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Dinner At YO! Sushi, Derby INTU

Published On Tuesday 24 Nov 2015 by Sticky Beak
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We all have pre-conceptions about various things and situations don’t we? The Man Bird automatically equates the word Sushi with raw fish and I automatically think of YO! Sushi as being somewhere completely inaccessible to me. We were wrong on both counts happily.

The invite from the YO! Sushi Team came to the nest and I’m sure you can imagine the conversation that ensued. Anyhow, after looking at the menu His Nibs was satisfied that Sushi is most definitely not confined to raw fish; in fact he was really surprised at how many “normal” dishes there were on the menu.

My preconceptions were, I now realise, utterly ridiculous. To me YO! Sushi was a trendy, hip place (which it is) that only those in the know could frequent, and everyone seems to know what to order and what dishes to pick. I’m the kind of Bird who likes to know what they’re doing, I don’t like surprises being sprung on me (certainly not parties in my honour) and I particularly dislike feeling like the proverbial fish-out-of-water.

The reality was, as is always the case, totally the opposite; there were families eating together as well as groups of friends and couples and the cross section of age groups was good too. Our server, Hannah, was the most friendly, helpful person you could ever wish to meet and having asked if it was our first time at Yo Sushi proceeded to explain all the options to us.

All the bowls are colour coded which relates to their price bands, ranging from £1.90 - £6.00 on the moving belt, £8.00 for sumo size dishes. I should just mention that Mondays are “Blue Mondays” at YO! Sushi meaning that all dishes in blue are £2.70; this includes some normally more expensive dishes at this price or bigger sized portions. For hot dishes (or if you need any extra help) you just press the help button and a server comes to your table to take your order.

There is self-dispensed still or sparkling water at the tables which is £1.20 for unlimited glasses, and little dishes for you to put wasabi paste or pickled ginger onto once you take them from the containers on your table. There is also a container full of disposable chopsticks and some “ beginner” chopsticks which even I found a doddle to use :) They did make me giggle though as they look a bit like the wooden tongue depressors  your doctor uses; I know, tiny things please tiny minds. Anyway, the point is if you’re not good with chopsticks these little marvels make you look like a chopstick ninja!

Predictably, we watched the dishes wind their way round the belt for a few minutes until The Man spotted something that took his fancy;  Spicy Chicken Rolls we figured from the picture menu. Not to be outdone I reached over and grabbed a couple of California rolls from the conveyor. Both bowls of food were really tasty and very fresh. I love the fact that each bowl has an expiry time on it, so that you are always getting dishes that are jam-packed full of flavour and texture.

Having got the bug for being able to see something that takes your eye and instantly partake of it, I helped myself to a bowl of Aubergine salad and jolly tasty it was too. After only a short while it seemed as if we had been Yo Sushi regulars for years, you really do relax into it and enjoy the informal atmosphere.

We pinged our help button and Hannah came over to take our order of regular portions of Chicken Katsu curry and Hoisin Duck steamed buns. Before long our dishes were brought to the table and we tucked in. The Chicken was coated with Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) so they had nice crisp outers to them that contrasted well with the rice and the mild curry sauce. Slices of Red ginger added an extra zing to the dish with a pleasant sweetness too. My own duck was delicious with a lovely smoky Hoisin sauce and had a beautifully light, fluffy Oishii bun encasing it.

Next up was our sumo bowl selections of Beef Teriyaki and Spicy Seafood Don. It is definitely a case of Sumo by name, Sumo by nature they were huge bowls of loveliness. His Nibs teriyaki consisted of shredded beef, white onion, rice and sweet and sticky soy. The beef was lovely and tender and there was plenty of it covered in the sauce and sesame seeds, and the rice was just amazingly tasty and never-ending.

For my Seafood Don I opted to have noodles instead of rice and again, the bowl was full to brimming with Shrimps, salmon, squid, vegetables and noodles all in a spicy chilli broth. I really enjoyed the taste of the dish as a whole and was very impressed with the size of the chunks of Salmon.

We did need a little rest at this point before ordering our puddings. The Custard Dorayaki took my fancy and The Boy Wonder had Apple Gyoza and Salted Miso Caramel dip. I suppose the best way to describe the Apple and Vanilla Gyoza is to say they look like mini Cornish pasty fritters in appearance, and boy are they scrummy( from the couple of bites I was permitted to try). My Japanese pancakes (Dorayaki) were lovely and light and filled with a really tasty set custard that was set off marvellously by a pot of fresh, zingy Raspberry compote.

For all our dishes, plus a large glass of Sauvignon Blanc and 500ml bottle of Asahi lager, the bill came in at £48, which is very fairly priced for the quality and portions of food.

I have to say that I would happily go and eat again at YO! Sushi, the whole experience was very pleasant in all aspects and nowhere near as intimidating as I had always thought. I heard various servers asking people if it was their first time at YO! Sushi, some said yes, some said no, but everyone seemed to be having a great time. Hot Wings to the YO! Sushi Derby team, you guys rock :)

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