The Sushi Vault

2006.Apr.08 Saturday · 10 comments

in Restaurants

Buenos Aires – He rang the bell and more or less whispered “sushi” into the microphone. Standing on the sidewalk, head shaved, dressed in a bulky navy blue flak vest, black pantalones tucked into mid-calf high jackboots, he looked for all the world like a commando ready for a raid. Wordlessly he handed me a bag, accepted my money, handed me change, and then spoke a quick “gracias” and headed up the block. I didn’t see the truck he came in, but I’m sure it was armored. The website had only claimed it to be refrigerated.

Welcome to the world of Furusato, the delivery-only sushi service known to the sushi cognoscenti in Buenos Aires. I’d heard about the place from my friends Pete and Ron a couple of times, but I generally like to go to a sushi place the first time to check it out for freshness, cleanliness, etc. – I’m picky that way with raw fish. Since Furusato only has the website to look at and then a phone number to call which is only answered for a short time each day, it had just gotten pushed to the back of my mind. Then Heather mentioned it the other night when we were eating our raw vegetables – Henry was off to La Plata yesterday, he doesn’t like raw anything, so it was the perfect chance to check it out. I went to the website, found an interesting sounding combination, and, as instructed by Pete, called precisely at 7:00:01 to make sure that I got in on the beginning of the queue. Indeed, I spent a couple of minutes on hold, even at that moment. The website promised my sushi would arrive within 1 hour and 40 minutes. The woman on the phone promised it would arrive by 9:15. No one knows where the fleet of refrigerated (and armored, I’m sure of it) trucks comes from, though I’m sure the delivery delay is purely due to loading up each truck with as many deliveries as possible. They cover not only the city, but the entire surrounding suburban area as well.

Furusato - Combination 6At 8:46 my bell rang and we enacted the scene above.

The sushi arrives well packaged in a plastic plate with lid, wrapped in several layers of plastic wrap. A squeeze bottle of soy sauce (60ml, more than one could use for one platter of sushi) tops the film canisters I admire from my usual sushi place, though, the film canisters are reusable. The selection is certainly more varied – especially if you order the sushi a la carte, there are at least a few varieties of fish and shellfish. Most of the combinations focus on the usual, salmon – but not all of them. I picked this one because it mentioned tuna, shrimp, egg, and some vegetable sushi. I missed that it said everything was cooked on this one – so I ended up with smoked salmon for the various salmon pieces and tuna salad for the tuna. But, it was all good, the pricing is quite reasonable given the amount of food – this plate of 20 pieces cost 47 pesos, or roughly $15 – far less than some places I’ve tried. [Just a price updates as I’ve checked a couple of times, early 2013 this same combo, 160 pesos; mid-2014, same combo 253 pesos.]

The food is also delivered with a full menu that offers many things beyond what is listed on the website, and the largest iman I’ve ever seen. An iman is a business card done up as a refrigerator magnet, extraordinarily common here – virtually any business that delivers anything has them. This one is nearly the size of three standard business cards – clearly they don’t want to get lost in the clutter on the refrigerator door. Overall? Quite good, and certainly a better selection than my usual spot, though not remotely as good as Dashi or Osaka, the former of which delivers to my neighborhood and offers a wider selection of fish, though a poorer selection of combinations, and is much pricier. The nearly two hour wait is a bit excessive, but at least you know it in advance.

I’m still curious about their facilities – I have visions of a secret underground factory churning out combo plates…


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

schussheim April 8, 2006 at 11:59

If you liked Furusato, you might give a try to, for the same quality and about half of the price. They never get in time, but who cares?

dan April 8, 2006 at 14:16

I’ll have to give them a try – their menu looks interesting! Do you know if they deliver throughout the city? Their website doesn’t say.

schussheim April 9, 2006 at 10:44

ask them: 4963-6078. It is worth while

wrighton April 14, 2006 at 19:00

They say on their website that their facilities are located in Parque Centenario (Caballito) so they can deliver to most of the northern BA barrios in about the same amount of time. I admit that the wait is a bit excessive, but I’ve never been a big fan of Dashi (too much attitude & portions too small although the selection is excellent… do we need waiters who are models? *grin*). I’ve been ordering from Sushi Furusato since 2002 & have never been disappointed. Funny you posted about this because I posted on Furusato a few days ago. Let us know how Sasori works out.

dan April 14, 2006 at 23:43

I went through their website page by page looking for info on where they were located, and did the same after reading your comment. I have to admit, I don’t see anything about Parque Centenario, but maybe I’m just missing it – I know I’m not the only one since the three people who recommended it to me couldn’t find it either!

As to Dashi, I’ve only eaten at the one in Palermo Viejo. Didn’t particularly find attitude, and I don’t mind good looking waiters or waitresses, as long as they take care of getting me my food. Eye candy is not a bad thing! I would agree it’s quite pricey for what you get – I definitely prefer Osaka, but I don’t think they deliver, at least not to Barrio Norte.

wrighton April 15, 2006 at 17:16

I think they changed their website recently since there was also a price increase. I just sent them an email to clarify. I rarely make things up, but in a moment of Malbec-induced stupor, I’ve been accused of worse. I can remember when it was 68 pesos for what they now charge 98 (2 combos #1)!

I certainly don’t object to eye candy, but when it comes with slack service or attitude (my one experience at Dashi) it doesn’t give me much incentive to return. Maybe it was a bad night. My partner & I had grown accustomed to the ginormous portions served by Furusato hence by comparison it seemed a little sparse. Glad to hear Osaka is a good alternative. There’s something decadent about ordering sushi after a hard day to be delivered to your door. I’ll let you know what they say…

wrighton April 16, 2006 at 00:23

Here’s what they said –

Gracias por tus comentarios.
Estamos a unas pocas cuadras del parque centenario. No tenemos local a la calle, sólo hacemos delivery (entrega a domicilio).

dan April 16, 2006 at 08:19


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