Pickers and Choosers
As the UK’s most famous high street sushi brand, YO! Sushi makes the time-honoured dishes that make sushi so revered and makes it accessible and affordable; meaning almost anyone can try their pallets at this Japanese icon.
Our review takes us to Kings Cross, where inside St Pancras International, YO! Sushi have carefully carved out a section within the circle, a petite food court situated by the entrance and hidden beneath a glass stairwell.
Getting here is easy, if you have the eyes to look & even if you miss the store several times (like we did) you will be amazed you missed it at all once you do find a seat; so don’t be disheartened, food is only a hide and seek game away.
However, don’t follow your nose in the hopes you’ll find a YO! Store like you would say- a steakhouse or a brewery as the overwhelming majority of the menu is not ‘hot’ or therefore ‘stinky’ food.
This is not to say that the food is like left overs from the night before, nor is it ‘raw’ like the misconceptions imply. Instead, the dishes are prepared and served at room temperature, meaning the best way for you to mentally prepare yourself for the temperature of the food, is to think of it being akin to a slice of bread or an untoasted subway sandwich.
Walking ‘in’ there’s not much to discuss. Staff will show you and your date to a seat, show you a menu and after taking your drinks order, will largely leave you alone.
This means that unless you want to order something that is not on the conveyor belt, you may have to call them back over; though should you need to, they are happy to oblige.
YO! Sushi then largely leaves you and your date to your own devices. Ginger and wasabi are appropriately contained to which you can take as much, or as little as you desire; and if you both order water, you won’t even have to ask for a refill as the taps will be on your bench.
It means that privacy is not a premium here and should you choose YO! as the next place to take your date, you should come to expect some alone time.
Much like Wagamama’s, the seating options appear to be communal, though the actuality is different.
Even in the busiest of stores, a other patrons who are forced to sit next to you will largely keep to themselves and only the loudest of conversations will hamper yours.
That being said, sitting beside one another does make the conversations easier than if you were sitting apart and whilst it may not be as familiar to you, the closeness the two of you will share does add to the sense of intimacy.
What is the food like?
Well, for the Sushi connoisseurs, YO! is not going to shake the table as it is average at best.
However, if you are new to sushi, have been longing to try it or simply enjoy eating sushi, YO! Sushi does offer a gentle introduction to the cuisine without forcing you to understand the jargon or feel as if you are being watched and therefore judged by the ‘Itame’ (or Sushi Chef.)
Instead, patrons can simply ‘pick’ what they like from the conveyor belt & where necessary, reference the price of the dish against the colour code on the menu.
It means that your experience as a diner is just as controllable if you are on a budget or are looking to gorge and with you seeing the food before you choose it, you control what you eat in a way that is considerably more interesting than if you made your selection from the menu.
With that being said, if you are on a budget, YO! is probably not the location for you. With the majority of the desirable dishes coming in at around £5 and with YO! recommending you purchase five each; the meal of one person can quickly pass £27 before you include a drink or the cost of your own.
But once you consider the price of Sushi from an out-and-out Sushi restaurant, £70 is a bargain and a great starting point for you both to enjoy dishes that are currently in demand and are only growing more popular.
Situated in St Pancras International Station, this YO! is easy to get to.
- Small portions mean you only ever eat what you pick up.
- You can see the food before it arrives, exactly how it is presented.
- Private dining.
- Conveyor belt and Menu food choices.
- Clear and easy way to track your bill.
Without much restraint, you can quickly find yourself running up a very hefty bill.
- Drinks can be on the pricy side, especially for anything 'large' or Pint sized.
- For £75 you could enjoy a very good dinner elsewhere, whereas you are not buying 'amazing' Sushi with this budget.
- Can be a difficult spot to find. (hint, if you are using google maps, zoom in!)
- Communal seating is not for everyone.
- Each plate is about three bites of food, so portions are 'tiny'
- You might want to watch videos on 'how to eat sushi' to get the most out of your experience here.