On occasion we find ourselves in central London at the weekend, feeling hungry and trying to figure out where to head for lunch. This might sound like an easy quest, it’s central London after all, there are restaurants and cafes a plenty! However, it just so happens that lots of our Soho favourites close over the weekend as their busiest time is in the week, when everyone’s at work. In fact Soho is very sleepy on a Saturday and Sunday. If you head towards Oxford Circus and battle your way along Oxford Street, you are faced with chain establishment after chain establishment. I’m afraid Pret and Starbucks don’t do it for me. And I think I’ve exhausted the menu at my favourite cheap fast food eatery, Leon.
Whilst wondering where to go, Stew remember a place in the heart of Soho that he’d walked past many times but not stopped at, called Yoobi – London’s first temakeria. Half expecting it to be closed, we were surprised to find it open on Saturday and immediately hopped inside where we found a beautifully Japanese fused with Scandinavian inspired interior. Think clean lines, light wood, and open space.
Taking inspiration from Brazil, Yoobi pushes the sushi experience in a new direction. Their freshly made temaki rolls are made in front of your eyes with unique combinations of flavours. With three different price points, you can choose from Simple (£3.20) where you can choose from Scottish salmon, fresh wasabi tuna or cucumber. Or there’s the Special (£3.60) which includes citrus salmon (salmon, orange tobiko, avocado, chives and croutons), spicy tuna or avocado and asparagus. Or if you fancy something really unique there’s the Deluxe (£4) which is home to 20 hour cured salmon (served with Asian pear), tuna tartare (with guacamole, capers and jalapenos), or sun-kissed tomatoes (with Philadelphia and basil).
We both chose the citrus salmon plus a 6 pieces of tuna sashimi that were served with salad and a house dressing – which was possibly the best salad dressing I’d ever tried! Whatever the secret ingredient was, was fantastic.
If you’re unsure of the temaki and prefer maki rolls you can order 8 maki rolls for only £1.50 more. They also offer sides of edamame, green beans in a black sesame sauce and salad. Plus miso and vegetable soups, drinks and desserts including traditional Brazilian brigadeiro.
What Yoobi prides itself on most though is their fresh, sustainably sourced fish and locally sourced vegetables. Plus the name derives from the word ‘yubi’, Japanese for fingers, reflecting the hands on nature of the food – so cute!
As we were only looking for a light bite we chose just one temaki each and shared the 6 pieces of sashimi. They have a very handy chart though to help you decide based on your hunger levels – 1 for peckish, 2 for hungry and 3 for running on empty. So if you find yourself on Lexington Street, I encourage you to pop in. Yoobi are open Mon – Sat 11.30am – 9pm.