Why Are Sushi Restaurants Closed on Mondays?

Why Are Sushi Restaurants Closed on Mondays?

We are reader supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Also, as an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Have you ever noticed that a majority of restaurants that specialize in Sushi are always closed on Mondays? As a sushi lover, I have too and it always baffled me so much that I took the liberty of finding out why.

So, why do sushi restaurants stay closed on Mondays? Answer: there just isn’t good sushi to serve!

It is, however, a bit more complex than that. Read on to find out all there is to know about what makes Monday a bad day for sushi restaurants – and lovers – as well as many other surprising facts you didn’t know about the most popular seafood.

Sushi Just Isn’t Worth It on Mondays

If anyone knows a thing or two about Sushi (and delicious food in general) it is world-famous chef and best-selling author Anthony Bourdain. Mr. Bourdain had one rule when it came to sushi: never order fish on Monday (or over the weekends). He placed such great emphasis on this rule that he mentioned it in his book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Belly. It has nothing to do with Japanese superstition or religion. The reason is actually logic.   

Sushi is at its best when served fresh. Millions of pounds of food change hands between buyers and sellers on any given weekday with sales estimated at about $1 billion. Weekends, however, are slow days as the market closes at 7:00 AM on Fridays and fishes get respite from fishers for the three days leading up to Monday. To this end, many sushi restaurants make their bulk orders on Thursdays in preparation for the weekend and bank of their refrigerators and other preservatives to keep their stock fresh, if that is the word for it.

The refrigerated fish is fairly viable for eating during Fridays, Saturdays, and even Sundays in some cases, but it just cannot make it to Monday. The reason is that fresh fish lasts for only about 3 days even when refrigerated using the most efficient freezers. In fact, if you are keen about sushi you will likely agree that there is something odd about its taste on Saturdays and Sundays. The fish would be too spoilt to serve on Monday and outright rotten by Tuesday.

Come Monday, most sushi restaurants will begin preparing new fresh orders for the week, as it takes time to transport the fish from the port to the city. As such, Monday is spent hauling in the fish and preparing it for Tuesday.

Of Course, There Are Some Sushi Restaurants That Open on Mondays

Not all sushi restaurants close their doors on Mondays. Some have found ways (and excuses) to stay open throughout the week. They include:

#Upscale Seafood Restaurants

You are unlikely to get sushi from your local restaurant on Monday, but you definitely stand better chances at an upscale restaurant specializing in seafood. There is a reason why these restaurants are considered upscale: they go the extra step to perfect your favorite dish.

Upscale seafood restaurants go the extra mile to ensure that their supply of seafood remains uninterrupted even during the weekends. They have vast networks of suppliers who go fishing during the weekends when many others hang their nets until Monday. They are also willing to pay a pretty penny for this privilege, and so are their clients who do not mind splashing on their favorite seafood.

#Restaurants on The Coast

Sushi restaurants located close to the sea have an added advantage over those located inland as seafood is easy to come by. While restaurants in the city have to grapple with inefficient suppliers and long delivery times, restaurants close to the coast get their fishes a couple of hours and even a few minutes or even minutes after the fishes are hooked. They also do not have a problem with supplies during the weekends as they do not have to rely on the major, rigid supply lines.

Come Monday, these restaurants get their fishes fast and have it ready just in time for you to indulge while those in the city have to wait for the suppliers to haul their orders from hundreds of miles away.  

#Restaurants That Value Money Over Service

Some sushi restaurants rank better than others for a variety of reasons. Sushi restaurants that rank at the top value quality service over money while those that rank at the bottom are all about the bottom line. Chances are that most of the local sushi restaurants that you find open on Monday are mostly after your money and do not really care about tantalizing your taste buds.

These restaurants are leveraging advances in technology and using powerful refrigerators to freeze their fish over the weekend. Come Monday the fishes are just good enough to be edible, albeit barely fresh. However, a sushi-savvy patron will likely notice something odd with the sushi’s taste.

Related Questions

Which is the best way to get the fresh essence of sushi?

The ideal way to get the fresh essence and delicate taste of sushi is to eat it fresh and raw, but you already know this. The secret is not to drown your sushi in soy sauce as it will mask its essence – fill the soy sauce dish only partially and add more sauce when needed to avoid drowning the sushi.

Which is the right way to eat ginger with sushi?

The main mistake most people make is sprinkling the complementary ginger all over the sushi pieces. Ginger is meant to cleanse the palate between different cuts of sushi and get rid of the smell after you are done. Eat the sushi separately and only eat the ginger when switching between different fish pieces and after you are done. 

Related Article: Why Is Ginger Served With Sushi?

Why is take-out sushi frowned upon?

In most cases take-out sushi is never fresh – that is why reputable sushi restaurants do not offer delivery services. The time spent delivering sushi from the restaurant to your doorstep corrodes at its freshness and ruins its otherwise delicate taste. Unscrupulous sushi restaurants also take advantage of takeouts to serve frozen, days-old fish.

Related Article: How Long Is Grocery Store Sushi Good For?

Leave a Comment