YO! Sushi is the largest sushi chain in the U.K. and they are making their way across the pond to the former colonies. The first location in the Northeast is in the Westfield Garden State Plaza, and they opened April 30th. We were invited to the soft opening and I thought it might be interesting to check out their unique concept.
What makes them unique, at least here in the States, is that they have a long conveyor belt running called a kaiten around the restaurant on which dishes ride looking like flying saucers from an old sci-fi flik. You take what you want off of the belt and dig in. The plates are color coded and each color has a price. They tally up the plates when you finish, and you pay. The plates are covered, so they are protected, and they have a code on them which I assume tells them when to pull the item from the belt should it not have been selected.
Don't see what you want? Don't worry as they have a menu of hot foods and more available. All you do is push a button at your seat and the white light next to you turns blue. Blink and a server instantly appears (well it seemed so anyway). What you order is quickly delivered. In a real hurry? They have a cooler in front with items ready to go.
We tried quite a few dishes and they were all very good. My favorite was the calamari with a ginger taste. It was lightly fried and the calamari was just the right texture.
I also loved the spicy dragon roll. Not too spicy though, just the right amount of heat.
The salmon was fresh, tasty, and a generous portion.
I tried a seaweed dish that was good also. The dishes are not labeled, but there is a large full-color menu with pictures of each allowing the diner to easily identify the plate like using an Audubon book for bird watching. It actually is quite a fun activity.
Now I can see an upside to this system, and a downside. The upside is that you can start eating immediately upon being seated and see what the food looks like, perhaps leading to trying something different. The downside is that with everything passing by, those plates can rack up rather quickly on your table, as can the bill. I recommend exercising caution and eating slowly.
Overall, the food is fresh and good. Not what I would call amazing, but quite good. The selection on the conveyor is simple, but the menu is more extensive. The ambiance is cool, the staff is friendly, enthusiastic, and helpful. I would go back again and you should stop by for a unique sushi experience. They have a website for more information.