Saturday, 6 May 2017

Yo! Sushi - New Menu

Yo! Sushi isn't just about raw fish wrapped in rice and seaweed, if you had asked me a few years ago I would have thought it was. Others still think it is.

So what else does Yo! Sushi have to offer? Firstly there are plenty of vegetarian options, in the traditional sushi sense i.e. pieces of vegetable wrapped in rice and seaweed and in small hot dishes such as noodles. Not only are there hot small vegetarian dishes but there are also meat and fish dishes that come hot too, such as tempura prawns, yaki soba and chicken katsu curry. On top of all this you can get larger bowls of ramen and bento boxes for lunch.

I wrote about Yo! Sushi when it first opened in Trinity Leeds, it was my first experience of Yo! Sushi but it wasn't my last. As with most chain restaurants I had found myself in a rut, I knew what I liked and so I kept ordering the same time and time again. When Yo! Sushi invited me to come and try out their new menu it felt like a good opportunity to try and get me out my rut.

For Yo! Sushi's new menu items they've taken inspiration from Japan's streetfood scene. Although Yo! Sushi is predominantly small plates these aren't usually the types of food you would find being served out on the street. I'm told Japan doesn't have a massive streetfood culture like you will find in some part of Asia but you'll find it at festivals, I guess where our streetfood too originated.

So what are the new menu items you will find?

Bullet-Train Katsu Sando 

So called because you can usually find these being served from food carts across Japan's network of Bullet-trains. It's essentially chicken katsu in white bread with (Japanese) mustard. In my mind I felt like I was eating the Japanese version of the hungover fish finger sandwich. I'm not the biggest fan of white bread (it doesn't agree with me all that well) but I can imagine myself grabbing one of these to go before hopping on a train and being whisked away somewhere magical where the cherry blossom is blowing in the wind... a girl can dream right? Apparently they're flying off the conveyors in their Manhattan branches, if you're thinking of setting up a fish finger sandwich shop I'd head to Manhattan because it sounds like they will lose their s**t for them.

Fruity Beef Katsu 

Like chicken katsu but made with beef, less sauce, no rice and a fruity syrup like sauce instead. So not like chicken katsu at all. The Yo! chefs across the country competed against each other to get their signature dish on to the new menu and this was one of the winners. Rather salty to taste, enough for my taste but I can imagine it may tip the salt scare for others. The crisp outer layer and the tender beef inside made for a good dish and I can see why it was a winner amongst the chefs.

Sweet & Sour Cod Nanbanzuke 

A dish that is more sweet than sour and I would have preferred the cod a little crisper but nevertheless delicious all the same. The pink pickled ginger is also a marmite of the sushi world, I personally love it but I couldn't hand too much of, there was enough of my dish for me but not enough for others. Can't please them all hey?

Izakaya Pork Teriyaki

A favourite across the table with many stating it was their favourite of the night. The pork belly was tender even down to the fat, it wasn't a struggle to eat this dish but I must admit I avoided the wasabi paste beside it I'm having to guess that it was wasabi paste, it tasted like an incredibly strong horse radish? The pickled egg was on par and went perfectly with this dish.

Osaka-style Squid

This dish literally dances it's way to your table and continues to do once it's arrived. The smoked bonito flakes are something I have never encountered before, they way in the air (like they just don't care) and add a smokey layer to the dish. There was a lot of squid in this dish and once again I could have eaten it a little crispier. I still cleared my plate.

Seared Beef & Pickle Roll 

If you're squeamish around rare/raw meat this dish is not for you. The barely cooked beef is wrapped around tsukemon pickles and has a light dusting of shichimi powder. My personal preference would have been to slice the meat a little finer, there was quite a chunk to my bite and with the rareness of the dish it took a while to chew.

Tokyo Banana Cake

I am not banana's biggest fan but I really enjoyed this dish, whether it will take over the Japanese pancakes as my favourite desert at Yo! I'm not so sure... although the strawberry version of this dish may very tip it! I'll take it to the test next time.

Hands down some of the cheeriest staff in Leeds

Yo! Sushi in Trinity Leeds was a delight to visit as usual. The staff never fail to be happy, pleasant and helpful. Does Yo! have some of the happiest employees in the Japanese restaurant sector? Thanks to them for always making the extra effort.

Have you been to Japan, how does the above reflect your experiences?

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