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30 April 2017

YoSushi: Flavours of Japan



I’ve never really been one for pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Especially when it comes to food. I like to enjoy my food and I tend to eat the same meals over and over again...




So when Gemma invited me to join her at the tasting event for the new YoSushi Flavours of Japan evening, I decided to be brave and go for it. Gemma and I have met at a couple of blogger events previously and this would be a good opportunity to get to know each other better!


With DSLR in tow, I headed to the Grainger Street restaurant. Right next to Monument, it’s right in the middle of the city centre.

I’ve had sushi a few times in my life and always stuck to the same stuff without branching out and trying new things. So a tasting menu would surely push my palette!






We arrived and were shown to our table where I met all the other bloggers who had been invited and got to see what a sushi bar actually looks like. Despite it only being a restaurant, I was surprised by how ‘Japanese’ it felt. A conveyor belt, water taps, quirky drinks, chopsticks and Asian pop music playing throughout the restaurant, it really did feel like i'd left Newcastle behind!

Stools around a bar with a conveyor belt at its centre, meant that we all sat opposite each other. Throughout the evening this made a perfect layout for conversation between all the bloggers which was cool and broke the ice! 

The Menu

 Bullet-Train Katsu Sando


I was incredibly relieved that this was the first dish we got to try. I needed easing in slowly to this new style of food! A sandwich that is already creating a buzz in their Manhattan restaurant, I was intrigued to try it simply because of the name!
 Named so as it is the original staple snack of street vendors and food carts across Japan’s network of Bullet-trains. A succulent chicken thigh coated in panko crumb and fried to the perfect crisp and covered in Tonkatsu sauce. It really didn’t seem too far out of my comfort zone and it was delicious! I finished this dish fairly quickly and was left immediately wanting more. One thing I really enjoyed about it is the spread of Japanese mustard, which gives it a slightly fiery kick!

Fruity Beef Katsu


Created as part of the ‘Fresh Tastes of Japan’ competition by one of YoSushi’s top Head Chef’s this was another dish I was eager to try. Seasoned mince beef coated in crispy panko crumb and topped with even more fruity Tonkatsu sauce! This was quite delicious and really sweet. It was lovely!

 Sweet and Sour Cod NanbanZuke
 


This dish didn’t last long enough for me. A golden colour, fried pieces of fresh cod dipped in tangy 'nanban' sauce. It was absolutely delicious and I could have taken a box of it home with me! Easily my favourite dish of the evening and one I will be returning to devour! I love any dish that is 'sweet and sour' and this was perfect. It was nice and light so not overly filling but still delicious.

Izakaya Pork Teriyaki 


Tender slices of pork belly served in a delicious sweet and salty teriyaki glaze. My second favourite dish of the evening. Paired with a soft-boiled egg, it was definitely different! I can see why it is considered a delicacy in the backstreet bars of Japan's Izakayas. 

Osaka-Style Squid


This was the one dish that had everyone asking the head chef if it was alive! The smoky bonito flakes twist and turn as the heat evaporates from them giving the illusion that the dish is alive! It was a little creepy to watch but tasted really interesting.
Crispy fried squid with aonori, beni shoga, mayonnaise and tonkatsu for a tasty finish. This dish definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone as I had never had squid before! Not my favourite on the dish but sometimes you just have to be brave and try something new!

Seared beef & Pickle Roll

This was the thing on the menu that looked so much like traditional sushi to me. I used to be obsessed with anime when I was younger (Fruits Basket, anyone remember that?) and it reminded me so much of that!

But onto the taste! I really liked the seared beef but the pickle part wasn't such a hit! A full bite mixed everything together and it tasted great together but I wouldn't have ordered it myself. But this evening was all about trying new things!




Tokyo Banana Cake

This was the sweetest, most lovely cake I have had in a long time. Sweet banana mixed with drizzles of chocolate, it was lovely! I wasn't overly keen on the piece of real banana in the middle but the rest of it was a lovely mix of flavours!



Overall, I was very impressed with this new menu. It's not so 'out there' that newbies to Sushi like me won't touch it! I can't wait to go back and take some other Sushi newbies to try this little glimpse into Japanese culture and cuisine.

The staff were so friendly and helpful when it came to recommending food and drink ( hello marble soda, my new obsession!). Huge compliments to the head chef of Yosushi, Grainger Street, he really showed off his skill and training and I was really impressed watching him create our meal! 

Eating at Yosushi for the first time ever has given me a little more confidence in trying new food and cemented my love for Japanese culture again, it's one place I'd love to visit in the future.

My favourite part of the evening- Marble Soda and Sweet and Sour Cod Nanbanzuke

Have you got any YoSushi recommendations? What's your favourite thing about Japanese culture?

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