YO! Summer Specials in Reading:
It’s been a long, hot summer so far and like everyone I know, I’ve been searching for lighter food when I’m eating out. So I was delighted to be invited to try some of the YO! summer specials. I’ve long been a fan of what is now called YO! but was originally known as Yo Sushi. In fact, I suspect that I tasted my first sushi and my first Japanese food in a YO! restaurant. Founded in 1997, the first branch opened in Poland Street Soho and started a real trend. What a fabulous idea – you sit around a moving belt and pick off the dishes you fancy – all colour coded by price. You can see everything being made for you – and if there’s something on the menu you want to try that’s not on the belt, you can ask for it to be made up for you.
Perhaps my most memorable YO! experience was when, after a job interview, the Director of the Russian Bank invited me to join him for lunch at the YO! in Liverpool Street Station. As I recall, my interview outfit of sharp, fitted skirt suit and heels wasn’t really that great for perching on a bar stool, grabbing slow-moving plates from the conveyor belt and then eating with chopsticks. But I did survive and got the job, only for the Russian economy to crash a few weeks later…
YO! was always a great favourite with the kids I used to look after too – there’s something quite mesmerising about that conveyor belt of food – and of course, if you pick your own food, you can’t turn round and say you don’t like it. So, I’m delighted to hear that throughout the summer, there’s a special ‘Kids Eat Free’ deal. What better opportunity to introduce your kids to food which is beautiful, delicious and healthy!
We went along to sample some of the new summer menu, along with our own old favourites. I’m rather hoping that one or two of them make it to the permanent menu as I really enjoyed all of those I tried.
My Salmon and Orange Ponzu Salad was a delicious mixture of salmon sashimi and shiso (salmon roe) topped with rice pearls and served with tomatoes. It was perhaps a little light on heritage tomatoes, but no less tasty for that. I loved the fresh citrus orange ponzu dressing and was delighted to find that my dish was just 109 calories. All the YO! plates have a calorie count, so if you happened to be dieting, you could actually easily find a selection of food to eat.
My companion picked the Chicken and Tangerine salad from the summer menu, a sticky glazed chicken dish with a fresh salad laced with coriander and soy and served with a generous helping of salad leaves.
Another winner, it was bursting with flavour and really delicious.
We shared the two salads on the summer menu. Asian Noodle Salad was pretty and fresh, with a mixture of rice noodles, seaweed and spiralized vegetables
But, if I had to pick a winner, for me, the Smashed Cucumber Salad served with a light red chilli, black vinegar and sesame oil dressing was really special. I will be trying to recreate this one at home – and at just 40 calories it was an excellent way to fill up.
Of course YO! wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t choose your own favourites.
We enjoyed a whole range of dishes including a wonderfully rich and tender beef teriyaki
This delicate Harusame Aubergine dish, with fried slices of aubergine dressed with a garlic and ginger sesame dressing
A tender Chicken Katsu with a beautifully crisp panko breadcrumb shell
Tempura soft shelled crab with the lightest of tempura batters and a good meaty crab complemented by the sweet chilli mayo
And my favourite regular salad – Kaiso Seaweed which is surprisingly calorific (175 cals for a plateful) but worth every inch it might be adding to my hips
My companion also ordered a beef curry ramen, which at 482 calories is a meal in itself.
I’d have struggled, but then I did enjoy most of the Chicken Katsu
and a good part of the Beef Teriyaki, which is an old favourite of mine (possibly my top YO! dish)
You may have noticed we didn’t eat any sushi at all. It wasn’t intentional, but by the time we’d picked our favourite dishes and added in the summer menu selection we wanted to try, we really wouldn’t have had space for any more food.
Apart from, of course, a small dessert.
In my case, a deliciously rich chocolate Mochi (rice balls filled with a chocolate ganache)
While my companion enjoyed the summer special Mango Passion Pot, which was a lovely light and refreshing end to the meal.
We enjoyed Sake and Sapporo beer with the meal and our total bill was just over £60 for what seemed like a veritable feast.
We dined at YO! Reading which is located in House of Fraser, but which has it’s own entrance fronting onto the canal. It’s open from 11.30am till 9.30pm from Monday to Saturday and from midday to 8.30pm on Sundays.
House of Fraser,
Reading RG1 2AS
Phone: 0118 914 4630
Kids Eat Free Details:
YO!, Japanese street food and sushi favourite, has announced that kids will eat free from the Mini Ninja’s Meal Deal. When you dine in with katsu-crazy children 12 years and under, they’ll be able to grab a starter, main and drink for nothing! The Meal Deal usually worth £5.95 includes Popping Edamame Beans and Creamy Avocado Maki to start, followed by scrumptious mini versions of YO!’s favourites such as Tender Chicken Katsu Bao Bun and Tandy Veggie Yakisoba Noodles. The offer is valid for children aged 12 and under with accompanying adult(s) spending a minimum of £10 on dine-in food and drink and includes 1 x starter, 1 x main and 1 x drink from the Mini Ninja Meal Deal menu. For every adult who spends £10, one child can eat FREE. If you spend £20, two kids can eat free and so on. Offer valid all day, Monday to Sunday for dine-in only from 10th August -2nd September 2018 in select YO! branches (including Reading!)