Maybe it’s the conveyor belt with everything temptingly sliding past. Maybe it’s the bento style plastic boxes that takeaway sushi comes in. My five year old has always been crazy for sushi.
In fact he’s more adventurous than many of my grown up friends. When any of them are icky about raw fish, I say “You eat smoked salmon don’t you?” Sashimi isn’t so different.
Ted’s favourites are the little maki rolls that come in sets of four; we usually grab a cucumber and avocado set to share half of each flavour between us.
Staff will always hand you a set of children’s chopsticks although annoyingly Yo Sushi never has any straws for the drinks. As well as water from the taps in front of you, alternative drinks for kids are bottled real fruit juices although these are pricey. For grown ups Yo Sushi is licensed although I’ve never ordered any alcohol there myself.
My recommended kid friendly Yo Sushi dishes are:
- Rice – although not fire cracker version if they don’t like hot stuff
- Pumpkin Korroke (fritter thingies)
- Any gyoza (deep fried dumplings available with duck, veggie or chicken fillings)
- Nori maki rolls
- Chicken yaki tori on skewers
- Pancakes (for pudding)
These were the dishes I started Ted off on but these days there’s not a lot he won’t try out from my dishes.
My current favourite Yo Sushi dishes are:
- Tuna & coriander sashimi
- Salmon and coe roe tartare (a yellow banded dish, possibly only available in certain branches)
- Salmon sashimi and nigiri selection
- Sea weed salad
- Squid salad (shown above)
Something I do miss whilst watching the calories is Yo Sushi chicken katsu curry (fried breaded chicken slices with curry sauce and rice). Actually this dish is so filling you might only eat 2-3 dishes rather than the 4-5 you could quickly clock up if you hadn’t filled up on this.
My top Yo Sushi tips:
- Staff will guide you to a seat either on stools at the conveyor belt.
- Some branches have tables for groups although you may have to wait longer to get one of these.
- Fizzy or still waters from the taps in front of you are unlimited after you’ve “bought” the glass (as are miso soup and green tea).
- Dishes are colour coded according to price bands between around £3-£6. Blue and green dishes are the cheapest with grey (and in some branches, yellow) the more expensive ones.
- Sometimes on “Blue Monday” all dishes on the belt are blue making this the cheapest day to visit. Some branches do a “Sumo Sunday” with unlimited dishes for around £19.99 although the colour bands you pick will determine whether this is a good deal or not.
- You can help yourself to dishes on the conveyor belt or order from the menu.
- The conveyor belt may be depleted at the beginning of the day. Depending how adventurous the local clientele are, you may need to order sashimi and raw fish dishes rather than them sailing around in front of you. Most dishes arrive in under ten minutes so don’t be put off ordering something that looks complicated to prepare.
- It’s not all fish, there are plenty of cooked fish, meat and vegetarian dishes.
- If you’ve ever wondered how long the food has been whirling round the belt, dishes are covered in plastic dome that has a sticker with an “expiry” time according to the type of dish. Dishes that “expire” are removed from the belt so you know everything is fresh.
- To call a waiter or get the bill, press the button in front of you. Whizzy lights and noises happen but this is all part of the Yo Sushi experience.
- Yo’s Japanese style desserts may be an acquired taste – they’re less sweet than you expect. My son loves the pancakes but I tend to get my sweet fix somewhere else later in the day.
- The Yo Sushi branch at St Paul’s does sushi making classes for groups.
Watching the staff prepare batches of dishes can be hypnotically entertaining. All the action goes on in the central area inside the conveyor belt.
Some dishes like these tempera battered tofu cubes come with a dipping sauce; other rolls are a bit unwieldy with chopsticks.
So it’s ok sometimes to use your fingers!
Have your kids ever tried sushi?