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Yo Sushi

Second Floor/Whiteleys CentreQueenswayLondonW2 4YN
  Bayswater Underground Station  more details »
Category: Japanese Restaurants
 
 
5 / 10 (based on 1 rating)
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Posted:
2:30 PM 17-02-2008
Expensive but fun
  5 / 10
Having seen those colourful rings everywhere around the city, I?ve always been dying to visit YO! Sushi but never had the time (or the money!) to. So when a friend alerted me to a 50% offer I literally jumped at the chance ? twice!
My first visit was to the Whiteleys branch which was open and bustling with customers. Good sign. The second visit was to the Brent Cross branch which is a lot smaller and cramped, and we had to queue for 15 minutes on a weekday. We were sat on high stools with full access to the conveyor belt (would we have it any other way?) and lustfully eyed the food gliding in front of us. First of all, may I just say that I love the concept of Japanese conveyor belt food, and I?m sure YO! does play on some of those hunter-gatherer instincts to boost its profit margins.
After making the fatal mistake of asking for water (water, though unlimited, costs £1 here while unlimited miso soup only costs 75p extra), we were hesitant as to who was to draw first blood and catch the moving prey. The gari, wasabi and soy sauce were also unlimited so we just ended up eating gari by the boatload while waiting for something interesting to float past.
Between the two trips I tried almost everything off the belt. The classic assorted nigiri (with rice) was fine, although nothing special ? just a bit fresher than boxed sets from M&S or Pret. I also had an assorted sashimi (without rice) which was the first time I?ve had hamachi (yellowtail), and I must say I was quite surprised at how tasty it is raw. The tuna pieces were a little off though and had a slimy texture to it. The isos (reverse rolls) were all pretty good, just remember to take your time in eating them rather than swallowing them whole without chewing, otherwise you?ll lose the taste. I only found one hand roll off the belt (at the Brent Cross branch) which was very nice but for some reason had too much mayonnaise.
Out of the hot dishes, I think the chicken teriyaki was the star favourite. I managed to grab one coming straight from the wok so it was steaming and swimming in sauce. It was so good that I decided to buy some teriyaki sauce so that I can make it for myself at home. The chicken katsu was nice, but I didn?t see any difference between it and normal fried chicken, so I ended up pouring some of the leftover teriyaki sauce onto that too. The prawn tempura was not that great ? it came ready-made, straight from a packet and all they did was deep fry it ? basically battered prawns. The prawn yakisoba (noodles) was filling but the sauce was a bit too tangy. Both the chicken and the vegetable gyoza (dumplings) were cold and flabby by the time we got them so if you want them, only get them when they?re fresh from the fryer.
In the salads, the fried aubergine was fine but I?m sure whether it?s meant to be eaten cold. The tofu was a bit tasteless. The spicy chicken salad was just boring chicken breast and not Japanese at all. The squid salad on the other hand was a lot more exciting, but unfortunately didn?t have enough squid and too much greens. Finally, the crayfish salad was lazily made ? you can still taste the brine out of which the crayfish tails were no doubt fished out of.
Since everything was half price we ended up eating to our hearts? content and stuffed ourselves to the limit of 10 plates. We just chose whatever looked good and were blind to the coloured rings. My total came up to £18 which is fair for the amount I had eaten, and had there not been the half price deal I would?ve eaten less anyway. Still, eating at YO! is pretty expensive and at full price, I definitely wouldn?t visit it. The food is fine, just not that value for money. The sushi is about average and the hot dishes are often just ready-made foods popped in the deep fryer.
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