It is no secret that many students will cough at any idea of a meal outside the confines of the halls or house kitchen that isn’t celebrating a birthday or at a stretch, a Christmas meal.
Constantly we are faced with the internal power struggle of our longing to be wined and dined and the self-trained frugality which comes with university life.
Sushi Mania, located on Middle Street, along with the likes of The Globe, Sticky Mikes, and Casablancas, is truly a beacon of hope for the strapped for cash student. Serving such high quality Japanese food you would happily take your parents, a date, your boss, or your gynaecologist there, it is half price between the hours of 12pm-5pm, and 10pm until close.
That’s most of the time it’s open. The initial mystery of this seemingly implausible deal is harmonised by the black tinted windows which greet you on your approach to the building.
Nonetheless, bearing a predominantly black and red, strip club-esque interior, featuring luxurious red padded beams from floor to ceiling, the restaurant is plush enough to fill you with the excitement of a sit-down meal your half an hour of revision has truly earned.
I recently suffered the slight emotional trauma of seeing the prices rise for the first time in my three joyous years of eating at Sushi Mania. Nonetheless, for any newcomer this will do little to deter, and the incredible value can still be discussed here with the same zeal.
A chicken, pork, or vegetable katsu curry for £3.90, with a bowl so deep it makes Wagamama’s alternative look like a kids portion, is certainly a highlight. Other popular donburi dishes include Chicken Teriyaki Don, Tuna Don and Salmon Teriyaki Don.
Noodles are aplenty with various meat and vegetarian options in the form of Soba, Udon and Ramen. Indeed, the selection of vegetarian options both hot and cold are in abundance on this menu, and as for all the dishes available it has to be said that the quality is equally as worthy of praise as the price.
Naturally, a visit here will involve some sushi-indulgence. Do you remember how Yo Sushi have all those different coloured bowls in accordance with different prices, which have no real significance to you because they all require you to take out a second mortgage to satisfy yourself?
Well wave goodbye to those awful days of watching your own tears go around on the conveyor belt and say a big hello to six hosomaki or uramaki rolls for £1.60 and 2 nigiri for £1.70. Indeed, with these prices, you can finally have that first taste of octopus or surf clam you always wanted.
Other highlights include the aesthetically gorgeous Spicy Dragon Rolls, and the delicious Pumpkin Croquettes, which are accompanied with such a moreish Japanese barbeque sauce that one regular visitor immediately searched the internet for it for subsequent domestic consumption.
Admittedly, drinks are not included in the half price deal, and on occasion your order will arrive in an illogical order where you will be waiting for your refreshing glass of mango juice right up until you see off your last Shiitake mushroom.
Overall however, the service is good, and one benefit of the 10pm slot is that because there is only an hour until the restaurant closes, the food arrives in a flash – just be sure to order by 10.30.
So head on over to Sushi Mania as soon as you get the chance, not only will you never look back, but you’ll be the absolute (salmon) don of the friend group for introducing everyone, delighting both the friend who leaves ecstatic that their bank account took a hit of less than a fiver, and the one who may as well be wrapped in seaweed and rolled home themselves following a feast to be remembered.