Today, my husband and I should have been going to the Hit Factory Concert in Hyde Park, London to see pop acts from the famous Stock, Aitken and Waterman fold like Kylie and Jason, Steps and Bananarama. Unfortunately, with ridiculous rainfall in the UK recently [all summer], combined with a festival in the park at the weekend, which churned up the ground into a mud bath, it was deemed unsafe, and the concert was cancelled. Absolutely gutted! Was so looking forward to it as well. We will get a refund, and they may reschedule, but who knows.
The Olympic Stadium from Westfield Shopping Centre
Instead, hubby and I went to Westfield in Stratford, London for a bit of retail therapy and some food. Neither of us have been to this shopping centre before, and have to say we found it to be a nice place. A good mix of shops, lots of places to eat and, during the week, not too busy. I’m sure that would be different on a weekend, but for us, it was a nice day out.
We also got to see the Olympic Stadium which is close by, and even though we didn’t manage to get tickets for any events, I’m pretty excited to see the Olympics come to my hometown of London!
Billboard at Stratford Station
There were lots of places to eat in Westfield, but we headed straight to Yo! Sushi. It always feels like the healthier option! Especially helpful is that they put the calorific value beside each dish on the menu, helping you to keep track, if you are watching the calories! After walking around the food court afterwards, we spied some other great sounding places to get food, so may have to go back some other time :D
We got to Yo! Sushi just after midday, and it was quiet. It meant we got a booth instead of sitting up at the counter. The booth was next to the conveyor belt, which I always think is very cool!
If you’ve not been to a Yo! Sushi before they all work in the same way. You can order drinks, which are brought to you, or you can pay for a glass of water that you then can refill at the tap at your place at the counter or booth. The soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger are there for the taking as well. Chopsticks, napkins and dipping bowls are also provided on the table, and as you often don’t have much contact with the waiting staff, you can start digging in straight away, grabbing what you fancy from the conveyor belt that goes around the restaurant. There are always menus on the tables/counter top that will tell you what is what, and you can order various hot dishes (and things that aren’t on the belt) from the menu.
We’ve been to two different chains of sushi bar, and they both work in similar ways. The plates are coloured, so you know how much each item is, and you just stack your plates which are totted up at the end by the waiting staff.
Yo! Sushi Conveyor Belt
I think a lot of people are afraid of sushi bars, maybe the whole raw fish thing scares people off! But there is a good choice of dishes that aren’t raw fish, and if you look through all my photographs, you’ll see that we had a good mix of fish and non-fish dishes. If you like trying new things, I highly recommend it! I am biased as I love Japanese food, and we more often than not go to a sushi bar when going into London.
We’ve been to a few different Yo! Sushi places over the years, and we did find that this one didn’t have much variety going around the belt. I don’t know if this was because it was still early in the day, or they just don’t put much out. It doesn’t matter, since you can order the dishes you like, but it’s nice to see them going around so you can pick and choose.
My first pick is always Edamame. I love the salty, fresh crunch of these! Hubby and I tend to share the plates between us, but this one was all mine!
Assorted Maki was next to be picked up from the belt. Six filled [with fish] rice rolls, wrapped in nori (seaweed). These were filled with salmon, tuna and prawn. Nice dunked in soy sauce with a touch of wasabi. I just love how Japanese food is so pretty to look at.
I always mean to get a cup of Miso soup when we go to a sushi bar, but always forget to. Not this time though! Miso is a light soy bean broth, with seaweed, tofu and spring onions. And the bonus is, you pay one time for a cup and you can refill as much as you want.
Some tasty Sesame Seared Salmon Sashimi was next. Sprinkled with sesame seeds and served with radish (I think).
Sesame Seared Salmon Sashimi
Seared Seared Salmon Sashimi
Sometimes you have hot plates going around the conveyor belt, but not today. So I ordered a couple of our favourites – Chicken Gyoza, which are dumplings, filled with chicken and served with a soy and vinegar sauce. Lovely flavour.
And Chicken Teriyaki. In another sushi bar we go to, this is served on a skewer, but here it is served sliced. The chicken is glazed with a sticky, sweet soy based sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds and served with white cabbage. Just yum!!
Hadn’t seen this dish before, and wow, was it delicious! So delicious I ended up grabbing two plates! It is called Kaiso Salad. Kaiso is Japanese seaweed, and it came marinated in sesame, which you could really taste, and also had edamame and carrot mixed in. Crunchy, fresh and flavourful.
I picked this Spicy Chicken up for hubby. It comes marinated in a ginger and soy dressing, and he just loves ginger. It’s a cold salad dish with lettuce, beansprouts and green beans.
Another new one for us, Chuka Ika – a marinated spicy squid, lettuce and seaweed salad. It had flecks of red chilli in, which gave it a nice kick, and there was a sour element to it as well. I really enjoyed it.
Time for another hot order, this time of Chicken Katso – chicken fried in panko breadcrumbs, with a fruity sauce.
We then picked up Spicy Chicken ISO (inside out roll). The nori is on the inside of the roll instead, and the outside is flecked with shichimi powder (Japanese chilli). It sits on the same sauce that the chicken katso comes with.
Spicy Chicken ISO
Another new dish for us – Soft Shelled Crab Tempura. Unfortunately, all we could taste was batter – maybe a tad too much. A shame, as I’ve had soft shelled crab before, when on holiday in Houston, Texas and it was tasty. It was also the most expensive of plates at £5. Don’t think we’ve ever ordered a black plate before!
Soft Shelled Crab Tempura
Soft Shelled Crab Tempura
I can’t visit a sushi bar and not have Prawn Tempura, and this didn’t disappoint! You could really taste the shellfish, and the dipping tempura sauce went well with it. You can just see our little plate of pickled ginger in the background – addicted to this stuff we are!
One final savoury grab from the belt was this, never seen before by us, Seared Beef Nigiri. Thin slices of rare seared beef atop rice, wrapped with nori and a blob of mayonnaise. I didn’t like this one I’m afraid to say. Too chewy for me! Hubby ate it instead!
Seared Beef Nigiri
I always look forward to two desserts at Yo! Sushi – Dorayaki and Mochi. Doryaki are Japanese pancakes, filled with custard and served with a raspberry dip. OMG YUM. Hubby didn’t get a look in on this one I’m afraid to say…no shares here with this!
Mochi are rice cake balls, filled with azuki bean paste. The texture is so hard to describe, but we love the flavour of these. I’m sure you used to get three in a portion though…
To ‘pay me back’ for not sharing my dorayaki, hubby grabbed these Chocolate Mochi. I pulled sad face until he gave me a piece! Wow – so chocolatey and scrumptious! We grabbed another plate of these as they moved by on the conveyor! Filled with chocolate ganache instead of bean paste and dusted with cocoa powder.
After totting up the plates on my handy dandy Yo! Sushi App on my iPhone, (I do this so we don’t get too much of a shock – the plates can soon mount up in price!) we paid our bill, and hubby happened to have a voucher code that gave us 15% off. Woohoo!
Despite being pretty stuffed, on the walk out, we spotted this frozen yoghurt bar called Tossed. Low calorie and low fat? I’m there!
I picked wild cherry and chocolate chip as my two flavours – so creamy and delicious – and no guilt! Hubby opted for mint choc chip and honeycomb.
And there ends our trip to Yo! Sushi in Westfield, Stratford City, London. Yo! Sushi have a lot of restaurants around the city (and the country no doubt) and always worth a visit, give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!