There’s more to YO! than sushi
YO! have dropped the ‘sushi’ from their name but thankfully not the menu. The name change reflects the variety of dishes now available – everything from sushi to Osakan street food to spiced fries and even white bread sandwiches (but sadly no whipped cream with fruit filling yet!)
The YO! at House of Fraser closed a while back but the replacement site is now open on West George Street at what had been, for many years, Pizza Hut, and we were lucky enough to eat in the brand new restaurant almost as soon as it opened.
The kitchen area is at the back, side-on from the seats, so for those of us who like to watch the chefs at work you may need to crane your neck! (The ceiling reminded me of the Riverside Museum’s roof with its wavy lines.)
But otherwise, it’s still the same funky YO! Interior. Clean and functional with lots of straight lines making it ever so slightly Japanesey.
A cleaner-looking but comprehensive menu with full photos of all of the dishes makes it easier to navigate when a dish whooshes past you on the belt…well it doesn’t exactly whoosh past but a conveyer belt of moving food is not for the undecided amongst us!
As you can see Mr Foodie was thrilled and stumped with all the choice. 😂
We started off with a matcha latte for myself and a hojicha ginger tea for him. I would’ve liked a stronger matcha taste, however it still hit the spot. Hojicha is a green tea which is actually, er, brown! I don’t think we even tried this when we were in Japan last year however we did bring back Hojicha flavour Kit-Kats!
Out first food pick from the new menu was a seared beef roll with radish, cucumber and pickled onion and shichima powder (this is a 7 flavour chilli powder) but it wasn’t too spicy.
Then takoyaki AKA octopus balls. Fried battered dough balls with piece of octopus. This is a popular street snack in Osaka and a common thing to make at home in Japan as you can buy takoyaki makers in stores (and we contemplated bringing one back!).
Bet you didn’t think you’d see chips in a Japanese restaurant? Well, here we have Furikake fries. These are thin fries with sriracha mayo, yuzu furikake, sesame, aonori and smokey bonito flakes. While we could taste the umami and spice we couldn’t detect any smokiness but they were still tasty.
Okonomiaki also known as Japanese Pancake, Japanese omelette or even Japanese pizza was next. This is a cabbage-based patty topped with mayo, katsu sauce, spring onions and smoked bonito flakes. They’re usually much bigger so this smaller size fits the YO! plates perfectly. A cabbage-based dish might not sound appealing but believe me, these are full of savoury umami flavour.
We ordered another round of drinks – Kyoko chilled green tea and a sparking yuzu and cucumber drink. You wouldn’t think that citrus and cucumber would go together but this was very refreshing and we both agreed it was our favourite drink of the day.
Then Cod Nanbanzuke, this is seemingly Japan’s answer to sweet and sour. Crispy fried cod in a well, sweet and sour sauce. It was undercooked though so was our least favourite dish during our visit.
Chicken katsu sando, or in other words chicken katsu in a crustless sandwich. Crispy fried chicken thigh sandwiched between soft white bread and covered with Tonkatsu sauce. Something like this might seem silly or inauthentic to anyone who’s not been to Japan but we were surprised by the love for far weirder white bread sandwich combos during our trip last year (e.g. whipped cream and fruit!)
Dessert time! Mr Foodie picked strawberry cheesecake mochi which are sweet rice balls with strawberry cheesecake centre. The interior is a bit like a gloopy cooked marshmallow!
I picked the Ginza strawberry cake, strawberries and fresh cream in light sponge cake, perfect for summer.
We’re big fans of Japan and Japanese food so the return of YO! to Glasgow city centre is a welcome addition to West George St which is fast becoming “Asian alley” to rival “burger block” on nearby St.Vincent Street, what with Nippon Kitchen, Wagamama and Dim Sum just around the corner.
It looks like others feel the same as us too as the restaurant was packed, unfortunately though that put a bit of pressure on the staff and kitchen meaning it was a bit slow and some of the dishes came out undercooked, but this is a brand new restaurant and new team, so we predict that the next time we visit they will be slicker.
We’re also very happy to have a conveyer belt restaurant in Glasgow again and see items like takoyaki and okonomiyaki on the menu as these are often omitted from Japanese restaurants which prefer to focus on sushi.
85 West George St, Glasgow, G2 1QD
Sunday – Thursday: 11.30am – 10pm Friday – Saturday: 11.30am – 11pm Please note that last orders is 30 mins before closing.
Telephone: 0141 233 0080