YO! Sushi, 2nd Floor, Whiteleys Shopping centre, Bayswater

The launch of the refurbished YO! Sushi restaurant on the second floor of the Whiteleys Shopping mall, Bayswater, was colourful to say the least. Front of house staff greeted us with drinks, having dressed for the occasion in kimonos, Geisha style. A nice crisp sauvignon blanc, topped up regularly, together with both sparkling and still mineral water on tap at each table, helped lubricate the evening and the food, of which there seemed a never-ending supply, on the typical YO! Sushi conveyor belt. The colourful little dishes carrying their cargo of tasty goodies included sashimi, dishes of raw tuna and salmon; nigiri rice dishes, with toppings of both raw and cooked fish; futomaki rolls with various fillings; teriyaki chicken, and of course, edamame beans, all moving around the restaurant, tempting us to help ourselves. There were also a number of dessert plates, such as dorayaki, a sweet filled pancake sandwich, chocolate mousse and fruit bowls, amongst others. All fresh, clean flavours, tasty, delightfully presented and pleasing to the eye.

Part of the YO! Sushi experience is watching the staff in the corral-style kitchen beavering away making the dishes up before our eyes and continually loading the conveyor belt. How they manage to focus on what they are preparing and ignore what is going on around them, was beyond us. The refurbishment of this restaurant led the design team, from Intro, to visit Japan for new ideas to introduce into this restaurant.

In terms of design, the YO! Sushi ethos is that every restaurant is individual, even though you might see some features repeated in their other restaurants, no two are exactly similar in design. Features that are included in the Whiteleys restaurant are an incredibly bold, Manga-inspired frontage, the camouflage ceiling above the kitchen area, lighting in clusters of silver globes, and highly colourful banner style hangings at the windows. While it doesn’t sound like it, somehow it does come together well. Don’t take our word for it, go and have a look, and while there why not relax in the booth style seating and try some of the interesting dishes that are on offer.