Yo! Sushi – Trafford Centre, Manchester

I have a dirty secret, a secret I probably shouldn’t share on a food blog, a blog that’s here to educate gastronomically and to highlight the best of our region has to offer – I’m in love with Yo! Sushi.


Food on a belt!

I know it’s a chain, that the selection of fish stretches to two, three if you count prawns and four if you separate smoked/non-smoked salmon and I’d avoid it if you have an aversion to bright colours. All that said, I love the place; they cater for most people (even non-fish eaters), there’s the hypnotic parade of dishes speeding past you on the belt and their menu’s genuinely, unpretentiously fun.

My first foray into Yo! was in the sadly now departed Selfridge’s Exchange Square food hall; eighteen years old, never having eaten sushi, my senses were assaulted and I relished each visit, popping in for a plate of hamachi sashimi and a bowl of miso – as much as my meagre student budget would stretch to.

Over the years it has been a place to tell my brother (when he had a whole futomaki stuffed into his mouth) that he was eating fish eggs (cue him trying to get said futomaki out of his mouth as quickly as possible), to giggle uncontrollably (you mean snort? – ed) with friends and *blushes* as a date destination.

Yo! Sushi has just released a new menu inspired by street food at their Trafford Centre Selfridges

New menu

store (soon to be rolled out across the country) – I’m not going to discuss the morals of restaurants incorporating street food dishes onto their menus and the whole street food shebang (there will probably be a blog about that in the not too distant future…) – so naturally, new menu, any excuse to pop down.

The Yo! Sushi at Selfridges Trafford Centre has just had a major refit (indeed, I tried to pop down three weeks ago and it was closed. No weekly Yo! fix for me!). The old white store has been replaced with striped wood, shot through with the recognisable Yo! Sushi colours. There’s less bright orange (good) and the whole place generally looks cleaner, brighter and more modern. So it’s not just the menu that has changed.

Whilst we were trying out the street menu (six dishes, of which we tried four), we naturally had to sample as many of the other dishes we know and love. Because that’s how I roll at Yo! (and then roll out the door).

Off the new menu – Chicken karage is a fried chicken dish (like popcorn chicken, my companion’s observation) – salty with a crunchy outer layer, pretty moreish and probably very bad for you. We didn’t like the processed tasting wasabi mayo dip that came on the side, but a dousing of soy makes this dish even better (or use the dip that comes with the goyza, takes it up another notch again).

Salmon harumaki; a crisp filo roll, filled with nori and salmon, then fried. I’ve never had cooked nori before, but it’s something I’ll definitely try again. The pastry gave a pleasing crisp crack and the fish inside was perfectly cooked, the nori seasoning it all beautifully. Only issue was that the pastry was soaked in oil – luckily it didn’t taste stale, but left a little too much grease in the mouth.

Bum note was the duck and hoisin salad – some bland, soggy leaves shot through with massive chunks of onion and then topped unappetisingly with cold, unflavoured (just a hint of five spice was all I was getting) duck that had lumps of white fat and flabby skin stuck to it. We didn’t finish it.

Luckily all this was saved by the dish of the day – salmon sashimi with an yuzu salsa. Miles away from the duck; spanking fresh, full of heady, fresh citrus perfume, zingy spice and sweetness from the salsa. I could have eaten this all day.

Then we started on dishes from the original menu; the usual, plain salmon sashimi was what it said on the tin – fresh but a little fatty. A tuna handroll was full to bursting and the staff were more than happy to skip the mayo as per my request, they did however, get a little trigger happy with the spicy sauce – it took three glasses of waster to stop the burning and my lips looked like they’d had some pretty full on filler work done (not that I minded, I’m addicted to that spicy sauce).

Because I’m a glutton/had to research I had the rice rolled salmon maki – there’s no rice, the nori is replaced by summer roll wrapping and there’s some avocado and cucumber in there – super light and refreshing, another winner that I’ll add to my list of ‘dishes I have to have every time I visit Yo!’

Yo! Sushi isn’t for the sushi gourmand, that’s not why I go there (try Umezushi instead if you’re after that), but it’s a great place for to grab a bite to eat that genuinely is different from the flabby sandwiches and bland soups that are your other lunch time/chain options.

Yo! Sushi operates a range of set prices for it’s dishes, the colour of the dish denotes price – they go form £1.90 (green) to £5 (grey).

Food – 7/10
Service – 9/10 (Jamie is amazing, he’s the most lovely, helpful man ever)
Atmosphere – 8/10 (rammed, mid-week lunch)
Value for money – 7/10

Total – 31/40

Go again – already been. Twice. Since last week.

Yo! Sushi Selfridges, The Dome, Trafford Centre, Trafford Park, Manchester M17 8DA – 0161 747 7689 – http://www.yosushi.com/restaurants/manchester-selfridges-Trafford

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