Whenever I am in Birmingham I make it a point to eat at Yo! Sushi a couple of times at least. Those of you who are unaware, Yo! Sushi is a chain that serves, well sushi, along with other Japanese preparations. It’s hard to miss the restaurants with their bright neon orange sign boards, but the real fun is once you enter the premises.
The novelty aspect of Yo! Sushi is in the fact that sushi can be found merrily floating around the tables on conveyor belts. Freshly prepared in an open kitchen the plates are color coded with the prices of each colored plate pre-fixed. So when the time comes to pay the bill, all you have to do is count the number of plates you have, based on their colors.
I’ve been to three of their locations locally and have found the food to be fresh and tasty. The staff at all the three locations (Brindley Place, Selfridges, and Touchwood Mall in Birmingham) has just been great, going as far as once not charging us for drinks and starters when their cooker/burner conked off unexpectedly.
The Miso Soup with its unlimited refills is wonderful, although it always reminds me of Ryu Murakami’s book, In the Miso Soup, and with the book being quite psychotic it might not be a good thing. Just to go off on a tangent, do read the book because it is a brilliant piece of literature and a stark look into Japanese culture.
Another aspect of Yo! Sushi that I adore is that the food almost always looks exactly the way it is pictured in the menu unlike some of the other fast food restaurants we all know about.
Yo! Sushi is all about experimenting. The plates cost anywhere from £1.80 to £6.00 for the specials, but the fun is in trying something you have never had before. So it can be the hot “firecracker rice” or their “hand rolls” which is a seaweed cone filled with different fillings, the tastes are always distinct and finger-licking. I must warn you that before you do lick those fingers, make sure there is no Wasabi on them, unless of course you have a blocked nose. (Wasabi is also known as Japanese Horseradish and has a rather strong zing to it that hits you straight in the nose).
The one shortcoming about my love for Japanese food is that I have never been able to use chopsticks properly. Luckily, Yo! Sushi has beginner level chopsticks which are great because this way at least I do not feel completely out of place being the only one using a fork.
Eating at Yo! Sushi is a lovely experience. My daughter enjoys the place and is always fascinated by the food on the conveyor belt. In all honesty a part of me also enjoys this fun gimmick. The restaurants are lively and colourful in décor and also in the service making this one of my favourite places to eat.