“ JAPANESE. VARIOUS LOCATIONS:52 Poland Street, W1. Tel: +44 (0)20 7287 0443. Open daily: 12pm-12am; Selfridges, Food Hall, Oxford Street, W1 Tel: +44 (0)20 7318 3944 (ask for the sushi bar). Open: 11am-7pm, except Thurs & Fri 11am-8pm & Sun 12pm-6pm; 5th „
I'll be honest and say what we all think initially: sushi, ew. This is exactly what I thought and if it weren't for a friend of mine dragging me in and making me try the stuff I never would've fell in love with it.
Think of it like normal food but just in a way that looks different, that's basically what it is. It's not just lumps of raw fish that we all assume it is, there are hot dishes, cold dishes, all sorts!
The food itself is great, obviously it's a bit intimidating to have all these weird looking dishes go by and not have a clue what they are but the menu really helps with that. It helps to have a friend who knows their way around the first time to break you in.
My favourite is the Spicy Chicken ISO. It's basically some chicken wrapped in rice and then spicy chilli flakes coat the outside. It's absolutely gorgeous and when made fresh the chicken is piping hot and crispy which completely contrasts the soft rice. And as if it couldn't get any better, there's a really nice fruity kind of sauce under it to wipe up as you please (and believe me, you so will). Last time I went I got that dish four times, it's crazy.
There's a great variety in their menu, you can go for the stereotype of fish and rice but they also have dishes with chicken, duck, prawns, beef, and then there are vegetarian dishes too for those that like to keep it extra healthy! Yo Sushi caters for all tastes, I'd be genuinely surprised so have someone try a range of dishes and not fall in love with at least one of them.
A great way to space out your choosing is to order a miso soup at the start of the meal, it gets unlimited refills so just flag someone down and they'll fill that back up for you no problem. It's a great palette cleanser so definitely give that a thought!
THE RESTAURANT EXPERIENCE.
As soon as you walk in you can tell it isn't a conventional restaurant. There's a bar with the belt in front of it, this has the dishes scoot on by for your selection. Then there are booths for a more intimate setting, or if you're with a party of people you can choose to sit there too. It's good because you get to choose which you like depending on what suits you. I've done both, I must say I prefer the bar simply because it's a novelty thing but the booths are just as good, definitely good for dates, or a number of people together in one group.
The staff are more than happy to help, they'll circulate pretty regularly with dishes to give out to people so you can always nab one within a minute or two at the very most should you need them. One interesting method of getting their attention, though, is through the use of the lights on the tables, or the bar. You push a button in the table and a light on a little pole in front of where you're sitting lights up to signal you require some assistance. I feel this is a great idea and can only hope it's the future of restaurant etiquette because it works seamlessly. Nobody gets bothered when they're in the middle of a mouthful and nobody has to wait for ages to get noticed. Brilliant.
The belt system itself is simple: see something you like? Take it, eat it, done. Couldn't be easier. This is where the menu comes in handy because not only does it have everything in there with words and descriptions, it has pictures of everything too so it's super easy to identify something you think you'd like so you can nab it off the bar on it's way past.
The belt is always well stocked, it has a range of some of what's on the menu but of course you can just push the little button to signal for some attention and you can order what you'd like to your heart's content. Usually you'd have to order the hot stuff but even then you don't have to wait long, between 5 and 10 minutes, closer to 5 most of the time depending on how busy they are.
Sometimes it's finders keepers, the amount of times I've seen a dish I like coming my way and someone takes it before it gets in my reach is so annoying. But that's the downside to it I guess, also sometimes it's hard to stop. This is why conventional restaurants might be a bit better, before long you realise you've stacked up 8 plates in Yo Sushi and gone way over budget whereas in a normal restaurant you order off the menu strictly and stick to that. You definitely need some restraint.
The novelty of having to use chopsticks is unfortunately compulsory for Yo Sushi, so those of you that are chop-challenged are at a loss but they provide sticks which are wider for those which struggle and they're so easy to use. I can't use chopsticks to save my life but the wider ones are simple.
They have taps of still and sparkling water on every table and spread right across the entire bar so just pick up a glass, they charge you an extra £1.05 but you can use that as much as you want for as long as you're there. This is the choice I usually go for as it means you can get an extra plate of stuff for the price of a proper drink.
The pricing is pretty reasonable considering what you get and for what it is. The prices depend on the plate, going from like £1.30 to £6, £6 being the specials on a separate menu that you have to specifically order. It's advisable you go for a few of each colour so you don't end up with a stack of pink plates at like £4.10 each.
As long as you keep track of what you've eaten and what that costs you'll be grand, it comes with practice. And those that are students out there get a fantastic 25% off so go and take advantage of that, usually it means an extra plate or two because of what you've saved *wink wink*
Also, Yo Sushi do a promotion called Blue Mondays. The idea behind it is that everything on the belt is on a blue plate and so everything is £2.50. Blue Mondays are great for keeping track of what you're eaten and spent as 4 plates is a tenner. Couldn't make it easier than that!
It's a brilliant experience, I'd recommend it to everyone at least once. Start with a normal-ish dish like something with chicken or something you're familiar with, get a taste for that, and then experiment with the more sushi-esque dishes. You'll love at least a handful of stuff and you'll be waiting eagerly for a reason to justify another quick visit.
I visited the Cardiff Yo Sushi with friends after work this evening. The Cardiff Yo Sushi I went to is located within the Cardiff St David's Arcade at the eatery ends which stays open til late as opposed to the shops! I hadnt been to this one before but had been to the one in Cribbs Causeway a few times. The location of this Yo Sushi is fab as you have ample parking nearby in the arcade (so you are undercover all the way great if it is raining which in Cardiff....sometimes happens)! Also after 5.30pm parking in the multi-storey is only £2.00 all evening and the car park doesnt shut until after midnight.
The Cardiff branch is a fairly small one and we had to wait around ten minutes to have a booth although there were plenty of spaces to sit around the edges if we wanted. The seating area was ok (a bench and a few seats along the window) and it was good to catch up with friends anyway. There were a few tables outside but given the atmosphere was much nicer inside and we wanted to pick off the belt we decided against sitting outside.
I won't go through the menu or price list as these are things that can be found via the website. However suffice to say whenever I go to Yo Sushi I always add up my bill as I go along and this is easy with the 5 colour plate system. This evening I had four plates and a water (which is my own gripe that you have to pay a £1.05 charge for water, although I read somewhere that if an eatery sells alcohol - which Yo Sushi they have to supply you with free tap water? - well at least this is refilleable and you get still or sparkling - although glasses are tiny!)
I ordered a pumpkin korroke, spicy pepper squid, chicken teryaki and got a kaiso salad off the belt. I like getting stuff off the belt as a starter as it gives you something instantly to munch on. Also endless amounts of ginger (and wasabi) gives you something to nibble on before eating. I like the button system which assures you direct service, not trouble getting the waiters eye here! The only issue I've found is that here and in Bristol the buttons tend to stick meaning the noise goes on forever!
Food came very speedily (within 5-10 minutes) - although strangely was passed over by the chefs who were all cooking in the middle of the conveyor belt (there was only one waitress on so perhaps this was a good idea)! Also we had to wait some time - around 20 minutes for two of my friends hot plates to come out although they did apologise and explain it was due to staff breaks.
In respect of toilets, seating etc everything was fine and no issues with the service at all.
I currently have a student discount card which entitles to 25% off - unfortunately the website wasnt working but the waitress did get the manager who was happy for me to receive the discount anyway with proof of valid student card. All in all my meal came to around £11 which I thought was a bargain! Oh and the food was yummy - and hot!
The Yo Sushi I have visited in the past and more recently include the Brent Cross restaurant as well as the one in Fulham Broadway station shopping centre. Once in the station of Fulham Broadway you have to go up the escalators and there you will see a Yo Sushi in the corner and some other restaurants which tend to be much busier. For purposes of getting reasonably good service and quieter atmosphere I decided to visit Yo Sushi. The reason I have visited the Fulham Broadway restaurant is because I support Chelsea football club and Stamford Bridge is literally a short walk away from the tube station.
The restaurant is quite lively and bright, but when I looked at it carefully I could not find much to say, other than the floors were wooden, where as part of the walls were bright orange to the front and back of the restaurant and white to the sides. The top of the stools you would sit are red. The restaurant does have a bit off putting music which does nothing for the dining experience. The conveyor belt which is effectively square shaped is a main feature in these Yo Sushi restaurants. The conveyor belt is surrounded by the chairs and table areas around the restaurant.
The sushi dishes are freshly prepared by sushi chefs.
Chicken Katsu curry is a delicious chicken curry meal with good tasting sauce.
The chefs prepare the sushi in small dishes and place them on a conveyor belt. There are waitresses who take orders and the chefs will present them on the belt.
The tables have water taps, as well as a branded Yo Sushi mat as well as booklet containing the prices and dishes available. Also next to the taps are wooden chop sticks and spoons so that people can eat their sushi.
On Sundays the restaurant have a £19.50 eat as much as you like self-service which is a bit more pricey compared to some 100% Japanese buffet restaurants I have visited in London. I personally chose this option on one Sunday afternoon and was given a time of 1 hours to eat as much as I liked. I ended up spending about 45 minutes of my 1 hour, and had eaten a total of 15 dishes. From that time I did not require eating any more food that day. It is a shame that when I asked them if I could combine my deal with an order of Chicken Katsu curry, they politely told me this was not possible, and I would have had to pay a bit extra for this meal.
The salmon sushi parcels are white rice with a salmon fish topping. I can't remember all of the sushi varieties available at Yo Sushi, but what I would say that they have a select range of sushi dishes, and are no way near as comprehensive as a lot of Japanese restaurants by any means. This is almost good as to say that Yo Sushi are restaurants of convenience.
Overall, I am happy with going occasionally to a Yo Sushi, and more so in particular with the Fulham Broadway when I am on my way to visiting Stamford Bridge. Regarding the price per visit I do find this restaurant chain to be a bit pricey for what you get. I do find that from my experience that the restaurant with its music is not exactly a place to dine and eat as well as relax. This type of restaurant is a bit more fast paced than I would like. If the staff do see you doing nothing i.e not eating, then the staff do ask if everything is ok which I feel is a bit intrusive. I do however like the fact that you can see the sushi chefs preparing the food fresh.
Yo! Sushi is a chain of Japanese restaurants across the country. We don't have too many Japanese restaurants in the UK and I really love it at Yo! Sushi. The restaurant I've visited the most is the one in Bluewater shopping centre, but I've also been to various other locations such as Brighton, Piccadilly Circus, Heathrow Airport and Westfield shopping centre. I've not yet been disappointed and I'm really excited for a branch to open up in my City this summer!
So one of the best things about Yo Sushi is the conveyer belt - this is the Japanese style 'Kaiten'. Dishes just come rolling past you and you can just help yourself - this means no waiting! If there isn't anything you fancy on the conveyer belt (unlikely!) you can order anything from the menu and it will be cooked and brought to your table.
So what kind of food is there? Obviously there's sushi. All kinds of sushi. They do maki rolls (the little rolls wrapped in seaweed), sashimi (slices of raw fish), hand rolls, nigiri (two pieces of rice with a topping), gunkan (similar to maki rolls but with a topping) and ISO (inside-out rolls where the rice is on the outside). There's also a selection of soup, rice and noodle dishes, hot Japanese appetisers like gyoza, tempura, teriyaki, katsu and various other Asian dishes you can order from the menu. One of my favourite dishes before I was a vegetarian was the soft shell crab - definitely recommended if you get a chance!
Up until fairly recently, the deserts were a bit odd. The Dorayaki and Mochi are things we don't have and they haven't been very popular with myself or friends I've been with, but now they have introduced little pots of ice cream and some cakes. There's also a fresh fruit salad. Overall I love the food - the choice of vegetarian food is great and there's definitely something if you don't fancy trying the raw fish or seafood!
Unfortunately, eating here can be quite expensive. Each dish is on a coloured plate and each colour represents a price. You keep grabbing stuff off the belt and then realise that it all adds up very quickly! The plates range from £1.80 (green) to £5 (grey). Most dishes are probably purple at £3. I usually have about 6 or 7 plates plus a drink, but as a vegetarian they're usually cheaper plates. If you like a lot of fancy fish dishes you'll be looking at quite a hefty meal which, although you feel full, feels a bit like a light snack because of the nature of the restaurants. Tap water isn't free - £1 gets you unlimited still or sparkling. Miso soup is also unlimited which is really great if you like it. If you sign up to the Yo! Love Club online they will send you discounts occasionally - especially around your birthday. Students also get a whopping 25% off!
It's hard to find really good sushi and this is really good. The readymade packages in supermarkets are no match for the freshness of Yo! Sushi. It's such a fun atmosphere and a great concept that I wish I could go more often. If you are in a rush there's a takeaway option and if you live fairly close to a restaurant they deliver for a £3 charge.
The Yo Sushi Company menu is not 100% accurate as to the description stated. I found out the hard way during my recent visit to a very busy weekend to one of biggest shopping centres in the UK.Take for example the Vegetable Yakisoba which has a 'V' sign for vegetarian next to it. On my recent and LAST visit to Yo Sushi I was informed by a chef AND a number of employees that the sauce contains PORK! The Spicy Seafood Udon Soup contains ALOT of MIRIN and that a selection of other dishes contain ANIMAL STOCK such as rice dished!I'm disgusted and never will step inside.Yo Sushi YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES. I've informed all my friends and I will continue to inform others of this.
Having eaten at Yo! Sushi last night, I felt it was about time I wrote a review. I have two children, 12 and 2, and it's both of their favourite restaurants.
First off, I'm mostly talking about the Cambridge restaurant, which means that your restaurant might be slightly different. The Cambridge branch tends to be very busy, and we often have to wait to be seated. It's laid out around a central kitchen, you can either sit at bars around the kitchen or in booths off the bar, they tend to seat us in booths if it's just the four of us. Around the bar runs a conveyor belt, and the food goes on the conveyor belt. You also get a menu so you can identify the dishes or if there's anything you want you can ask for it to be made specially (for example, hot dishes usually have to be ordered).
Most of the food is sushi, a variety of fish, meat and vegetarian. I particularly like the fried salmon skin but there are a large variety of flavours, all very different, to choose from. In addition, a selection of noodle dishes, other rice dishes, salads and soups as well as gyoza are availble. Miso soup and green tea come with free refills, I always have miso throughout the meal. In general, there's a wide variety and it's all presented beautifully. I always leave feeling completely stuffed :) Desserts aren't left out either, with fruit salad, cakes and my favourite mochi, you can even have ice cream in a variety of flavours if that's what you want.
The food is heavily vegetable based, so it's very nutritious and you can have a wide variety. It's easy to eat vegetarian if required, and for people who need to avoid raw fish, all the fish except the salmon is frozen before preparation, making it suitable (at least for pregnant ladies). For people who just don't like fish, there's again a wide variety of available food, and there are always seasonal dishes, heavier and hotter in winter and lighter, more refreshing in summer.
Each dish comes on a colour-coded plate so you can keep a track of how much you're paying. At the end of the meal, the plates are added up to give the bill. The price list is displayed on the wall and also on the menu at your table. We always seem to spend a lot of money, but it's well worth it. Chopsticks or spoons are provided, and as well as that, small 'training' chopsticks are readily available for
children or people with less confidence using chopsticks.
Lastly, the toilets. I've got to the age where the state of the toilets can be the thing that makes me choose a restaurant. At Yo! Sushi, they're clean, bright and well appointed, both the main toilets and the disabled/family toilet.
I was giddy with excitement when the first Yo Sushi opened in Poland Street, Soho. The rumours of robot servers and exciting dishes lured The Boyfriend and I to the shiny restaurant, but sadly we let ourselves down by tuning up despicably drunk. Unfamiliar with Sushi at the time, we sat down at the conveyor and slurred through a confusing menu while stuffing down several passing puddings. Our server was no help at all and eventually we left, hungry and amused.
But Yo Sushi upped their game, put pictures on the menu and opened pretty, bite sized restaurants. I'm vegetarian and not keen on fish in the slightest - you might wonder what I was doing in a sushi restaurant in the first place - but they now cater for me. I've been back many a time with Dad, with colleagues, with friends (The Boyfriend never really got over the first terrible experience).
If you haven't been before, the restaurants are gloriously shiny and colourful, with a mixture of seating; a bar and tables. A thin metal conveyor belt runs alongside the tables, through the bar and winds its way back through to the kitchen carrying small coloured plastic bubbles with food inside. The tables are designed with two taps (fizzy and still water) and small plates in an indent for dipping sauces or sharing. The wasabi (hot green mustard), thin slices of ginger and soy sauce sit in the centre. You have a button to call your server, but the idea is that you choose your food from the conveyor and only call them for the hot dishes or perhaps a top up on your green tea.
My most recent visit, today, was with Gourmet Girl. She and I used to be friends, lost touch for near enough ten years and after a chance meeting are catching up over a series of lazy lunches. She's making organic food, I'm on Maternity leave and generally we have more time than money. Today we had a 40% off voucher and a big appetite. Arriving at the side door, we were quickly seated with a table that suited us perfectly and gave room for the pram. I asked for a green tea, which has free refills and with no further ado, we got stuck in.
The good thing about Yo Sushi is that you can see the food and then choose what you want to eat. You can pick and choose and share, you can have three puddings and only your dining companion will know. The little bubbles of food provide an opportunity to try something new without too much commitment and the pretty presentation and fun factor make for an unusual dining experience. It's not just for those who love authentic raw-fish sushi; there are now chicken dishes, noodles and indeed vegetarian choices. Gourmet Girl tucked into spicy rolls of rice and salmon skin, while I searched out the Avocado Maki with their delicious seaweed layers. My tiny daughter, pleased at this change of scene, sat on my lap swiping at the passing plates and chuckling.
But here's why I feel Yo Sushi's star is on the wane. The tables are grubby, the seats sticky and the green tea took an eternity to arrive each time I asked for it. The restaurant was dramatically understaffed, with only one waiter on a busy lunchtime. Annoyingly, my favourite dish, the Pumpkin Korroke, was cold and gluey instead of hot and crisp as it has been on previous visits while the Yakisoba lacks the depth of the Wagamama dish. Many other reviewers in the past complained that you couldn't tell how long the food had been on the conveyor and they have a good point. Yo Sushi countered this criticism by saying that the plastic domes would carry best before times, but only some of the dishes did; some didn't even have the plastic lids.
Only around half of the dishes in the menu appeared on the belt and we were right next to their exit from the kitchen, so we knew no-one else had beaten us to them. A suspicion that they only put the dishes with cheap ingredients out crept into my mind. We asked the waiter where the puddings were and were disappointed to discover that they only had the fruit plate or the unappetising looking Mochi (a glutinous rice cake that resembled mouldy Turkish delight), none of the chocolate ganache or lemon shortbread cake we wanted. I used the toilets and noticed as I passed the kitchen that the food is defrosted out of boxes, with the odd dish deep fried and the sauce dribbed on from containers that would be more at home in the kebab van.
And all these funky little coloured plates of faux-Japanese nonsense come at a hefty price. We were no fuller than we would have been after a cheese and pickle sandwich, yet without that voucher our bill would have come to £70 for this little lunch. A lot of money for a handful of rice and seaweed.
I remember reading about the concept of Yo! Sushi years ago when the first one opened in the UK, and I loved the idea of drinks on tap and food on a conveyor belt. It wasn't until last year that I actually visited a Yo! Sushi and I wasn't disappointed.
Customers are seated around a conveyor belt, either actually sat up to the belt or in booths adjacent to it, depending on the outlet you visit. Plates of various japanese inspired food then whizz round the conveyor belt in front of you and you simply help yourself to the ones you want. The plates are colour coded with each colour being a different price, and at the end of your meal the server simply adds up what you've had from the empty plates.
In addition to the cold food on the conveyor belt, which is mostly various types of sushi, edamame beans, salads, veggie dishes and puddings, you can also order additional dishes from the menu. These include hot noodle dishes and larger sushi hand rolls. To be honest I've found the hot dishes to be disappointing and tend to stick to the plates on the belt which I've always found to be delicious and of a really high standard.
There are taps for still and sparkling water around the conveyor which you help yourself to, or you can order from a range of drinks with your server.
I really like the standard of the sushi at Yo! Sushi, and I also really like the model of helping yourself from the conveyor then simply settling up at the end. It removes the need to wait while dishes are prepared brought to you, and it's just really fun!
I love Yo! Sushi and find the restaurants very modern and lively. My sister took me there when it first opened and as a vegetarian, who hates the smell and taste of fish, I thought there would be a limited amount for me to eat, but I was wrong. There are loads of tasty vegetarian options available, and you can get free refills of miso soup, which is a bonus. They also have plenty of options for those meat eaters who don't like the idea of sushi. I have been to the Liverpool one restaurant, the Newcastle Upon Tyne branch, and the Gateshead and Glasgow branches. The Newcastle restaurant is definitely the best I have experienced, however they do not serve tempura as it is based in a department store; those restaurants in department stores do not have the means to make tempura. However, when I went to the Liverpool branch I tried the vegetable tempura, but what I didn't realize was that they fry the seafood and the vegetable tempura in the same oil, and unfortunately some squid accidentally found its way onto my plate, which was not pleasant. I love the fast service in these restaurants and its ideal for a quick bite to eat, particularly during a lunch break at work. However, I do not like the fact that in order to get student discount off your meal you have to print off a voucher previous to eating at the restaurant; even if you are carrying a student card they won't give you the student discount unless you have printed off one of these vouchers from their website, so you have to be organized. I find the food is rather expensive and I sometimes find myself limiting what I eat, however, Yo! Sushi do loads of offers on during the week that make it cheaper, such as Blue Mondays where all the dishes are the same price as the cheaper blue dishes. The food is very tasty and there is always something new to try.
I recently visited yo sushi for the first time and was a little scared, firstly because i hadn't eaten much sushi before and also becuase the layout of the restaurant with the converer belts in the middle can be a bit daunting. However i am realy glad i plucked up the courage to try it.
On entering the Bluewater restaurant the staff were extremely friendly and immediately asked me if i had been before, when i said no they told me all i needed to know and were very attentive thoughout my stay. The food passes along a conveyer belt and the colour of the bowl corresponds to the price you pay for your dish. You simply take whatever you fancy and they add up the cost at the end of your meal. What i didn't realise before i went is that as well as sushi you can also eat a variety of soup and noodle dishes.
Overall i thoughouly enjoyed my experience the staff were the friendliest i had encountered and the food was delicious, i would definately recomend it and will go back again.
On Mondays yo sushi sell all bowls for £2.20 which is a very good deal. If you go onto their website you can also print off a voucher for 1/3 off.
Yo! Sushi is an excellent sushi store, and is truly one of a kind in London. I find every experience at the Yo! Sushi in Knightsbridge to be extremely enjoyable for multiple reasons. One reason as to why I find my regular visits enjoyable is because of their excellent service, as you arrive at the store, you are greeted kindly by staff and you are then seated on one of the many many seats placed around the two conveyor belts in the middle.
These belts carry a variety of different sushi and meats such as chicken or beef, in a bowl that is conveniently coloured to indicate the price of that dish, for example all orange bowls would maybe be £1.50 each whereas purple could possibly be £2.20 each (sorry that I have forgotten the prices of the bowls, but they can never stick in my mind, I just can't do colour association).
The quality of the food is in my opinion excellent, although this also depends on which bowl you pick (generally, the most expensive bowl will be the best quality, whereas the least expensive will be of the lowest quality, although there are exceptions as the cost of the ingredients also influence the cost of the dish), and the quantity is decent, and although it may look like little, it's definitely very filling.
The service is also excellent as staff regularly pay you visits to see how you're doing and if you would like to order anything in particular that you can't get on the conveyor belt. A disadvantage of the layout is that often many of the dishes that you may want to eat, can be taken by other customers seated before you, and if you are unlucky enough to be seated at the end of the cycle, then this disadvantage can really take its toll.
Another disadvantage, although minor would be that if there is no glass on your part of the table and you want a drink of either tap water, or mineral water from either of the two taps at the table, then you have to pay £1 for a glass.
Yo! Sushi is a japanese restaurant which me and my son loves the most. I like it because I like to eat the hot sushis and not the cold ones. My kid loves it because he loves to see the food plates go round the conveyor belt.
Food in Yo! Sushi is served in plates which are colour coded.
Green plate- £1.70
Light blue- £2.20
Dark blue- £2.80
The food plates usually go around the conveyor belt that keeps rotating. you can also order some other hot dishes from the menu but even these are served in the small coloured plates. Usually one plate serves one person. They recommend 5-6 sushi plates per person which on an average would cost £15-£20.
The moment you sit down, you will be asked for miso soup which is just a soyabean soup. I am not too fond of this taste but many people like this and you can get unlimited refills.
There is a huge choice of sushi dishes from sashimi to nigiri to handrolls. They have limited hot dishes- the ones i like the best are pumpkin karroke, chicken teriyaki, chicken yakisoba and prawn katsu. And dessert dish that is worth trying is Mochi which is a rice cake but tastes very different to the traditional cakes!
Yo Sushi has many branches across the UK, and most of them around London.
It does takeaway boxes/platters too which i personally have never tried but supposedly good.
Yo! Sushi will have many offers so it is worth checking their website. Most popular and recurring offers are Blue Mondays in which all the plates off the conveyor belt is £2.20 only. And for students, you get 25% discount.
Whether you like the traditional sushis with raw fish or not, it is worth trying Yo!Sushi and you will be amazed to what more you can get here.
When I was an undergraduate at Oxford, I was so excited when the Yo! Sushi on George Street opened. The only other option for sushi in town is the delicious Edamame, which really plays by its own rules (the opening hours are almost like a brain teaser!), so I was excited to have a sushi restaurant with regular, reliable hours, so close to where I was living (at the time I was opposite the train station).
The Yo! Sushi business model is really admirable - they really know how to get money out of you! Because all the dishes are priced under 8 pounds, and the sushi is all very pleasingly packaged on bright plates under charming space-age plastic bubbles, it's very easy to let the maths get away from you - a dinner for 2 ended up being over 50 pounds. Add an additional 'water' charge (which I wasn't aware of, as the water comes directly from a tap on the table), and you're looking at a pretty hefty bill - which comes as a shock, because the entire dining experience is so laid back.
I haven't tried a Yo Sushi! since - I simply find the sushi too appetizing, and so I can't afford it!
YO! Sushi is a Sushi restaurant chain with locations dotted around the UK from several in London, to Cardiff, to Glasgow and many in between!
I wouldn't call myself a huge fan of raw fish, and before I lost my YO! Sushi 'virginity' as they call it I thought this was all sushi was. However, my mind has been completely changed by YO! Sushi!
If you have a YO! Sushi in your town/city, you will know that it is not hard to walk past without noticing. I go to the YO! Sushi in Cardiff and it the front of the shop is a huge pane of glass with anime and kawaii style characters printed on it, allowing you to inspect the restaurant before you enter.
The layout is pretty simple. The kitchen is in the centre of the room allowing you to see all the sushi being prepared. Surrounding this is a long conveyor belt which carries all the plates of sushi. Then around the conveyor belt are booths for dining in parties of up to about 6 people and along 2 of the sides (as it is in a square) there are barstools. You can still eat in parties on the barstools but I have also been to YO! Sushi alone for a quick lunch and found this a great idea as I didn't feel like the lone loserish diner on a table/booth on their own.
As you walk in, you will be asked how many you are and then seated. Very quickly an extremely helpful waiter or waitress will come along with the menus and ask you if you have been to YO! Sushi before. If you haven't they will explain how it all works and I found them extremely helpful the first time I went. You can order water/soft drinks/beers/wines or a refillable cup of Japanese green tea for £1.20 which is what I usually go for.
The menu is very nice and clear. It is split into sections of rice dishes/noodles/fish/chicken/hot dishes/desserts/drinks etc. Most of the dishes will be going around on the conveyor belt, but you can order hot food if you want. To do this you press a button next to your booth/bar place and a light comes on next to you. In addition to this, to alert your waiter/waitress that you need something, a little message or sound clip is played above the music, which never fails to make me laugh. My personal favourites are the simple "I'm hungryyyyy" or "GIVE ME MISO!"
Now on to the food. Going past you on the conveyor belt are many, many plates of Japanese food and it can take a little while at first to keep referring to the photographs in your menu to a) figure out what is what and b) to decide what you want to try. The plates are colour-coded according to price which is all laid out for you very clearly in the menu. There are 6 different prices of plate:
- Green: £1.70
- Blue: £2.20
- Purple: £2.80
- Orange: £3.30
- Pink: £3.80
- Grey: £5
This many seem quite expensive because the plates are quite little and it doesn't seem like very much food, but believe me, you will walk out of YO! Sushi feeling absolutely stuffed, and it's all really healthy!
The chefs are astoundingly talented and the presentation of the food, I have found, is always brilliant. I don't mind spending a little more than I usually would at a restaurant at YO! Sushi because I love the whole experience. I even got the YO! Sushi cookbook for Christmas and now know for myself how difficult their job is!
YO! Sushi also offer a lot of special deals. For example, Mondays at YO! Sushi are "Blue Mondays" meaning whichever plates you choose, they are all priced at the 'blue plate' price of £2.20. They also offer a student discount on weekdays of 25% off between 3 and 6pm, which is fantastic. If you join their online YO! Love Club they will also email you lots of great printable vouchers (seriously, the vouchers for special deals come about twice a month!)
My advice is to try YO! Sushi with some friends at least once when you can afford to splash out a little on a fantastic experience. (And try the Chicken Teryaki)
Restaurant chains seemed to have realised that Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth is the place to be, and hot on the heels of Wagamama came Yo! Sushi at the end of April. Situated opposite Marks and Spencer and next door to Cotton Traders, Yo! Sushi doesn't have the advantage of views from the waterfront, but it makes up for this in other ways.
Having visited Wagamama in Bristol as well as Sakura in Southsea, I wasn't totally unfamiliar with Japanese food, but I was quite unprepared for the conveyor belt experience. I also wasn't sure I would be comfortable sitting on a high chair with a low backrest at a counter, but here I was wrong. The back rest gave good support, and there was at least enough room under the counter for bags. The English waitress who had welcomed us brought menus and asked if we had visited Yo! Sushi before. When we said we hadn't, she explained we could help ourselves to the sushi and desserts that were going round on the double conveyor belt in front of us but that we could call her if we wanted to order hot food. She showed us in the menu that all dishes are priced according to a colour code: they are served on small plates or little shallow bowls with a coloured rim. They go from pale green rims at £1.70 through orange rims at £3.30 up to grey rims at £5 with a couple of others in between. When you finish your meal, the waitress counts how many plates you have of each colour and gives you a slip with details of your drinks as well to take to the till.
The waitress showed us that on the counter there were taps for both fizzy and still water; you can drink as much water as you like for £1. You can also order limitless Japanese green tea for £1.25. My son decided to stick with water, but I ordered a Frobisher's orange juice for £2.30. Yo! Sushi does also offer several wines, sake, Japanese beer, and one or two other soft drinks.
Also on the counter in front of us were a large supply of wooden chopsticks, some wooden teaspoons, glasses for water, a bottle of soya sauce, a pot of wasabi, a container of very thinly sliced fresh ginger, and some very small white dishes for the ginger. The waitress had also shown us that there was a help button you could press to call her. When you do this, the nearest vertical plastic tube, several of which are placed at intervals along the counter, turns from blue to red. Much more fun than having to catch someone's eye!
The waitress left us and we started to look at our menus, which are square booklets with sushi at one end and everything else at the other. There are illustrations of all the items, circled in the appropriate colour so that you can check the price code. I soon decided that I would try the salmon teriyaki, and started to watch the two rows of food passing by on the conveyor belts. They are all covered in transparent plastic domes. I tried to work out what some of the dishes were, but by the time I'd found them on my menu they had gone past! I wondered where the salmon teriyaki was, having already forgotten that hot food had to be ordered from the waitress. My facial expression must have been one of utter confusion, as my son asked me if I wanted to leave. I didn't, but I did feel rather flummoxed. The waitress came back so I ordered my salmon teriyaki and my son asked for a chicken katsu curry. He had already chosen a dish of assorted fish maki (filled rice rolls wrapped in seaweed) from the belt; there were six very small ones, two each of salmon, tuna and prawn with chives. I realised that I was going to have to pick something, but much as I love fish I cannot bring myself to try raw fish. I decided to play safe and grabbed a plate of tamago nigiri - two pieces of rice topped with sweet omelette. The omelette is bound to the rice with a thin strip of seaweed. It was very bland, but I didn't mind this as I had it with some gorgeous fresh ginger and soya sauce. If you aren't keen on ginger, though, stay away - it is a very strong flavour. I passed on the wasabi, which is very spicy.
My son had by that time enthusiastically taken some spicy chicken with grated Asian radish, assorted sprouts and green beans. He also chose a plate of two vegetable futomaki - rice rolls wrapped in seaweed and filled with cucumber, pickled radish, tamago (omelette), carrot and avocado. I tried a tiny piece of the chicken but didn't like the soft consistency, so I agreed to have one of the futomaki rolls. Although I don't normally like either cucumber or radish, I actually enjoyed this. The only problem was actually eating it; I couldn't cut it with the chopsticks so I picked the whole thing up and tried to bite a piece off. Let's just say I'm glad there were no cameras around at that point.
Our hot food was handed to us by a member of the kitchen staff, who work in a central area and are therefore in full view of the customers all the time. The teriyaki salmon was grilled and consisted of three small but quite thick slices, garnished with ginger, cress and a slice of lemon. It was perfectly cooked and absolutely delicious; I can't say I've had better salmon anywhere. My son was impressed by his chicken katsu curry, which is fried chicken on rice with a mild curry sauce and Japanese pickles.
I decided not to overdo the savoury food as the desserts chugging along in front of me were just too tempting. The fresh fruit salad, with slices of pineapple and melon as well as green and purple grapes and a strawberry, looked enticing and healthy, but we decided to try something new with a Japanese slant. My son reached for a plate of mochi - glutinous rice cakes with sweet fillings which are described in the menu as nutritious. I had no hesitation in going for the chocolate mochi, which have a dark chocolate ganache filling and are dusted with cocoa powder. There were two of each, mostly cut in half, so we decided to share them. The ordinary ones were pleasant enough and reminded me a little of marshmallows. The chocolate mochi were absolutely gorgeous, especially the cocoa powder, which had a strong but irresistible flavour. We ate the mochi with chopsticks, except for one that was whole which I cut with a spoon.
When you are ready for the bill, all you have to do is ring the bell and the waitress appears quite promptly. She counted our dishes and gave us a slip of paper with numbers against the colours of the plates, as well as details of the orange juice and water. When we checked, however, it looked as though she hadn't included our desserts, perhaps because the plates were still in front of us rather than stacked in the pile. The waitress came back and adjusted the numbers. Her mistake had been in our favour, but it would always be worth checking in case you are being overcharged.
The bill came to just over £28 to which we added a tip. We paid by card at the till, beside which is a takeaway counter. There were various boxes of sushi available here for around £7 or £8, but it was not fully stocked.
The ladies' toilet was very clean and well appointed. I should perhaps emphasise that the restaurant had only been open for just over forty-eight hours, so I hope the standards of cleanliness will be maintained.
When I went along to the toilets at the back of Yo! Sushi, I noticed that there were a couple of tables with comfortable sofas either side which are presumably intended for larger groups of people. There were a few children around that day, but I didn't see any babies or any sign of high chairs. The restaurant is accessible by wheelchairs.
I have no idea how close the food at Yo! Sushi comes to authentic Japanese food, but I can only say how much I enjoyed it. After my initial confusion, I felt that it was a refreshing change from the usual restaurant experience. Next time I go I will have much more of an idea of what the dishes travelling before me are and what has to be ordered separately. If you have a liking for Oriental food and enjoy variety, I would definitely recommend a visit.
Monday - Saturday: 12 noon until 11pm
Sunday: 12 noon until 10.30pm
79 Gunwharf Quays
Tel. 023 9280 8110
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