I bet you didn’t know that there’s a restaurant in Kenya that serves food on a conveyor belt. Food Train, by Sushi Soo, is located at Kenrail Towers on Ring road Westlands and is the brainchild of the ever-popular Sushi Soo restaurant in Lavington.
The first establishment in East Africa that allows diners to pick their Japanese and Korean delicacies directly off a slow moving conveyor belt, Food Train is only slightly different from its international counterparts in that it prepare the meals fresh to order. This is done in order to ensure patrons don’t get dishes that have spent the last two hours snaking around in circles.
Upon a lunch invitation to experience the most popular style of Asian dining, four colleagues and I head over for a full immersion trip into Food Train. Located on the ground floor, the restaurant overlooks the busy ring road through the terrace seating area, which features about five teppanyaki tables and a separate seating area with parasols.
The large white neon sign saying ‘Food Train’ at the far end of the restaurant marks the beginning of the belt, whose convenient location in the middle of the restaurant makes it easy for diners to grab their orders as they move past them. We settle down, sipping on fruit juices and the Head Chef, Kisangi Matuku, comes out to brief us on how the train works. “The food we will serve depends on what you’d like to have. We serve sushi, sashimi, tuna, chicken wings, beef rolls, vegetable rolls, stir-fried beef and typically every item on our menu.” He goes on to add that every dish is served on differently coloured plates, each colour with its own different price.
Shortly after our presentation, the train starts moving. Bitesize starters snake their way over to our table. Chicken wings, sushi rolls and vegetable rice rolls slowly move past us, each person picking what they ordered. The spicy wings come slathered in a sweet sauce, which results in a hot and sweet dish we just can’t get enough of.
On quick succession, the next round of dishes is laid on to the belt. Fried chicken lollipops with bread crumbs, fried rice, miso soup, and a sizzling beef stir-fry. We munch on the small servings, happy with the portions as we really do not want to head back to the office feeling too stuffed to get anything done. Though small, the dishes keep coming, giving everyone in the group ample opportunity to sample everything.
As the restaurant gains popularity maybe future patrons will choose their meals directly from the belt instead of pre-ordering them. In the meantime though, our group really enjoyed having our own exclusive mechanical waiter!