The Voice and Bean Eat Out: Yo! Sushi, West Quay, Southampton

The voices were out window shopping for cot beds for me the other day. Apparently that’s what I’m going to sleep in once I’m in the new space. I hope it’s comfortable. While they were out they stopped for something to eat and the Voice wants to tell you all about it.


 

YS17

I’ve visited Yo! Sushi, a couple of times now in different towns and I enjoy eating there, but when my husband suggested we go there for lunch, on a shopping trip to the West Quay, my immediate reaction of – Yo! Sushi, oh yum, – was dampened by the thought that I was in fact pregnant. Raw fish from a conveyor belt is not really something I should be risking. From past experience, I know their menus are extensive, so I put my reservations aside and went for it.

In all Yo! Sushis you take your seat either at a table or the conveyor belt. You can take food from the belt or if you want something particular, that’s hot rather than cold, you can order it. We had a seat next to the conveyor belt. The best of both worlds!

Yo! Sushi, advertise themselves as ‘Fast, Fun and fresh Japanese food’, so let’s see if they are.


Overall:

Yo! Sushi  – Fast, Fun and fresh Japanese food’? I’d say sometimes, yes but the novelty could wear off and definitely yes to the last one.
 
I really enjoyed Yo! Sushi and would definitely say there is plenty of choice. It’s not all raw fish. There’s no on site toilet and no room beside the tables for pushchairs, in this branch, making it difficult if I was on my own with a child, but all in all Yo! Sushi is a place I would revisit.

Overall score: 10/15

Got time to read more? Let’s break it down…


Let’s start with the Menu:

The menu is more of a catalogue (see some examples below) and there is plenty of choice for all, with prices clearly marked. There were also specials, currently the Oishii Bun.

There was almost too much choice and as you watch the food going past on the conveyor belt, by the time you’ve worked out what it is it’s gone past and you have to wait for it to come round again. On the upside, there’s no waiting around for someone to take your order, you just reach across and take what you want.

Here are some examples of the menu.

(To see the full picture click on the jpegs)


Food:

What did I have?

  • Goma salad – ‘Salad leaves, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, crispy shallots, sesame sauce’. (off the conveyor)
  • Chicken Gyoza – ‘Chicken dumplings, soy & vinegar sauce’. (ordered)
  • Beef Tsukune – ‘Skewered beef, cucumber & spring onion sausages, teriyaki sauce’. (ordered)
  • Oishii Bun – Teriyaki Mushroom (ordered)
  • Maki  – Avocado Maki (off the conveyor)
  • Anko Mochi – ‘Soft Japanese rice cake ball, sweet red bean filling’. (off the conveyor)
  • Green Tea (ordered)
  • Water (at the table)
The food goes round on a conveyor belt. Each dish is covered with a plastic dome, which has a time on it that shows when it should be removed from the conveyor if it hasn’t been eaten. You eat with chopsticks, which is great fun to try but can prove tricky for the inexperienced, depending on the food.
I always go for green tea in restaurants and in Yo! Sushi you pay once and then get unlimited refills, which is great. I also like to have water with my meal and in many restaurants, tap water is provided. In Yo! Sushi there are taps on your table but don’t make the mistake of thinking this is free. In the small print at the bottom of the tap it states it’s £1.10. Granted it’s unlimited refills but this is still a bit of a swizz when you can get perfectly good tap water in this country.
The Goma salad was really fresh and tasty, the crispy shallots gave a great texture to it, and it accompanied the other dishes nicely.
The Chicken Gyoza was full of flavour and the dipping sauce was perfect.
The Beef Tsukune were a real treat. I love teriyaki and these did not disappoint. They had to be ordered separately and they took a very long time to get to the table, so I’d eaten most of the other food by the time they arrived.
The Oishii Bun also took a very long time to arrive. My husband and I had actually finished eating the mains we wanted and had to wait a good fifteen minutes more before the Oishi Bun arrived. Despite this it was well worth the wait. Crispy, tasty and, I think you’ll agree, unlike many things, actually looks like it does on the menu (see above).
The Avocado Maki was bland and needed more seasoning, although there was soy sauce on the table which I took full advantage of.
The real let down was Anko Mochi dessert. It looked so much better than it tasted. It didn’t seem to taste of very much at all and had a paste like texture. Perhaps the fresh fruit salad would have been a better choice after all that sticky teriyaki.
The biggest problem overall is, each dish itself is not an unreasonable price but with all this food filing past you it’s very easy to eat too much and therefore spend far more than you expected! But, it’s too yummy and there’s too much to try, can hardly be classed as criticism. Despite the extensive menu there were some things that were not available, which was a shame.
Food: 4/5

Service

If you want to order a dish then you press the button on the table with sets off a cheery Japanese cartoon character’s voice that shouts for the waiter with a Yo! Yo! or Konichiwa! This is fun the first few times but it was very busy so with lots of tables pressing for assistance, it gets a bit annoying after a while. I can imagine if you had a small child who insisted on pressing it, it could well tip you over the edge. On a positive note, it’s something a bit different and means waiters know when you are waiting.
The service on occasion was very, very slow as stated above and this was frustrating in the case of the Oishii bun. The staff were all very friendly and smiled in the face of what was a very busy day in the shopping centre.
Service: 4/5
YS16
 

Facilities:

The facilities were disappointing.
The restaurant itself had the same branding and set up as the other Yo! Sushis I have been in but it lacked the atmosphere. It was busy and noisy and seating is tightly packed together. This may be because it’s in the middle of a very large shopping centre and it’s never going to be the picture of peace and tranquility, but the noise and hustle and bustle didn’t encourage a long stay.
There was no room for buggies or pushchairs alongside tables if you needed one. There was room for one buggy to be left near the till area but the space was limited.
The tables were clean, the menus were a bit grubby but perhaps this is because of the fact you are eating and choosing food at the same time.
There were no toilets in the actual restaurant and therefore no baby change facilities. The staff will direct you to toilets in the shopping centre, which are about two minutes walk away. Quite a way if you have a screaming child that wants changing, especially if you were on your own. It would mean you would have to leave the restaurant to go to another part of the shopping centre and therefore leaving your table unattended.
Granted, this may happen anyway, if you are on your own in a restaurant, even if they had toilets on site, but you wouldn’t have to actually leave the building mid meal. In the case of West Quay, Yo! Sushi, you may even have to pay the bill before you leave, even though you could only be half way through your meal. I have no idea how this would work.
Facilities 2/5 
 YS13

If you found this review useful, please let me know and I would love to hear your experiences of Yo! Sushi restaurants, so be sure to leave your comments below.

Look out for more restaurant reviews from Bean and the Voice Eat Out, coming soon.

 

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