I remember the first time I was confronted by sushi; I was about six or seven and I couldn’t have been more horrified. Raw fish and a modern popular delicacy it was, but you may as well have said, “here’s a plate of salmonella”. Salmonella maki. Yum. These were pre Yo! Sushi days too you know. Selfridges was the first time I was able to stomach this pesce dish, and despite my trepidation at putting an uncooked sliver of rice and slime into my mouth, I did – and it was completely underwhelming.
These days I could be sushi – if the saying “you are what you eat” has any truth. Although I don’t frequent Yo! Sushi – I find it mediocre for the price one pays – I was invited there for the launch of their new and rather ingeniously named concept, Yo! Burger.
The launch party was pretty slick and the PRs had done a good job of creating an atmosphere around a conveyor belt. I was plied with their new burgers – my first choice was the tilapia Yo! Burger. Let me first de-construct what I mean when I say burger, however. The bread is replaced with a sticky rice patty which has been toasted on the both of its outer sides. I guess the best analogy is when you get those crispy bits on the side of the pan after cooking risotto. These, in my opinion, are the best bits – much like the Yo! Burger.
OK, I am going to stop writing these branded exclamation marks in the text now.
My write up of this burger is that it tastes like McDonald’s, right down to the plastic cheese that accompanies it. Mayo too (although it professes to be wakame tartar sauce). Wet and limp it really was like fast food. Sushi, by definition, may be the fastest food on earth but this tasted like I could have driven through Burger King when I was hungover.
Apologies for the quality of the photos – there wasn’t a great deal of light.
Next burger was the prawn Yo Burger. It was katsu – prawn katsu cutlet. This had a great deal more flavour; served with white cabbage, sprinkled with spring onion and diced beni shoga, and lubricated with curry mayo.
Did I just say lubricated in a post – oh sorry – wrong blog!
The creamy curry flavourings gave the rice bun more to enjoy and the zest of the spring onion was complimentary to the prawn, which by the way, was actually substantial in quality (juicy prawn bits, for the win).
With every burger meal you’re also given nori crackers, daikon slaw and ‘misochup’. It’s not a steal at £8 either.
On paper and as a concept, it’s a PR’s and fast-food fiend’s dream. Exciting, innovative and slightly limp with a salty, moreish conundrum; is it nice and naturally flavoured – or is it just fuck-it-artificially-enhanced goodness?
It’s not my thing. I will stick with the sushi bit of the YO!
Your nearest Yo Sushi if you live in south west London, is in Victoria:
Main Concourse Victoria Station Terminus Place
London, SW1V 1JT
T:020 3262 0050