I went to Yo Sushi the other day for lunch (more down to convenience than anything else) and enjoyed some decent sashimi, marinated salmon and some mixed katsu. Overall it was pretty okay. Yo Sushi gets a pretty hard time from some who describe it as horribly cheap and nasty. I beg to differ.
I don’t think that Yo Sushi is that cheap. On the whole, the food is okay; no doubt there are glaring inconsistencies which are inevitable with big chain restaurant brands, but the last few times I’ve been the quality has been okay. What I was surprised by this time around, was the price. I spent far more than I expected, because last time I went I’d taken a voucher. It ended up coming to £20 ish, which was way more than I wanted to spend. But at least it was a decent lunch with great company. Lesson learned.
As I say, big chain restaurants tend to lead to glaring inconsistency and that’s why I prefer finding smaller outlets which are more down-to-earth. The reason for this is that you have an expectation set by a brand and then when you visit another branch – managed and run by a different team in a different location – there’s little or no chance the experience will be the same.
While smaller restaurants have the same problems delivering consistency, they are also run by people who tend to have more of a personal stake in the quality and service delivered.
One great place I was recommended by a friend some time ago is Ramen Seto in Kingly Street. That’s in between Regent Street and Carnaby Street. I’ve been a few times now and not been disappointed. You get a great portion of mixed Sashimi for £13, which is also served with miso and a bowl of rice. Alternatively you get loads of tempura for £9.50; again, served with miso and rice. There are loads of options and the portion sizes are excellent. Overall, we spent £14 a head, which I’d call great value for a quick evening meal. Not unlike a Wagamama price; which by-the-way I think, is one of the good chains.
One other indication is the number of Japanese people who eat in there, which is presumably a strong sign that the food is decent quality and value. But I’m always encouraged by anecdotal stories like the one that originally made me visit though.
My friend who suggested it used to work for Sony and said that when executives were visiting, they’d only eat there and that it never even used to have a proper sign out front. I love that sort of thing.