YO! launches first full-service concept

Famed for introducing the Japanese kaitzen conveyer belt to the UK when it first opened 22 years ago, YO! has just launched YO! Kitchen, its first full-service restaurant.

The new concept at Westfield White City offers diners a wide range of Japanese flavours, from the sushi and fresh Japanese food favourites, and will focus on ‘kyoyu’ – that’s Japanese for sharing.

The new 2,400 sq ft Izakaya-style restaurant seats 90 diners across a selection of long wooden tables and cosy booths, inspired by the markets and backstreets of Tokyo.

The brand-new menu features 40 totally new dishes alongside YO! favourites such as Korean Fried Chicken and Crunchy California Rolls.

Encouraging diners to experiment and ‘Taste Japan’, the menu features contemporary spins on Japanese classics such as Katsu Curry Arancini, chopped Moromi Cucumber with barley miso, and the perfect Japanese fusion dish – Sashimi Pizza, a tortilla base topped with seared tuna, tomato, coriander, jalapeno, dressed with mayo and a katsu sauce.

Alongside YO!’s colourful, expertly-crafted sushi rolls and sashimi, is the robata-grilled and deep-fried sticks menu. Synonymous with the Japanese gastropub-meets-tapas style bites found in Tokyo’s Izakayas, you can pick from the delectable Japanese Corndog with Arabiki sausage and tonkatsu sauce, and Salmon Caviar Kushi Katsu with mayo and ikura, a red caviar.

YO! Kitchen’s larger plates include Lamb Cutlets with spicy miso and pickle (£17.60), Salmon Teriyaki, and robata Sirloin Steak with black pepper sauce and lotus root crisps. YO! Kitchen’s five bowls include Tonkotsu Ramen, diners' favourite - Katsu Curry, and vegan King Oyster Mushroom Ramen served with atsu-age tofu, pickles and pak choi.

YO!’s desserts include the Instagram-worthy Kakigori shaved ice dessert with strawberries and syrup, and the Hirata Donuts.

For beverages there's ice-cold beer and Japanese sparkling sake. The dedicated bar will also serve up an array of Japanese-inspired cocktails using seasonal ingredients, like freshly squeezed Yuzu Gin from the Boutique-y Gin company and craft spirits such from the famous premium Japanese spirit company, Suntory.

YO!’s CEO Richard Hodgson, said, “After 22 years and almost 100 YO! openings across Europe, Australia and the UAE, we are very excited to continue our Japanese food journey with a totally new concept.

'If you’ve dipped your toe into Japanese food at our YO! restaurants, YO! Kitchen is the perfect spot for experimenting and testing your taste buds with new flavours and ingredients inspired by Japan.”

The second YO! Kitchen will launch in Ireland with YO! Kitchen Dundrum this October.