By Isa L. at 2016-09-07
Food is great here. I've never been disappointed by the sushi I order.
The girl at the front counter (she's there every time I go) is so quiet and is never enthused about her work. Awkward ordering with no outstanding customer service.
Actually watched one of their cooks eating, talking, and making orders all at the same time. Gross.
Food takes awhile to get to your table. I waited almost 20 minutes for 2 sushi rolls last time I was there.
Restaurant is clean and the location is great, but some improvements could be made.
By Daniella B. at 2016-09-03
Disclaimer: I have ordered sushi express before and had a mediocre experience but this one was so bad it cancelled that out. I am giving one star because I have to put something. Read on!
The Good: Cheap, fast delivery.
The Bad: I ordered delivery for the 3 roll special. My Achilles heel is sushi with seaweed (as opposed to rice) on the outside. Therefore I specified as such in the comments. When my food was delivered, only 2/3 were made according to the instructions. Mistakes happen, I understand that and I wasn't too upset. I called the restaurant with hopes of getting the correct roll I paid for. That is where it all went wrong.
When the woman picked up the phone and I informed her of the mistake she said "it's still the same amount of rice." When I told her that wasn't the issue she asked what I wanted her to do. I asked to be delivered the correct order. I was met with silence and I even asked if anyone was on the other end of the line a few times before she replied that the correct order would be delivered. I would just have to take the incorrect rolls out of my previous delivery to give back to the delivery man. The delivery man came with an extra box in which I had to open my chopsticks and transfer the sushi in order to get my correct delivery. When I asked what was going to be done with the incorrect sushi he said it would probably be fed to the woman's cat.
The Highlight: The delivery man was cool and had the decency to apologize for asking me to transfer the sushi.
By Ahmad Q. at 2016-12-18
We waited over 20 minutes for three rolls even though a group of people came in after us and got all their food. Asked the waitress why it's taking so long she said he's making them together? Never coming here again.
By Nadine J. at 2016-12-15
The prices are cheap!! The sushi doesnt compare to Red or Muramoto, but they keep their rolls tight and rice sticky. The basics are better here than the specialty ones, and theres usually a deal on them through yelp or their pick-up options. The staff are so kind and really want to make you happy with price, portion, and time spent making the food.
By Carolyn B. at 2016-11-18
It looks like a total dive but well worth the trip. It was inexpensive and the sushi rolls were AMAZING!!! The most popular is the monster roll and I saw why! The place is small and the tables are tight. You can see the cooks in the kitchen are and there is always delivery guy running past to deliver the take out orders. If you like a place with character and great sushi this is it!!
By Liz N. at 2016-02-03
I had never heard anything about this place beforehand and was visiting from out of town (Ohio), so I believe I came in unbiased and fairly neutral. My group of 8 walked into Sushi Express and noticed immediately that this was a small establishment. The restaurant probably seats 20 at most, and there was only one 4-top table open when we arrived. However, our server was very accommodating, quickly helped the parties who were beginning to leave, cleaned up their tables, and managed to seat us all within maybe 5 minutes of waiting, which I highly appreciate!
My friends suggested I try one of the bento boxes to maximize value. I ordered the short rib bento box, and for less than $11 I received short ribs, fried rice, a salad, and a 4-piece California Roll. I definitely agree that I got my money's worth of food! I ended up with enough leftovers for a second meal! The short ribs were fantastic, the salad and fried rice were average, and the California Roll was so-so but I wasn't expecting it to be great in the first place. Some people in my party got their specialty rolls, which did taste a lot better! Everyone in party was satisfied with what they ordered.
Overall, I was highly satisfied with my dining experience at Sushi Express. Would I return if I ever found myself in the area again? Most likely no, because there are so many other restaurants around I also want to try. However, if I were a UW student, I definitely could see myself swinging by every one or two weeks to get a bento box or some sushi!
By Jesse S. at 2016-02-27
This was a pleasant surprise. For the prices that they charged, I expected the sushi to be just awful.
It really wasn't. Is it as good as Wasabi, Murimoto, or Red Sushi? No, not at all. (And none of those places are particularly fantastic to begin with.) But it's really, really cheap, is delivered quickly, and totally does the trick.
By Pauline J. at 2016-04-29
It's rare I eat on my own and even rarer I order delivery for myself. I've been craving sushi for weeks and I hate most of the other delivery places around me. After reading reviews of all the local delivery sushi places, I picked this one despite the other bad reviews.
Honestly? I was expecting cheap sushi, but this is actually good. Still cheap, but good. Blandness is the overall issue I have, but they didn't actually mess anything up. I got a huge sampling order just in case my go to's were terrible like others have said.
The fried rice was the only thing I regret getting. While it's not inedible, it's just not good. I think I might even rank Asian Kitchen fried rice above this one. It's incredibly bland, a little under cooked, and weirdly not mixed properly. As in there are patches of untouched white rice. It's weird, I've never seen that before.
The calamari is pretty average. It's what I would expect from bar food. My biggest complaint about it is the matching sauce. I think it's a sweet chili. Not something I think of for calamari. I'm not sure if I'll order it again at the price it's at for the amount and quality you get.
The spring rolls were surprisingly really good. Which is odd, because I usually hate all spring and egg rolls. It had just the right amount of fresh vs fried. If you like other place's spring rolls they might not be for you. I'd recommend giving them a shot though.
The crab rangoon is so weird. It has a boat load of crab. Seriously the most crab I've ever seen in a crab rangoon. I'm not actually sure if I like that though. I think they need to tone it down just a touch. I absolutely love that it's not a sugar bomb like most cheap places. It has a great amount of filling compared to fried wrapping. Lack of filling is always my biggest complaint with other places. So I'm pretty impressed. That being said, I'm not sure if I'll order them again. I won't turn them down if some one else orders them and offers me one.
The vegetable tempura is really good, but again bland. I got the bento box and it came with two sweet potato spears, one asparagus spear, an onion ring, two pieces of broccoli, and two cucumber (maybe?) spears (along with the small thing of fried rice and a spring roll). Even though their tempura batter could use some flavor, I'll definitely get this again. I rarely get tempura and just go straight for the sushi, but this really hit the spot.
Ok, now for the sushi. I got a three roll combo and a specialty. The combo included eel and avocado, a California roll, and a spicy tuna roll. The specialty roll was the Firecracker roll. I was expecting a bit more crunch on the Firecracker roll, but maybe I misread the description. Either way, they were all pretty good. About Woodman's premade sushi level or ever so slightly beneath it (depends on the freshness of Woodman's). The spicy mayo was a bit more tame then what I prefer for sushi, but not the worst. The eel could use a bit more sauce. Everything was pretty much what you'd expect from a cheap sushi place.
I'm pretty comfortable with the price/quality/quantity balance. My delivery was supposed to take 60 minutes, but I ordered around 8PM on a Friday and it only took 25 minutes. Impressive. I didn't have cash and tipped on card or I would have gave the guy even more. Also worth noting that the amount of food I just listed is enough to feed three people.
I'll never go here when I want quality sushi (especially not with Muramoto and Red being within walking distance from me), but this is definitely a nice drunk/don't want to get out of my pajamas option.
By Bri M. at 2016-04-16
This place is pretty decent as far as quick sushi goes! I love their spicy tuna roll, as it comes with a tempura crunch on top, which tastes great. Also, try their sweet potato tempura roll.
I haven't tried a whole lot from their menu, but I do order sushi and small sides from them pretty often, especially on later nights. Delivery is fairly quick, and only $1 extra. The only thing I wished they'd change is their hours: I've not found good sushi joints open past 10pm in Madison, and it'd be awesome if they were around on late study nights, since they're right on campus.
By Sydney T. at 2016-10-13
The food was good! I have eaten cheap sushi and expensive sushi and the fared just fine! That being said I will never eat her again based on the fact that while watching them prepare mine another employee in the back frying shrimp and dropped one on the group and still used it for a sushi role!! Enough said!
By Cat Z. at 2016-07-01
I love sushi express because of the convenience and prices. I don't know of anywhere else that I can get two six piece rolls for only $8.50. It's definitely not the best quality sushi but it's still good, way better than grocery store sushi. My favorite rolls are the Boston roll and the shrimp tempura roll. If you're looking for a fancy sushi dinner I would not recommend sushi express, but if you constantly crave sushi like I do and don't always want to spend $20+ sushi express is definitely the move. In addition to the low prices they also have fast delivery!
By Erin B. at 2015-10-17
My friends judge me because of how much I enjoy eating here. It's seriously one of the best deals in Madison in my opinion.
Their bento boxes are huge and easily enough food to split between two people or have as two meals. I also really like their sushi deals. You can get 2 or 3 rolls off a set list for pretty cheap. These rolls are pretty standard (tuna, spicy salmon, California, eel and avocado, etc) but if you have a craving for sushi it still does the trick and 3 is more than enough to fill you up. They also have some specialty rolls that cost a bit more but aren't too bad either.
When eating here, it's definitely a matter of quantity over quality, but honestly for cheap sushi in Madison the quality isn't bad and I would definitely recommend Sushi Express.
By Henry Z. at 2016-02-28
I feel like the term "American Japanese food" needs to be a thing the same way that "American Chinese food" applies to Chinese takeout restaurants. It's disingenuous to lump traditionalist Japanese sushi restaurants with the Americanized sushi places that serve specialty rolls that have cream cheese and spicy mayo. Sushi Express definitely falls in the category of "American Japanese food". I unthinkingly ordered a sashimi plate, and only afterwards did I realize my mistake. You don't come to Sushi Express to get fantastically delicious slices of sashimi from fish caught earlier that day. You come here to enjoy fancy specialty rolls that are hefty and smothered with sauces like spicy mayo or eel sauce. Don't make the mistake I did and hope for sushi that you might get in Tokyo. Come here for the fried sushi rolls, because this is America.
By Alyssa H. at 2016-07-26
Would definitely recommend their teriyaki chicken! A lot of tasty food for a reasonable price. I usually get two meals out of it. Their rolls are pretty good too, I like their 3 rolls combo deal.
Updated Review** 08/2016
Soo they've changed their teriyaki chicken and fried rice. They now add vegetables and the sauce is very thin. Not a fan of the new recipe.
By Lisa M. at 2016-08-16
Love this place!! Have ordered take-out, delivery, and dined in, and all were fantastic. I love the 3 rolls for $12, so cheap, but the rolls are still a great size and delicious!
By Sofia C. at 2016-08-28
Go-to place for sushi delivery- great 2 and 3 roll combos for unbeatable prices. Delivery is only $1 and there is no delivery minimum! The sushi has never disappointed.
By Audrey N. at 2015-12-10
Very fair deal; in fact, probably the best night time deal I have seen for sushi in Madison that is not all-you-can-eat. I got the any-3-roll deal for something under ten bucks; unsure if this deal continues. All three were presentable in a to-go box I picked up one sad, rainy day. All rolls had raw fish in them. I did not get sick or taste fishiness from any of the rolls. They were somewhat heavy on rice that seemed to be sitting for a bit; still better than grocery store sushi. The inside of the restaurant was decent for what seemed a predominantly to-go location; staff was friendly.
By James L. at 2016-02-07
I was a little skeptical ordering because of the reviews I saw when I first looked this place up. After eating here though I was honestly pleased with the quality of food that they served.
I haven't tried the sushi yet so I can't testify for that but if I were you I'd go with the teriyaki here. The chicken is lean and high quality and it's pretty reasonably priced as well. Their delivery doesn't have a 20$ minimum and their charge for the service isn't overly large. This is my go to for delivery for sure.
So yeah, this place definitely has my thumbs up as far as I'm concerned.
By Casey C. at 2016-08-02
The california roll was a little dry, however, i 've ordered from here twice and they have not disappointed. I think everything here is good, I haven't had a bad experience.
By Nabila I. at 2015-05-24
My cousin, a UW grad, took us here when we went to visit. Looks like a dicey sushi place but it was pretty happening on Saturday night after exams and graduation have ended.
I can see why, they have a discounted price if you buy two or three of the regular rolls. Then they have an extensive special roll list. And the portions are pretty filling.
The beef teriyaki comes with rice and isn't what I expected it to be (the usual piece of beef, sliced, grilled and sauced).
If I lived there, went to school there, I think I would definitely visit again. It wasn't the best sushi I've ever had, nor the cheapest. But it was definitely a nice spot to get my sushi fix.