REVIEW: YO! Sushi, Brighton

by - March 31, 2015

I'll hold my hands up and admit my knowledge of Japanese food is limited. Probably not as limited as those thinking it's acceptable to serve pasta with a duck in Hoisin sauce and front loading it with an order of garlic bread for that authentic Italian experience. (Clue: It's frigging not.) I also do not generally like the wipe down, generic environment of a chain restaurant.

So here we are in the Anglo-Japanese chain restaurant YO! Sushi. The Brighton branch has actually had a bit of a make-over and is all shiny new and sparkly.

As open to variety as we are in this city, Japanese restaurants in Brighton are actually quite limited. Emperor of them all, Moshimo, is a gorgeous environment and I always enjoy a visit and then we have the ramshackle but popular E-Kagen, Fatboy Slim owned Oki-Nami which rarely sets pulses racing, you'll find Sushi Garden down the laminated menu street for tourists and there's Pompoko where you can worryingly order a 30 course meal and get change out from 50p (sort of). There are a few smaller sushi and ramen places starting to pop up but again, I'm not the best informed of this cuisine. (By all means, leave me tip-offs in the comments.)

But one think I am sure about is that a conveyor belt sushi restaurant has my inner child and greediness squealing with glee. A constant stream of food passing under your nose as you dine? They should be in every restaurant I say. As is standard, cold sushi and dishes are taken off the belt but there are plenty of hot dishes made to order.

So, needless to say I tried a few things. Highlights were the beef and garlic teriyaki. The coating was crunchy and glazed in a sticky sweet sauce which I could have happily ordered again straight after. The spicy pepper squid, which surprisingly had been marinated for 24 hours on-site, was crisp and tender, but let down by the coating which was slightly floury.

Fresh and vibrant was the salmon and yuzu salsa tataki dish, with slices of salmon sat in a ponzu dressing topped with a tomato and cucumber salsa. 

Most dishes average around the £3-4 mark but there are a few more luxurious items like the seared tuna sashimi with caviar (£6). Being marinated in sake and soy, I would have expected a more dynamic flavour from the tuna, but it won a few points back for prettiness.

The sushi rolls were enjoyable enough. The YO! Sushi signature roll I suppose is a must order. Fresh salmon, avocado, mayo and orange smelt roe. The fried salmon skin and chicken katsu rolls also left little to complain about.

All in all, I enjoyed my meal. I wouldn't go in expecting the finest Japanese fare any more that I would the highest authenticity from Pizza Express. You can only expect so much from a restaurant that has a key to icons in the menu and an A-frame outside.

This is clearly crowd pleasing, safe food which I suppose is why the chain restaurant is so popular. Whilst I ate, I notice a wide demographic of diner from the working lunchbreaker, daters to families. And I would say this is a great place to bring the kids where they can freely experiment with their palettes in an engaging, interactive format. The families in the booths behind and in front were having a blast and I think my three year old, who is pretty gung-ho with food, would love it despite the high probability of leaving me with eye watering bill and a metre high tower of plates.

I would like to see a better drinks menu with freshly squeezed juices rather than Frobishers and that hideous tooth-tingling Zeo drink. They could also do with a few more beers, but apparently this is in the pipeline.

Staff are young and fun and add to the buzz of the place.

YO! Sushi
6 Jubilee Street, Brighton BN1 1GE

I was invited to review YO! Sushi. Opinions, as always, are my own. 

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