YO! SUSHI: WHERE YOU CHOOSE THE PACE
Sushi! Now that is not something that I usually steer myself towards (more on that later). But an invitation from YO! Sushi promising me an opportunity to make my own sushi got me excited. So off I traipsed to the newly (fairly new) opened section at Mall of the Emriates one evening to sample the various sushi options that YO! Sushi had – which went past you on a conveyor belt – a bit like a sushi train J and of course to give myself the satisfaction of being a sushi chef for precisely 15 minutes.
But before I go into my little ramble of my experience, let me share with you of Yo Sushi! History – the restaurant chain has been a huge commercial success since it first opened its conveyor belt concept (Kaiten-zushi in Japanese) in London in 1997. There are now 84 YO! Sushi restaurants around the world with Dubai housing 6 of them.
YO! (I think I got to know the restaurant well enough to be on a first name basis with it) is one of those restaurants where you can pop in at any time of the day and within seconds of being seated you can have a meal in front of you. So when time is pressing and you want to grab a quick bite, this just might be an option to try.
I was intrigued by the many people seated at the restaurant – I have never been able to think of sushi as a COMPLETE meal on its own, but here I was surrounded by those who did. On average, people eat 5-8 plates of sushi with YO! serving up nearly 3000 diners a week. What I loved about the place was the fact that everything is fresh – nothing is frozen and served. So the fish you have is absolutely fresh which I believe is one of the main game-change when it comes to the taste of sushi.
With 86 different items on the menu divided between Cold and Hot sushi options (the hot ones of course you have to order while the cold ones go past you on the conveyor belt). Besides sushi, YO! also serves up other Japanese options including ramen, rice and noodles, tempura, sashimi, nigiri – you will definitely not leave feeling hungry.
A big misnomer is that sushi is all about raw fish rolled in vinegared rice, oh yes and the vegetarian options. But you could not be further away from the truth. At YO! you could also choose from chicken and duck. But let me tell you as it is – YO! is all about seafood. Crab, salmon, prawns, tuna and squid all make appearances in various guises, all of them faultless.
But let’s get back to the Kaiten-zushi – it’s simple to choose from the belt – each plate is colour coded with each one representing a price ranging from AED 14 to AED 26. You have a mat which has all the images of the sushi which helps you identify what you are picking off. But just in case, you are confused, the staff at YO! Sushi is pretty friendly and helpful. So you basically chose your plate, eat the sushi and stack the palates – once you are done, the server will come and count up the plates.
Before I talk about my attempt at being a Sushi Chef, let we share some of the Sushi I did try (special mention for the Hot and spicy edamame which I ordered separately)
One of the perks of being a Food Blogger is you get opportunities to try doing new things which you would not normally get to do when you visit a restaurant incognito – like making your very own sushi. At the YO! Sushi event we got to make two types of Sushi – the more squarish Cucumber Maki and the California Roll. I have to admit, the Chef was patient with us. (I am going to try and put a video up of me making the Cucumber maki – but that might be at a slightly later date). UPDATE – here is a link to the video of me making (attempting to make) a Cucumber Maki – bit.ly/1Yhtpms
But here are my end results – totally proud of my Maki attempt. My California roll I believe had a bit too much stuffing – would be obvious from the stuff jutting out from the sides as I rolled it. But when the Chef sliced it, the end result looked pretty darn good – even if I say so myself.
So if you are in and round the mall, in-between a shopping spree, waiting for a movie to start, want to grab a quick and light meal, I would suggest you get yourselves down to YO! Sushi – you could be in and out in precisely 10 minutes (depending on who quick you need to get back to your shopping). If you haven’t been, but you like Asian food, you’ll enjoy this more interactive approach to a meal.
DISCLOSURE: To be honest and fair I must inform you that I was invited to review Yo! Sushi in exchange for a complimentary meal. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are truly my own.