Locally my nearest YO! Sushi is in Southampton's West Quay shopping centre and it's somewhere I often head to for my Japanese food fix because Japanese cuisine is up there with my favourites in the whole entire world. Earlier this year when I was in Japan I was truly in my element surrounded by the incredible food everywhere I turned and I have come back longing for a little taste of something I love so much (I swear to goodness I will blog about my Japan trip soon but meanwhile you can watch my adventures on Youtube right here).
In case you're new to YO! Sushi in general it's a chain started in the UK in 1997 to bring sushi and traditional Japanese food to customers using the Japanese style 'kaiten' conveyor belt method. In each chain sushi dishes and other Japanese cooked foods are prepared in a theatre-style kitchen in plain view of customers and then set on conveyor belts. The belt carries food around the restaurant in a circuit, allowing diners to pick any dish from the belt, and with different coloured plates to illustrate to price of the dish or type of food. The grand opening of Bournemouth's YO! Sushi displayed everything the chain has to offer along with some extra special touches.
I loved that you could see the food being prepared right in front of you so that you can see it is fresh by sushi chefs who are fast, disciplined, who seemed to take pride in their work. The dishes are like works of art when they come whizzing around on the belts, and that is very similar to the experience I had in Japan. The little portions are also very quinquennially Japanese. For this reason I know some people don't find Japanese food very 'filling' but I have quite a small appetite so it's perfect for me. Just be warned if you do have a big appetite picking lots of those little plates can add up!
My absolute favourites from YO! Sushi are their sashimi (tuna and salmon sashimi are my everything!), their YO! Roll sushi with a hint of zingy orange, anything teriyaki and for ultimate comfort food the Vegetable Yakisoba is just so moorish.
So now that's the delicious food discussed let's chat a bit about the ambience and setting. I think the Bournemouth chain, more so than the Southampton branch, definitely creates a more authentic atmosphere. Inside this small but cosy venue I honestly felt a little nostalgic for Tokyo because it definitely had that vibe with the neon writing, the sushi making kits and Pocky sticks for sale, and a huge TV screen playing a plethora of crazy and totally kawaii Japanese pop sensations.
How many of you adore Japanese food as much as me? Do you have a YO! Sushi near you? And definitely, definitely look out for my Japanese posts soon!