Sushien: great sushi, bad service
Ever since Yo Sushi opened in London in the 90's I've been a bit if a conveyer belt sushi fan. In Cologne a favorite of mine is Sushien, opposite the Cinedom on Maybachstrasse - it's the perfect place to eat before seeing a movie. At least it was a favorite, until last night. We arrived at 7.15pm and it was so full we couldn't even get in the door. So we gave up and had a pre-dinner tacos in the cinema, deciding to save the sushi till after the movie. At 10.30pm there were only three couples in Sushien but the conveyor belt was still slowly turning, displaying an inviting array of sushi, makki and assorted sashami, and the sign on the door said it was open till 11pm. We took a seat, ordered green tea and miso soup, cracked open our chop sticks and started preparing the soya sauce and wasabi. Suddenly the waitress re-appeared and said "There's no more Miso soup. You're too late. We're not giving you any. We won't make any more now." and promptly disappeared. Which is hard to do when you're sitting around a circular bar, I think she just ducked. She didn't actually tell us to go to hell, but she made it quite clear that's what she was thinking. I shrugged and started tucking into a yellow plate of sashami from the conveyor belt. Rudeness in a restaurant, in Germany? Isn't that the norm? But my German partner was incensed. "That's outrageous behaviour..... that's SO rude..... she can't talk to us like that.... I'm not eating any more.........let's go...... don't you tip her." It seemed that the hereto invisible line between acceptable behaviour and rudeness in Germany, had finally been crossed. For a Brit or an American that fine line is kicked and trampled to dust as soon as we land on German soil - what the Brits and the Americans call rude, the German's call service (OK - an exaggeration - but not SO far from the truth). Last night - at Sushien - I finally saw rude behavior go too far, even for a German. My partner really did refuse to eat any more, he sat, outraged while I scoffed sushi as quickly as I could, and then when I got up to pay, he left and walked off before I'd even got to the till. I didn't tip. The unfriendly waitress didn't seem surprised. We won't be going there again. But if you're curious - you know - to see what finally tipped the balance for a German in terms of what's rude and what's not - check out Sushien. The sushi is great - the service is not.
Maybachstr. 22, Cologne
T: 0221-139 34 03