On Saturday, Dave and I both had super hectic days. I spent my day at a toy shop in Coventry dressed as a Disney Princess (cosplay life!) and Dave was with the Geeky Brummie team, working at a convention. I had booked a cheap deal at Las Iguanas, but we got there and found we’d been seated in the bar area instead of the restaurant next to a shrieking table pf drunk teenagers and what had sounded like a really good deal turned out to be a pitifully small selection of the menu, so we left. Hungry and grumpy, we decided to just head to Grand Central and eat at one of the chainy places. And then I remembered Yakinori.
Yakinori is the sister company to Woktastic, with a focus on traditional noodles and sushi, fusion dishes and bento boxes. I’ve eaten their excellent takeaway bento boxes a couple of times, but I’ve never eaten in the restaurant. The branch in Grand Central is small, with only a few tables, and some counter seating. Despite the fact it was a Saturday, we got a table immediately and were served quickly by a friendly server.
We decided to order sushi, and were presented with a selection of soy sauce, wasabi and a huge tub of pickled ginger to accompany it, and some little dishes to put all these extras in.
The Soft Shell Crab Roll (£3) was so full of flavour. The crab meat was rich and tasty, and perfectly offset by the creamy avocado. The Chicken Katsu Roll (£2.50) is so rammed full of chicken it was almost difficult to keep hold of (although maybe that’s me and my chopstick skills). There was plenty of katsu sauce which had somehow avoided making the rice soggy. Again, very tasty.
We also ordered the Yakinori Sashimi platter (£14.99), which has salmon, seared coriander and sesame tuna, hokkigai, ama-ebi, seared scallops and octopus. I love sashimi and this beautifully presented. It looked so pretty on the plate. I did find the octopus was absolute rubber and I had to give up on attempting to chew it, but Dave fared much better with the piece he tried, so I may have just been unlucky. The Hokkigai (or ‘surf clam’) was a new one for me. It tasted excellent, but the texture was a little chewy for my taste. Everything else on the plate was beautiful though. It was delicately flavoured and so good. Tuna sashimi is one of my absolute favourites, and the addition of the sesame went perfectly with the strong tuna flavour. The light searing was a nice touch too.
All in all, we were very impressed. The service was fast and friendly, and we could see our server happily explaining the menu to other diners and making suggestions, including for changes to the dishes, so it’s obviously a good pick if you’re new to this kind of food, or have any dietary requirements. It was incredibly good value for money too. For two of us, including soft drinks, we paid just under £25. Bargain. We will definitely be back.
We paid in full at Yakinori. All opinions are honest and my own. Yakinori didn’t know I was a blogger.