This review isn’t really me being a food critic, it’s more about the experience as a whole, what others can expect if they have never been before and my thoughts about it, so here goes…
Yo! Sushi first appeared in the UK in 1997 and has since opened in many parts of the UK, including Cambridge (near to the Market Square area) which I was very excited to discover late last year. I love Japanese food and had been wanting to eat at Yo! Sushi ever since. So, when my mate Matt suggested we meet up for dinner I knew exactly where I wanted to go.
I spoke to a work colleague about it before I went, she told me a little about how it works (food going round on conveyor belts, dessert trains…) If you have never eaten there before it can seem quite confusing and intimidating when you first walk in (although there is definitely no reason to be) but a waiter greets you and asks you if you have eaten in one their restaurants before. If you haven’t they explain it all to you which is a really nice touch as it puts you at ease and stops you feeling like you are about to make a huge fool of yourself.
We decided that we would try the conveyor belt method of choosing our food. The restaurant in Cambridge has bar stool type seats for patrons wanting to sit at the conveyor belt bar, these are fine if you aren’t there for very long. However, if you think you might be there for a quite a while (we were there for two hours…we hadn’t seen each other since September) this probably is not the best option, it can get very uncomfortable!.
You sit on the stools and watch the food go by on the belt, we found this to be quite distracting (in a good way) as we would be in the middle of a conversation and spotting interesting food at the same time! It is a great way to decide what you want to eat as you can keep it mind and scoop it off the belt next time it comes round. As we were there quite early it was only the cold food on the belt, which has lids on. The dish lids also have a time on, this is so that the dish can be taken off at a certain time so it is not travelling around all night.
Of course, the dish I chose first had to be one of the most expensive plates on the menu, but I was hungry and wasn’t thinking about colour codes! The colour coded plates (of which there are seven different colours) and the accompanying price for each colour is one of my favourite things about Yo! Sushi, I love that you can mix and match your menu and control the amount your meal comes to.
I carefully scooped that first plate from the belt with some trepidation! I had visions of me not picking it up properly, only to see the plate flying off the belt or me tipping the food out on the belt. I am happy to report that none of those things happened.
If you want to order hot food, or something else that hasn’t made it on to the belt yet, it can be ordered from a waiter. Each table and place setting has a buzzer to press for assistance. It sends out a message on a tannoy stating the table number and a funny message (I couldn’t quite hear the messages) and a tall purple light in front of you also starts changing colour. I feel for the waiters once it gets busy, I am not sure how they manage to hear the table numbers on the tannoy messages, which is why the lights are also there to help them.
Later on some of the hot food was added to the conveyor belt, without a lid. I still preferred to order the hot food from the waiter rather than take it from the conveyor belt, it felt a little unhygienic (especially after I saw a fly on one of the hot plates going by me! This was the only downside of the evening). The hot food is cooked in the middle of the restaurant which is great as you can see how it is cooked, the chefs can also hand you your food order if you are near enough to them.
Sadly there was no dessert train and the dessert I wanted was apparently still frozen, so I had fresh fruit which was lovely and probably the better option for my weight watching!
I love the atmosphere and the laid back feel of the restaurant, it is also feels quite quirky. I definitely plan to go there again, especially as I would like to try things I was far too full to try this time!