It’s been a while since I last reviewed a place and not a snack! I spotted this new restaurant in York had popped up sometime around New Years and was determined I’d give it a try sometime. It’s right opposite the larger of the two Chinese supermarkets in York on George Hudson Street so it’s easy to get to and reasonably central. It’s pretty huge inside as most of the restaurants on this street are, we ate early at around 5 since we needed to get home at a reasonable time.
It’s really quite nice inside with a mixture is booth, bar and table seating. I didn’t actually realise this place was part of a chain before we went in with other restaurants in London and Leeds. It had an interesting menu which felt a bit like a ‘Japanese restaurant greatest hits’ apart from the fact that there wasn’t any Ramen on the menu surprisingly. So there was a real mix of isakaya style snacks to nabe and donburi dishes. The majority of the menu was dominated by sushi which I guess is what most British people think of when it comes to Japanese food.
The first one that arrived was the Takoyaki, now I love Takoyaki and you can pretty much rate an entire restaurant just on this one dish. I would say this one wasn’t very memorable unfortunately it was the frozen and then deep fried kind that’s so often the case in UK Japanese restaurants. It lacked flavour even though it had a creamy soft texture but the outer shell was kinda hard and the piece of octopus inside was very small.
The next dish to arrive was my chirashi or scattered sushi, I’ve only ever had this a couple of times and then only in the UK. It’s quite a decadent dish really and in Japan it tends to be seasonal tied into hinamatsuri. I’d actually go so far as to say this is possibly one of the most beautiful dishes I’ve ever seen. It had that bento look where all the ingredients Are angled slightly towards the diner. It had a great mix of fish along with tamagoyaki, the rice was lightly seasoned already with soy sauce so I didn’t want to add any more to it. The only disappointment was the salmon roe was maybe a bit too tiny! Looking at this dish I can see why the majority of their menu is sushi when they have such a skilled chef.
My dining partner had beef nabe with udon, I’m not a huge fan of beef and the broth for this tasted incredibly beefy. Too beefy for me if that’s a possible. The udon and other ingredients took on the taste of the broth and were well cooked. In fact the actual beef in the dish didn’t taste as beefy as the broth somehow. The meat was very tender but overall I don’t think this would have been to my tastes.
Our last dish arrived separately after a bit of confusion which was the yasai gyoza I was curious to try it. You could taste the freshness of he vegetables as they still had a bit of bite but I felt they maybe lacked a little something. Not that there was anything wrong with them they were still pretty tasty and a good amount of them to share between two.
So we ordered four dishes and two rounds of drinks and our meal came to £46-ish. I’d say our experiences here were mixed on the food level with a great dish, a couple of average ones and a not so great one. Service was good dispite a few problems that we had, they were resolved quickly so no trouble there. I’m not sure there was anything here to really tempt me back for a second round though. 7/10