EDMONTON -- Hungry patrons, chopsticks in hand, peruse the tantalizing platter up and down to select the most delectable sushi roll.
"Which piece do you recommend?" asks a young man, gesturing to the nearly naked brunette lying on a table, wearing maki, banana leaves and booty shorts.
Naked sushi, popular in cosmopolitan centres such as New York, San Francisco and London, has arrived at Edmonton's Kai Asian Grill.
Thursday nights customers literally eat off a barely-dressed model.
But managing partner Sean Lelacheur points out the restaurant's Naked Geisha Thursdays affair is about art, not erotica.
"Some people can't believe it, but it's not what you think when you hear it."
To comply with health regulations, no sushi touches the models' skin. All morsels are displayed on banana leaves.
Alberta Health Services did not respond to a request for comment, but Lelacheur said inspectors have made sure standards are being met.
Serving as a human sushi platter may sound easy, but job hazards include soy sauce drips and the danger of dynamite rolls tumbling off crevasses with the slightest twitch, said Courtney Owen, 18, a nightclub bartender and first-time naked sushi model at Kai last week.
Owen added the exposure left her a little chilly.
"It was cold at the beginning but when the chef brought the warm sushi, it warms up your whole body," she said, comparing the experience to a relaxing hot stone massage.
I can't post the picture for some reason.