Yoshi Sushi is in a parade of shops on King Street, better known for its string of Indian restaurants. The dining room is long and narrow, and there is a small private room at the back of the restaurant with sunken seats. There is a selection of “lunch box” offerings at around £10 or £11, and a lengthy a la carte. An individual portion of tuna sushi was £4.50 with the fatty toro tuna at £5.50, chicken teriyaki was £13.50, while Japanese beer is an acceptable £3 a bottle.
Despite the name, Yoshi Sushi offers a whole range of Japanese styles, from yakitori through to shabu shabu. On this brief lunch I tried an eel dish. Pleasant miso soup, garnished with spring onions, appeared first (11/20). A little side dish of deep fried cubes of beancurd resting in soy then popped up, which was unexciting but competent (11/20). The eel came prettily displayed in a lacquer box: as you lift the lid the grilled eel is revealed on a bed of rice. The eel was excellent, cut into thin slices, glazed and then grilled. It is common to mess up this dish – it can turn out greasy and can or indeed easily be burnt, but here the eel was carefully cooked and had good flavour, while the rice was also precisely cooked (comfortably 13/20). A couple of slices of orange at the end of the meal had unusually good taste, suggesting a chef who spent some effort in selecting the fruit.
The chef is in fact Korean rather than Japanese, but this in itself means nothing. There are lots of Koreans that live in Japan, and for example the chefs at Nobu in London have been of assorted nationalities, including an excellent Scottish chef who used to be head chef there some years ago. The fish is supplied by Harrow Foods, which is not a supplier I have come across before. My lunch cost £16.50 in all.
On a second lunch visit I tried the £10 teriyaki lunch box, which had chicken teriyaki, mixed tempura and rice. The tempura were fine, a prawn, yam and aubergine, the batter reasonable and the prawn cooked properly, though the prawn itself did not have a lot of flavour (12/20). The chicken was ordinary, with little inherent flavour that in this case could have done with more of the teriyaki sauce to lift it (maybe 11/20).
I also ordered some tuna sushi. The rice was cold when it should be room temperature, and did not have great texture; the tuna itself was of adequate quality, but no more (11/20). The dishes at this meal were not of the same class as the eel at my previous experience. Overall this seems to be a quite competent restaurant, though the ingredients are not of the highest quality. It is not a place to make a special journey to, but if you are in the area you could do a lot worse, especially if you have the eel.
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