% service fee. 10%! And for what? Being shown to a table? Being presented with our bill? We were never given any service to have to pay for it. We picked up everything ourselves off of the conveyor belt. I understand the concept behind a service fee, and I’m willing to pay it, but only when I’ve received service, and good service at that. Hei Sushi’s service staff were pleasant, but they didn’t actually do anything for us to warrant a 10% service charge.
Hei Sushi isn’t a terrible place by any means, but we won’t be returning simply because there are better options where we can get better food at a better value.