Review - YO! Sushi

Review – YO! Sushi

YO! Sushi is essentially the McDonalds of Japanese cuisine here in the UK. It is loud, garish and even has a tie in with Disney’s Big Hero 6. If done well, none of the above should be that much of a problem. Chains are present for a reason: they cater toward mass consumerism. And Big Hero 6 is also quite good.

New dishes

Upon entering the restaurant we were greeted by the exciting bustle of bar stools positioned around their famous conveyor belt of sushi dishes and seated tables for 2 or more. The decor is bright, exciting and completely reflects the mission statement of the chain.

If you haven’t been before, the idea of YO! Sushi is fast exciting Japanese food that you either order from a menu or take directly from the conveyer belt. The idea in essence is simple and fun, but the reality was somewhat different.

Positives

Our server was attentive, smiley and had a great knowledge of the menu. Acting as if we knew little about sushi, we were recommended dishes and explained in depth how each dish was made. YO! Sushi have buttons at each table to notify staff when you’re ready to order or need anything – great in such a busy venue where you can be easily missed amongst the hustle and bustle.

The fish and vegetables at YO! Sushi are all fresh, a must for any restaurant but particularly when serving raw products. The first dish we chose was a salmon karaage but this wasn’t on the menu, as it was a way to use up left over fish which was very credible for such a large chain.

Salmon keraage.

Salmon keraage.

Negatives

The food was poor and fluctuated in quality, temperature and conception. We chose an array of dishes that each let us down on many factors. The hot chilli squid (£3.90) that is marinaded for 24 hours was described as the best calamari ever. It arrived cold, tasted mainly of corn flour and had a random crab leg for good measure.

Chilli squid at Yo Sushi.

Chilli squid at Yo Sushi.

The seared steak nigiri (£3.40) was flavourless and chewy and really didn’t go with the sushi philosophy.\

The beef and cucumber sausage (£3.90) kept the cucumber flavour hidden under a powerfully sweet teryaki sauce and the new Yo Sushi oishii steamed buns (£3.40) – which had hoi sin and duck or salmon kimchee – were horribly over powered by their pickled veg, so resembled a gherkin mayonnaise sandwich. A below-par dish that lacked any authentic Asian taste.

Beef and Cucumber Sausage.

Beef and Cucumber Sausage.

The salmon sashimi (£4.40) was ok, but fell short by the inclusion of a lemon wedge which had made the salmon go a ghostly white whilst it travelled along the belt.

Final verdict

Now I wouldn’t usually be so picky about a chain if the quality of food was reflected in the price. The food is so outrageously over priced I had to take a second look at the menu on numerous occasions. I would be ok if the meagre offerings were of the highest quality but seeing several items come directly from a packet, it was just depressing. I would also add that the famous conveyor belt could of done with a good deep clean.

Being a huge Japanese food fan, and as someone soon to visit Japan itself, I was genuinely excited to see what they had to offer but left feeling horribly letdown, and a touch bad because our server was so nice and looked after us very well.

Japanese food, sushi in particular is a delicate and historic food form that should be treated with the upmost respect which wasn’t present here.

To summarise: YO! Sushi is quick and easy food. A very Western take on Japanese food with some nice ideas but perhaps not enough attention to detail and prices that do not reflect the product. But the service was excellent.

YO! Sushi, 6 Jubilee Street, Brighton BN1 1GE

Rob Ling’s food and drink was complementary, courtesy of Yo Sushi.