Shortly after moving to Chelmsford last year I discovered with great glee that a Yo! Sushi will be opening soon. It meant I didn't have to travel to London to get my sushi fix anymore!
The Chelmsford branch is long and narrow and splashed with bright colours, typical to Yo! Sushi. The ubiquitous kaiten-zushi is also unmissable, a feature which made this restaurant so memorable for me. If you can't find what you're looking for on the belt, simply press the button at your table and the helpful staff will take your order.
With street food being all the rage these days, Yo! Sushi recently updated its menu to showcase what can be found on the streets of Tokyo. Food comes in different coloured bowls, with each colour representing a different price tag.
Harusame Aubergine (£2.80) isn't new but it's simply fantastic. It's fried slices of aubergine with a garlic, ginger, sesame and soy dressing. It's healthy, addictive and even vegans can eat it.
Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi (£6.25) is new on the menu and makes a delightfully healthy snack, high protein snack clocking in at just 105 calories.
We had two types of sushi, Dynamite (£4.15) and Ichi-Ni-San (£5.25). The latter, if my memory serves me correctly from my karate days, means 1-2-3 and comprised scallop, salmon, tuna and yuzu koshu nori roll with arenkha caviar. An unusual and rich mouthful. Our favourite was the Dynamite though which had the favourite combo of salmon, avocado, rayu chili oil and sriracha mayo. Something I could order again and again.
A common Western misconception is that sushi is raw fish. It's not. It's actually vinegar-flavoured cold rice. Another one is that Japanese cuisine just offers sushi and that's it. So for those of you who steer clear of such dodgy sounding eating, there's an extensive menu of warm food that are completely cooked.
The Soft Shell Crab (£6.25) came with a sweet chili mayo. Another new item is Okonomiyaki (£4.15) which is a famous Japanese street food. A pancake filled with cabbage didn't sound appealing but I'm glad I got to try it because it tasted much nicer than it sounded on paper. Of course, anything deep fried is the way to go. It was rather disconcerting how the smoked bonito tuna flakes, that topped the Okonomiyaki, moved around. Upon further reading it turns out these flakes are so thin that when it's sprinkled onto hot food, the steam from below gives the appearance that your food is literally dancing in front of you.
If you're into cocktails, the Kiwi-lini (prosecco and kiwi juice) is something you should definitely try.
Maguro Katsu (£4.15) was my least favourite item of the night which was tuna, onion and mayo with wasabi sauce. It was pretty much a fish cake covered in panko crumbs, which was deep fried and had a grainy texture. Much better was the Chicken Fried Rice (£4.15) which had luscious chicken thigh pieces mixed with rice and the Beef Teriyaki (£6.25) which was salty, but tender.
Far Eastern desserts have not taken the West by storm yet, partially because they're so strange. The Matcha Roll (£4.55) is a gentle introduction to the magical world of matcha, a type of green tea. A Matcha Latte (£1.80) is also available but being averse to milk I would have much preferred spotting a traditional matcha tea on the menu.
All-in-all a great night out discovering new dishes and flavours. Can't wait to go back!
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9-10 High Street
P.S. I was a guest of Yo! Sushi.
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