It doesn’t seem possible that 20 years have elapsed since YO! first opened its doors in London’s Soho introducing the British public to its conveyer belt (kaiten) food delivery system and its clever colour-coded dishes matching the entries on the colour-coded priced menu. However YO! isn’t just confined to London; there are some 100 branches worldwide.
We had both walked past YO! restaurants many times in the past, but had never ventured in. What a mistake on our part.
‘Press the button if you need help’
It was a friendly welcome from Manager Emese and her staff in London’s West End Woodstock St branch and before we knew it we were sitting in one of the booths having the menu and procedure explained to us. ‘Press that button if you need any help, and we’ll be right with you’. And indeed they were.
The other side of the booth from where we were sitting knives flashed as Chef finely chopped and sliced meat and fish preparing and cooking various dishes – our food couldn’t have been quicker or fresher.
As we were not in a hurry Emese suggested some dishes from the original menu but also encouraged us to try YO!’s new additions from its Japanese Street Food section.
The new Japanese Street Food dishes
In all honesty the Furikake Fries or the Chicken Kastsu Sando weren’t quite to our taste, but we fought over the last of the Crispy Chicken Wings, the Popcorn Shrimp and the Okonomiyaki. Friend’s favourite was the Cod Nanbanzuke - crispy fried small pieces of cod in a sweet and sour sauce, whereas mine was the Chicken Katsu Curry – crumb covered chicken thigh in a mild curry sauce with steamed rice.
What we also liked to see was the wide variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes on offer, and, for anybody worrying about their weight, the number of calories in each dish are shown.
Ginza Strawberry Cake and a glass of wine
We were so full after our tasty dishes that unfortunately we had no room for one of the desserts – not so the young man opposite us; his Ginza Strawberry Cake was devoured with speed and pleasure. It certainly looked yummy. We were quite content to relax andsip our glasses of Tokomaru Bay Sauvignon Blanc followed by a coffee.
Also on the menu is a range of soft drinks along with a choice of three teas, sake, wine and beer. Menu prices range from £2.20,for unlimited Miso Soup, to £6.25.
It might have been our first YO! visit, it’s certainly not our last. yosushi.com