To celebrate the start of the new academic year, YO! Sushi have released a new offer to students to help you dine out while still keeping enough money in the bank to fund your nights out. I was offered the chance to visit YO! and see why sushi is the new beans on toast for budget conscious students.
Where? YO! Sushi, Nottingham – Lace Market
When? Tuesday, October 12th
Who? Lauren Roitman and Matthew Staniforth
Sushi – the first thing that springs to my mind is raw – raw fish and chopsticks that I need a master class to use and, after speaking to other people, this seems to be the common consensus but Trent students, conquer your fear of the raw and venture inside. It’s completely different to anything you might have expected!
As an avid hater of all raw, fishy things, I did have my doubts about stepping up to the conveyor belt and diving in to the vast array of dishes on offer but when I saw the menu, all doubts disappeared – there’s so much more on offer than sashimi (raw or seared fish, for the less native sushi speakers) – hot broths, spicy chicken salads, firecracker rice and even dumplings are all there!
As you step into YO! you’re greeted very warmly and offered either a seat at the iconic conveyor belt itself ,“in the middle of the action”, or you can opt for the more cosy booths that could seat up to four people. I opted for a booth and was instantly drawn to the red button in the middle of the table. It looks like an ejector button or a panic button, I was disappointed when I was told that wasn’t what it was used for but instead, if you don’t see anything on the belt that you want, then you can push this button and, like in an aeroplane, but without the child kicking you in the back constantly, a waitress will appear to take your order and bring you your choice, freshly prepared for you there and then.
If, like me, you are a sushi virgin (no shame) then it may all feel a bit overwhelming but the waitresses are very helpful and explain everything to you. You’re given a menu that takes some getting used to, with the cold options on one side and if you flip it over, all of the hot dishes as well as desserts and drinks on the other but the true beauty of YO! is that there’s no waiting for food. I’m an impatient girl and hate waiting for food but here you can sit down and dive straight in – no waiting, no ordering, no ‘umm-ing’ and ‘ahh-ing’ and being told that they’ve run out of your favourite dish – sit down, grab a plate, and get stuck in and if there’s something you want that’s not whizzing past you then push the button and you’ll have it within minutes!
As well as the added fun of trying to catch your food, YO! also benefits from individually priced dishes – you only pay for what you want to eat, so picky eaters whose restaurant orders usually read like a recipe for someone who is a lactose intolerant, vegetarian that makes an exception for chicken as long as it’s not been roasted, then YO! is the place for you! You can pick items off the belt, look up what it is and then decide if you want to attempt to eat it with your chopsticks. If you don’t fancy your catch, put it back on the belt and try again! Each dish on the conveyor belt is a different colour and this relates to its price. You could easily fill your stomach on five pounds – two pounds for a refillable miso soup and Pumpkin Korroke (Purple dish, £2.80 and one of our favourites from the night) and you’re set! When you’re finished, they calculate your bill by adding up the different coloured plates on your table.
If you’re still not feeling convinced, there are dishes on offer that can help you ease yourself in to the YO! experience. Opt for dishes such as the Gyoza – dumplings that come with a little pot of soy and vinegar sauce on the side. They come with three different fillings – vegetable (Purple, £2.80), chicken (Orange, £3.30) and duck (Pink, £3.80) and they are the perfect way to get used to using those pesky chopsticks whilst also getting a feel for the food! Another ideal beginner’s dish that I loved was the Chicken Yakisoba – pan fried noodles in a mild spicy sauce with veg and chicken (Purple, £2.80). The Duck Udon, (Pink, £3.80)- a broth consisting of slices of duck, thick udon noodles, shitake mushrooms, carrots, onion, coriander and a cheeky chilli kick is also perfect if you’re not feeling too adventurous but still want to get into the Japanese swing of things. You have to order this to your table as it doesn’t go round on the belt but it’s well worth the few minutes wait!!
If you’re feeling braver, try a bit of everything! On our visit, we tried at least one dish from every available section, with the iso/ maki/ futomaki (different varieties of rice filled rolls) being the most popular with us! The Spicy Chicken Katsu Iso (Purple, £2.80) was one of my favourites – enough of a kick to make you sit up but not so much that you’re gasping for water. A similar item that I loved was the Crispy Duck Futomaki – tastes just like a duck pancake but it’s wrapped in rice instead! I recommend trying the Kaiso Salad (Blue, £2.20) as well! A sesame marinated seaweed salad with edamame and carrot may not sound too appetising but it absolutely gorgeous! Strong flavours and nice crunch make it well worth catching!
Absolutely everything at YO! Sushi benefits from being so fresh that it tastes completely different to something you may order in a normal restaurant. I usually hate prawns (as in, spat out before it even gets to greet my tongue) but I tried the Prawn Katsu (Pink, £3.80), made up of crispy fried prawns in breadcrumbs, and loved it!!
I really don’t think I can emphasise enough how worth a trip to YO! is. It’s the most fun I’ve had eating dinner out in a long, long time! You never run out of things to say because you’re always trying to work out what’s in front of you – if you’re trying to impress the boy/girl you hooked in Ocean but don’t want to deal with awkward “first date” silences, seriously, give this place a go! There’s so much on offer and despite what many of you think about sushi, it’s not just raw fish!!
YO! Sushi is easily recognisable by its luminous orange sign screaming YO! to the passers by – located in the trendy Lace Market, opposite student favourites such as Escucha and the Ha Ha Bar! Drop in! Give it a go at least once! To make it even more tempting, if you text ‘student’ to ‘60300’ you will instantly receive a code to claim 1/3 off! If you join up to the YO! Student Club too then you can receive 25% off all year round!*But HURRY! Signing up for this offer is until the 31st October so get in there quick so you can visit YO! whenever you’re ready with an added discount!!
Words: Lauren Roitman.
Image Credit: Lauren Roitman and YO! Sushi
Terms and conditions:
*25% off your food bill only valid when you show a valid NUS/UCAS/International Student card along with this voucher.
- Available at UK YO! Sushi restaurants except Brompton Road, Edinburgh Airport, Harvey Nichols London, Heathrow T3, Selfridges London and Westfield White City.
- Offer is not valid on Mondays or Saturdays.
- Offer valid off the conveyor belt only, maximum ten dishes per student and not applicable on drinks, take-away or delivery.
- One voucher per student, per meal.
- Offer valid only when you present this voucher with a unique student voucher code on your phone, laptop or old fashioned paper and your Student ID card when paying your bill.
- Voucher only entitles the voucher holder to a discount.
- Keep this voucher safe as you can use it as many times as you wish throughout the promotional period.
- Offer not transferable or available in conjunction with another offer (e.g. our Blue Mondays offer) and there is no cash alternative.
- YO! Sushi Manager’s decision is final.