I have to say, I haven’t always been the biggest advocate of Babymetal, but after catching them at Reading Festival last year, I thought they were pretty enjoyable, so gave them a second shot. Being a fan of both music and food, the combination of eating and having an exclusive listen to the new Babymetal record was too good to turn down – especially as the event was being held at Yo! Sushi on the South Bank.
And, shockingly, I’d never actually been to a Yo! Sushi. I know.
For those who also haven’t had their Yo! cherry popped, the concept is actually pretty simple – don’t let the menagerie of colour coded plates whizzing past scare you. When you spy something on the belt that you like the look off, just grab it and tuck in. Or, alternatively, you can order up hot dishes from the kitchen. Each dish is colour coded, so when you’re done, they’ll just add up the plates you have left over. See, easy peasy.
Yo! have joined forces with Babymetal as part of their series of Japanese cultural collaborations featuring the latest trends coming out of Tokyo for its brand new ‘This is TokYO!’ programme. Baby Metal are currently making major waves bringing Japanese music, pop culture and style to the world.
As well as the playback of the album, the evening also gave us a chance to sample some of the newest dishes that have made their way onto the extensive and impressive Yo! menu. Fusing classic Japanese cooking with a Western twist, there’s plenty of choice on hand – and there’s a LOT more to the conveyor belt menu than just rice and raw fish.
One of the first new dishes that ‘winged’ (ha) its way to our spot was the Taba No Karaage (£4.55) – also known as Crispy Fried Chicken Wings, served with lime. With some of the dishes being very new to me, it was a pretty familiar dish and the wings were excellently cooked. Super crispy with tender chicken, I’d definitely advise this one for anyone new to Yo!, showing they’re about WAY more than the stereotypical sushi ingredients.
Lissa had already recommended I try the Kabocha Katsu (£3.65), crispy bites of pumpkin drizzled with tonkatsu sauce. Which is, according to Google, sort of a Japanese type of BBQ sauce (I’m not the most IN THE KNOW about Japanese food, so if I get something a bit wrong thanks to basic internet usage, please let me know in the comments!). But getting to the important part, it tasted great and gave a bit of tang to the plate – and there was a generous amount for the portion too. Pumpkin isn’t something I’d usually think to eat, but in this format I was definitely a big fan.
My favourite of the new menu dishes came in the form of the Ramen Noodle Salad (£3.65). I didn’t expect cold noodles to be something I enjoyed, but the sesame sauce made it a fantastic dish, with the crisp shallots adding a bit of crunch, The pickled ginger was another great dimension, bringing a bit of ‘zing’ to the dish. The whole thing was tasty, filling and well put together. A great accompaniment if you’re eating some meat or fish dishes, but equally satisfying in it’s own right. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for it on the belt next time I head to Yo.
The Kimichi Ika (£4.15) is another new dish, featuring poached squid with quick-pickled kimchi chilli vegetables. The the texture of the squid wasn’t quite up my street, but I enjoyed the overall flavours a lot, particularly the pickled veg with chilli.
Another dish that topped the bill for me and provided a pleasant surprise was the Okonomiyaki (£4.15). Which is basically a pancake, but not your Shrove Tuesday kind. This one’s a savoury pancake made from cabbage – which doesn’t sound like the most appetizing of foods to chow down on as a main component of a plate, but these pancakes are SUPER tasty. Topped with smoked tuna flakes, pickled ginger and the rich, slightly spicy sauce, this is one unusual pancake you should definitely be flipping out about. (YEP. THE PUNS KEEP COMING, FOLKS).
I also tried the Seabass Nanbanzuke (£4.55). I’m a big fan of seabass in general, so really enjoyed this one – the rice in particular was lovely and sticky, and the dish is another pretty filling one (YES TO CARBS).
Fancy a bit on the side? The new Potato Salada (£2.15) (anyone guess what’s in this dish, eh?) isn’t too heavy and the potatoes are cooked until soft, falling apart with every bite.
As well as the new dishes on offer, I also had a few classic Yo! plates, including the sticky, tasty Chicken Teriyaki (£4.15). I really enjoyed the taste of the glaze on these. I don’t actually have a picture of the desserts, but I tried Yo!’s Chocolate Mochi (£4.15) and it was love at first chewy, gooey bite.
As well as the huge amount of food to try, we were also some of the first in the UK to hear the new Babymetal album – which I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by. Musically, the band behind the girls are pretty good, with enough heavy riffs to appease any metal fan.
Yo! Sushi was definitely a revelation for me, and I’m now actually getting cravings for some of the plates I tried. The new dishes showcased the impressive variety available at Yo! – way beyond just your classic sushi dishes. I’ll definitely be visiting again, and tucking into lots of Ramen Noodles and Chicken Wings!
Are you a Yo! Sushi fan? What are your top dishes?