Cabot Circus, Bristol, BS1 3BQ
t: 01173 213 161
I think we might have found the best option for eating out this January if you’re a) on a diet, b) on a budget and c) still want to have fun: just get down to your local YO! Sushi. We’d be the first to say that sushi isn’t for everyone. But at YO! it’s a very friendly westernised menu where it’s clear when you’re eating raw fish (you can dodge it if you want) and the flying saucers on the conveyor belt that runs around the restaurant are a great distraction.
YO! is really good fun. The restaurants have that 1960′s space age look – white, with a conveyor belt running through them from which you can pick up small brightly-coloured plates of whatever you like the look of. Alongside classic ‘raw fish’ sushi like sashimi, you can also pick up Japanese curries, vegetable sushi, desserts and sides. Each plate is colour coded and all plates of the same colour cost the same – this gives you a good idea of how much you’re spending. You get a waiter too, who takes your order and can help if you’re stuck; on your table is fizzy and still water, soy sauce, pickled ginger, wasabi and chopsticks and spoons. If you order green tea or miso soup – two essentials in Japanese cuisine – you’ll find that they are unlimited, so drink as much as you like! The idea is to order lots of small plates, like with tapas.
This January (2012), they are offering 40% off their menu. And their simple 4-piece set Healthy Menu comes in at 417 calories, and £11. That’s only a fifth of a woman’s daily intake, and with the 40% reduction, costs just £6.60 (if my maths is right).
We went to try it out. (Note: most people wouldn’t take an 18 month baby to a sushi joint and encourage her to eat it. We did – she loved it. What I’m saying is – don’t be put off if you have kids!). The healthy menu was really good: edamame beans, salmon nigiri (thin slices of salmon on sticky rice), coriander seared tuna sashimi and a delicious pumpkin korroke. There are a lot of Japanese restaurants in Bristol, and this is the only chain restaurant. We really like the others, particularly Masa and Obento, but YO! is more approachable, fun and family-friendly. It’s a completely different atmosphere to the classic Japanese joints.
We only have two complaints: the edamame wasn’t very fresh. It’s my favourite Japanese thing but it wasn’t the greatest here. And, of course, while sushi is very filling, we are used to eating more, so ordered a few extras too. I’d recommend the Yo Rolls to anyone; with salmon, avocado, fish roe and mayonnaise wrapped in rice, it’s absolutely delicious.
The menu is calorie-counted so I saw that even by adding a couple of extras, my meal was still well under a third of my daily limit; and with the current discount of 40%, everything’s a bargain here.
If you’re really concerned about the calorie details, the company has an online nutritional booklet so you can work out what to eat in advance; we spotted on the way out that their take out sushi boxes are amazingly priced and huge, and will be dropping in there to get our sushi next time the need grabs us.
Don’t forget – the 40% off deal ends at the end of January, so if you want in, you need to be quick. The Healthy Menu is around all year.