YO! Sushi – Grainger Street, Newcastle 

I love Sushi. It’s fresh, light and makes me feel like I’m a healthy, yoga-going hipster. So being asked to sample YO! Sushi’s new menu was an exciting concept.

It definitely wasn’t what I expected. There’s such a misconception about Sushi, and it’s mainly down to what people see in the supermarkets.

Now, I like the whole rice and raw fish thing, but that isn’t just what this Japanese cuisine is all about. The new menu at YO! Sushi on Grainger Street in Newcastle did an excellent job at proving this.

So, if you think Sushi isn’t for you, check out some of these dishes I was privileged to try…

The staff at the Grainger Street branch were a total dream. Approachable, funny and knowledgable about the food, the inspiration behind it and Japan itself. You can see they’re very passionate about what they’re creating. The team, along with the Head Chef, very much made the night for me.

And that’s not just down to the constant topping up of my prosecco glass either.

The first dish I sampled was the Bullet-Train Katsu Sando. Inspired by the food carts across the network of Japan’s bullet trains, it consisted of soft white bread that hugged panko crumbed chicken with a subtle hint of peppery mustard.

The chicken was fresh and juicy and the kick from the Japanese mustard was very welcome. The bread was your standard Kingsmill, but didn’t take anything away from that wonderfully crispy chicken.

It was delightful, what a way to kick off the evening.

Next up, was the Fruity Beef Katsu. Reading it on the menu, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Fruity beef? Unsure. However, I could be brave enough to claim, this little number was the best of the night.

Minced beef, coated again in that thick panko crumb and drizzled in a Tonkatsu sauce. The sauce was the fruity element – almost like a BBQ taste but less bitter and much less sickly.

I found myself googling how I could make this sauce at home, which is possible, but the wonderful lot at YO! Sushi actually gave us some to take home. Proper stuff too. The little diamonds.

Then came the Sweet and Sour Cod Nanbanzuke. Like BBQ, sweet and sour isn’t something I’d ever choose off a menu – until I revisit here of course. I can often find it sickly and just too rich, but this was light with just enough tang to complement the cod that just crumbled. Scrumptious.

Unfortunately, the next dish was a slight disappointment. The Izakaya Pork Teriyaki was pork belly with half a boiled egg smothered in a teriyaki glaze.

The glaze was both sweet and salty and accomplied by a dollop of that spicy Japanese mustard was a delight. The boiled egg was still smooth and runny in the middle too which was a bonus. However, for me, pork belly needs to be incredibly crispy and this just wasn’t quite done enough for my taste.

The pork I did eat was nice, but just too much of the fat to really enjoy.

This little dish was also a stand out number. Osaka-Style Squid. Fresh, zingy and with a cracking little kick, this was right up my street.

By adding bonito flakes on the top, the chefs gave this dish a whole new texture. A crisp extra to soft and moist squid. It’s easy to get squid wrong and it’s definitely not for everyone, but this was beautifully cooked.

The final savoury menu sample was slightly more of a classic Sushi feel, but still not a raw fish in sight!

The Seared Beef Roll was made up of pickled vegetables wrapped in that soft and sticky rice and topped with a slice of fresh, tender beef.

It had that light and vibrant taste that sushi should and was a lovely way to end the savoury dishes. Not my favourite of the night, but it’d definitely be reordered upon my return.

Dessert was a Tokyo Banana Cake, which as you all very well know is probably my worst nightmare. I hate banana.

I was devastated. It’s the only thing in the world (that I’ve discover thus far) that I truly can’t eat. But like a trooper, I had a little bite.

Whilst it wasn’t an overly banana taste, it was still there lingering in the sponge. The cream was fresh and light and the side strawberry was cracking, but my pure hatred for the yellow fruit disallowed me from eating any more.

I will note however that the rest of the group seemed to love it. I think I may have been the only one with more than a crumb left on their plate! So don’t let my prejudice stop you from giving it a whirl!

One more thing, I can absolutely recommend is this drink:

I unfortunately can’t quite remember the name but it’s a very popular Japanese soft drink. It’s got a funky little marble in the top which you have to hammer in to the bottle. The marble keeps your drink carbonated for longer!

The taste reminded me of something from my youth that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

The 16 year old rebel in me wants to say Blue WKD, perhaps?

If you love Sushi, you’ll love these new additions to the menu. And if you haven’t tried it before because you consider it to be all rice and raw fish, open your mind, get yourself along and order that bloody Fruity Beef Katsu.

I promise you won’t regret it.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on YO! Sushi Newcastle’s latest menu! Drop me a little tweet @ProperScrummy.

Lots of love, LB x


Disclaimer: This was a complimentary experience provided by YO! Sushi Newcastle, all views are my own. Read more about disclosure here.

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