Home Magazine Issues August-September 2012 Restaurant Review: Yujo Japanese Restaurant

Yujo Japanese Restaurant

By Michelle Sutton

Let me make one thing clear right from the start, I am a self confessed sushi lover. Needless to say I was jumping for joy when Yujo Restaurant opened its doors to the Kampala restaurant scene. The loaded question was, could it live up to my expectations of the food that I love and miss so much?
My first impression of Yujo is the inviting atmosphere. Set in a large garden, the restaurant is warmly lit with several lanterns hanging over a prominent wooden sushi bar, the feature of the restaurant. Yujo offers the seating options generally associated with a Japanese restaurant, at a table, at the sushi bar or on in the Yujo Noma (Friendship Room) where patrons sit crossed legged and dine from low tables the traditional Japanese way. I am drawn to the idea of watching all the sushi making action right in front of me so my husband and I opt for a seat at the bar.
The menu is extensive and offers a lot of variety however if you are not familiar with Japanese food don’t let it overwhelm you. The staff are extremely attentive, knowledgeable and helpful in guiding you through it. We started our meal with the house salad followed by a bowl of Miso soup. As we were perusing the menu for what to order next, the owner came over to welcome us to the restaurant and let us know that Ahi Tuna was the special of the day. Two whole tunas had arrived earlier that day and he suggested we try the Tuna Tataki which is prepared by searing the outside of the fish and served thinly sliced accompanied by a light dipping sauce. The tuna melted in our mouth and had us eagerly wondering what we should order next. Sushi chef Danny is a personable character whose passion for food shows by the omnipresent smile on his face. He is excited by the quality of the tuna that is on the night’s menu so we ask him to surprise us for the next dish. We are served a sushi sashimi salad drizzled with a light vinaigrette, which is delicious. Next we decide to order the Sushi Wave Platter which is a mix of sushi rolls and sashimi served with the obligatory pickled ginger, wasabi and soya sauce. The assortment comes served on a boat and we can’t wait to start trying it. The sushi and sashimi was everything that I had hoped for. There is no doubt that the ingredients are incredibly fresh. We wash it all down with the house sake served warm. The crockery is all genuine Japanese and gives an authentic experience while the mix of 70 and 80’s music in the background periodically has us swaying in our seats. There was a chocolate and sake cake on the dessert menu that was screaming my name but after my indulgence in sushi, I just couldn’t fit it in. I am very keen to go back and try it as it sounds divine.
The prices may seem high to some, but given the quality and freshness of the food I would say that it’s good value for money. Let’s face it, Kampala is not on the coast making the logistics of importing fresh fish a feat to be commended. The cost of our meal was comparable to any Japanese restaurant of this caliber that I have visited before. I think most true sushi lovers will be happy that it’s available in Kampala and recognize that it’s worth paying for. I suppose now I will have to find something else that is at the top of the list of things to do when I leave Uganda on a holiday as hitting a sushi bar as soon as I can, is no longer a necessity. I can enjoy sushi to my heart’s content right here in Kampala!
Yujo is open Monday to Saturday from 12:00 – 3:00 pm for lunch and 6:00 -10:30 pm for dinner.
For more information / reservations, please contact:
Yujo Japanese Restaurant
4 Kyadondo Road, Nakasero, Kampala
Mobile: +256 772 209999

Author: Michelle Sutton, Blog: http://discoveryonsafari.blogspot.com/