YO! Sushi in Harvey Nichols in Leeds
Credit: eGDC Ltd


YO! Sushi, 4th Floor, Harvey Nichols, 107-111 Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6AZ.

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4th Floor, Harvey Nichols, 107-111 Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6AZ.

Initial Impressions

YO! Sushi is a national chain of sushi restaurants. Typically, the layout of these restaurants is with a bar and a number of booths around the cooking area, with a conveyor belt between the booths and bar seats and the kitchen on which are placed various dishes of food. Customers can either help themselves to a dish they fancy as it passes, or, if they want something specific, order that dish from the staff where it will be made to order.

Each booth, and at intervals along the surrounding bar counter, has a fizzy and still water dispensers, plus containers of wasabi (a hot green paste usually referred to as Japanese horseradish, although not actually a horseradish), Japanese soy sauce and pickled ginger (gari), a thinly sliced and marinated young ginger. Also available are small dishes to put sauce into, paper serviettes, wooden chopsticks, wooden spoons and wooden easy to use chopsticks.

Once purchased, you can have unlimited refills of fizzy and still water and green tea. A selection of bottled and canned soft drinks and alcohol is also available.

This YO! Sushi is on the 4th Floor of the Harvey Nichols in Leeds' Victoria Quarter, along with the the Fourth Floor Café and Bar, Foodmarket and Wine Shop. The Espresso Bar, although downstairs and outside Harvey Nichols itself, also gets some food from the Café.

This branch was visited on a Bank Holiday Monday with the Blue Monday offer running. With this offer, over 50 of the dishes served are served on blue plates, and so cost blue plate prices; frequently meaning a substantial reduction in price. Only dishes listed on the offer are eligible; any others are their normal price. Cold dishes are available on the conveyor, and eligible ones can also be ordered. Most hot dishes will need to be ordered, as they are usually cooked to order, although occasionally hot ones can be found on the conveyor.

Usually, the food on the conveyor is served on different coloured plates, starting with the cheapest green plates, increasing in price through blue, purple, orange, pink, red and the most expensive on the menu, grey. Sometimes yellow plate food is also served. These are specials, and cost more than grey dishes. There are also several soups with Miso Soup, like the water and green tea, available with unlimited refills after ordering.

A customer can have as few or as many plates of food as desired. At the end of the meal, the bill is calculated by the total number of each plate ordered, plus drinks. You can decide on how many dishes you want depending on how hungry you are, how much you want to spend and how long you have. It is perfectly possible to just have one plate if wanted.

Sushi Does Not Mean Raw Fish

Many can be put off from dining at a sushi restaurant as they believe sushi is solely raw fish. Sushi is not actually fish at all; it is a type of Japanese cooked and vinegared rice combined with other ingredients. Sashimi is in fact raw meat, typically fish.

The majority of the dishes at YO! Sushi, although they do serve some sashimi, are cooked. Many are served cold, but there are plenty of hot ones too, and not every dish contains rice either. If you don't like raw fish, don't be put off from dining, simply choose cooked dishes, whether cold or hot.

As well as the hot and cold dishes, there are also a number of desserts available, including mochi, a Japanese glutinous rice dessert.

The Food

The drink was a bottle of Coca-Cola, served from the fridge so chilled and fine.

Three dishes were chosen; two taken from the belt and one hot dish ordered from the server.

Spicy Chicken

This is a cold salad of cooked chicken with a spicy ginger and garlic dressing, served on a salad of carrot, green bean and salad leaves.

The chicken is quite spicy. There was a reasonable amount of the chicken, and a lot of the salad, especially the leaves.

Beef Tataki

This is a dish of black pepper seared - and so only cooked on the edges - thin slices of beef, served with a coriander dressing and on a bed of thin spirals of daikon, a white Japanese radish.

This dish is served cold, and is beef sashimi. It isn't suitable for anyone who likes their beef thoroughly cooked. The beef was tasty and tender enough to eat easily. The coriander sauce was nice, and the daikon was useful for mopping up the remainder of it, as there was a fair amount.

Spicy Pepper Squid

This is pieces of squid, battered and fried, topped with sliced red chilli.

This is a hot dish, and so usually needs to be ordered from a server. The squid is nice, if a bit chewy, and the batter is quite spicy anyway, even without considering the red chilli.

My Opinion

The Blue Monday deal can save quite a bit of money. Dishes are usually substantially cheaper than normal. The flexibility of the place is great; you can eat as much or as little as you want, allowing you to go there either for a snack or a large meal. The place can tend to be busy if visited at certain times, as it is very popular.

The bar stools around the bar aren't suitable really for larger groups of people, as everyone is seated in a line. The lack of back support other than a small lip can prove uncomfortable too. There are only a limited number of booths, and each booth will only seat four people. The restaurant is more suited to lunches and informal dining than anything else.

This is a nice place to eat, and often quite inexpensive. The total cost for the three dishes and drink was £8.95. Don't be put off by thinking it's just raw fish, because it certainly isn't.

YO! Sushi, Harvey Nichols, Leeds egdcltd 2013-12-17 3.5 0 5
The Good Pub Guide 2014
Amazon Price: $29.95 $2.95 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 19, 2015)