New Menu At Yo! Sushi, INTU Centre, DerbyPublished On Friday 28 Apr 2017 by Sticky Beak
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The Man Bird and I just love Yo!Sushi at Derbys’ Intu Centre, so when we got the invite to go and sample their new menu we were more than happy to fly over. One of the things I love is seeing the Kaiten belt moving along, tempting you with all its colourful bowls as you first approach the venue. As always, we were greeted warmly by the front-of-house team member and shown over to one of the comfortable booths.
The menu itself has had a bit of a facelift and there are lots of glossy photos of mouth-watering dishes to look at, which help you make your selection if you’re undecided. We got down to business by ordering drinks first; a glass of Chenin Blanc for me and a large bottle of Asahi lager for His Nibs.
There are loads of fabulous new dishes on offer, so we started with the cold dishes; we chose Teriyaki Pork Nigiri, Seared beef rolls (both new), and a Kaiso Seaweed salad (previously on the menu). The Teriyaki Pork was gorgeous with its sweet, sticky glaze, firm rice block and warm mustard hint. I thought the thinly sliced seared beef had a lovely flavour to it and loved the contrast of textures provided by the radish, cucumber and quick-pickled onion in it.
A steady stream of diners kept arriving and it was great to hear the bubble of conversation liven up the venue as I grazed on the crunchy Seaweed plate with all its vibrancy dancing on my tongue. We dinged our service bell and ordered all the new items on the Street Food section of the menu; Cod Nanbanzuke, Chicken Karaage, Furikake fries, Osaka style Squid, and Pork Belly Bao.
Behind us in the kitchen, the team were skilfully making all our items fresh for us, and this really is Yo!Sushi’s trademark; they pride themselves on the quality and freshness of their produce.
The Cod bites were so succulent and their sweet and sour sauce was light on the palate but full of taste; perfect. We tandem’d the Cod with the Squid dish and this turned out to be an inspired move on our part, if I say so myself. The Squid pieces were a fantastic size so that you really got a sense of their flavour and crisp coating had a brilliant spiciness to it. When you alternated these two dishes you got a brilliant textural contrast between the soft fish and the crispy coating on the squid, not only that but the contrast of the two sauces was amazing too; the sweet fish sauce opposing the spicier, sharper notes in the Squid dish.
Next up was the Chicken Karaage, the Pork Belly Bao and the Furikake Fries. Yo! regulars might be familiar with the fries as they have popped up on the “Blue” promotions before, but they’re such a hit with diners that they have earned their place permanently on the menu. The fries themselves are coated in Sriracha mayo so they have a real twang to them, but I liked the fact that the mayo was distributed evenly over all the fries; it gave this accompaniment a great flavour consistency.
I have had the buns at Yo!Sushi before and marvelled at their cloud-like texture, and I was no less impressed this time. Sweet, succulent Pork belly had been laid carefully in its pillowy bun and then crunchy pickled red onion, cucumber and sesame seeds were placed on top. My taste buds were instant fans of this dish thanks to the textural elements and also to the sweet, sticky sauce on the pork slices.
The Chicken Karaage is Sake- and Soy- marinated chicken pieces that have a fried, crunchy coating on them. We were won over by the size of the chicken chunks; they were substantial enough to be picked up in the fingers and dunked into the seasoned mayo that accompanied them. A wedge of fresh Lime is also on the plate, so I squeezed that over them too; I love bright, citrus notes. We were both licking our fingers happily after finishing this dish!
For our final savoury selection we had the Beef Katsu and the intriguing Chicken Katsu Sando, and I couldn’t resist a bowl of old favourite, Clam Miso Udon. The Chicken Katsu Sando is crispy fried Chicken thighs with Tomkatsu sauce and Japanese mustard on them and then these are placed between fresh white bread slices. So basically you have a crispy fried chicken sandwich; naughty but oh-so-nice!
I let the Boy Wonder have the extra Sando as I slurped away happily at my Clam-laden Miso broth, doing my best lady from “lady and the tramp” impression as I sucked up the noodles too. We turned our full attention to the Beef Katsu, the last savoury dish to be left on the table.
Panko breadcrumbs are always super-crispy when fried and you get that great crunch sensation when you bite into them. The beef was of a minced texture and it reminded me a bit of a flattened meatball in appearance; it had a lovely flavour that was just made all the better by the drizzle of zippy Tomkatsu sauce that lay over it.
As I looked around I noticed that quite a few diners were having the Cod Nanbanzuke among their other selections, as well as several dishes of the Furikake fries. We were grinning like loons at each other over the table, our tummies nicely filled with an assortment of wonderful flavours.
Unusually we showed some restraint when it came to ordering dessert, just choosing two of the new options. This, as it turned out, was no bad thing as other diners had finished off the new cakes on the block (I know, bad pun!); both the Strawberry- and Banana- cakes sounded delish, and I’m sure I would’ve had to try them both if they’d been available.
As it was, the Raspberry Ice cream Mochi and Malted Chocolate Pot were more than enough to finish off the meal in style. I’m a massive Mochi fan, and love Yo!s chocolate ones, but the Raspberry Ice Cream ones are amazing. Raspberry is one of my favourite fruits anyway and the ice cream is a quality one so that the lively fruit flavour comes bouncing through into the mouth. The only problem I encountered as I bit into the sweet rice balls was brain freeze, but that’s what happens when you’re a glutton and wolf things down too quickly! The Man Bird showed a little more self-control and avoided this snag :)
We both loved the smooth, rich texture of the Belgian milk chocolate ganache; it glided effortlessly on the tongue, imparting its silky malt note as it did so. Pure indulgence in a dinky little pot, right there.
As you can see there is a whole world of exciting new dishes to go and try at Yo! and they are proper corkers too. Hot Wings deserved again for the team at Derby Intu Centres’ Yo!Sushi venue :)