Business as usual at Asia's sushi restaurants

Asian diners are still tucking into sushi at restaurants around the region despite fears that elevated radiation levels in Japan could reach the food chain and contaminate raw ingredients.

In Taiwan's Sushi Express chain, notices informed customers that all seafood was imported before Friday's quake crippled two nuclear plants on Japan's east coast sparking fires and explosions that resulted in radioactivity leaking.

"The current supply and safety of Japanese food is normal," reads a poster on the front door of its 196 restaurants.

A spokesman for the chain said business had not been affected.

But in Hong Kong, used to health scares of its own, including the 2003 SARS outbreak, William Mark, president of the Federation of Hong Kong Restaurant Owners, said he was concerned that business would suffer.

"We're very worried," Mark told AFP.

"The concerns about radioactivity have a long-reaching psychological impact. There is nothing we can do. We're hoping for the best, but we don't see any silver lining in the near future."

Elsewhere, restaurants in Singapore, India and Vietnam serving Japanese cuisine said Wednesday their businesses seemed to be unaffected by the deepening nuclear crisis, at least for now.

Singapore's largest sushi chain Sakae Holdings said customers were still flocking to its outlets, which serve sushi and sashimi on moving conveyor belts as well as popular Japanese cuisine such as teppanyaki.

"So far I think we've been seeing business as usual," a spokeswoman for the firm told AFP.

Customers appeared to be satisfied with assurances that the city's food regulator, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, would screen incoming Japanese produce.

The nuclear crisis deepened Wednesday with another fire at the Fukushima plant, fears a reactor containment vessel may have been damaged, and a radiation spike that forced the temporary evacuation of workers.

Chief Japanese government spokesman Yukio Edano reported a sudden and brief rise in radiation levels at the facility.

In India, which also instituted checks on food imports from Japan, business remained brisk at Japanese supermarket Yamato-Ya.

"People are still buying our fresh fish and seafood," Mukesh Rai, store accountant, told AFP.

The store is well-known in New Delhi and imports seafood and packaged meat from Japan.

Japanese restaurants in Vietnam were similarly unaffected.

"We import notably Kobe beef and certain fish from Japan, whose safety is checked well before importation," said Pham Minh Huyen, sales manager at Japanese restaurant Saigon Sakura in central Hanoi.

burs-plj/mba/jah

 

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Product Development

    £26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

    £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

    Recruitment Genius: Developer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Recruitment Genius: Estates Contracts & Leases Manager

    £30000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Estates Team of this group ...

    Day In a Page

    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory