A couple of hours have now passed since I visited Bath’s Yo Sushi. My tummy is fine, and I feel no anticipation of a speedy bowel evacuation. This is good. I will not be needing my back-up pants today.
Following my visit some weeks ago to Bristol’s Yo Sushi and the close-call trouser calamity I remain convinced was its result, the company sent me thirty quid in complimentary vouchers as a gesture of goodwill. Sadly, this did not cover my initial meal together with the later purchase of a packet of Imodium Plus. As a gesture of goodwill it was acceptable though, despite failing to take into consideration the volume of toilet roll I used when I eventually arrived home and collapsed on the old Pontius. The vouchers were valid at any Yo Sushi across the land and I decided to use them at my local Bath restaurant for today’s lunch. I took a business associate and we dined on bits of raw fish and radiation-green beans.
The service was a little above medium-fine. We were greeted politely by both the manager and the waitress, the latter of whom’s attractiveness was, while irrelevant, well above average. Courtesy was clearly not an alien concept to either, and we were left to experience our raw fish bits in peace. I was somewhat taken aback when informed that Yo Sushi does not serve coffee, and so I drank Japanese green tea instead. I decided against a glass of warm sake because daytime booze consumption and I are not particularly good bedfellows. For me, booze at lunchtime almost always results in a trawl across the various bars of the city scattering self-respect and dignity wherever I go. Not too long back, as a result of a booze-laced lunch I was ejected from an art gallery after gatecrashing a private view. Before that, another friend and I destroyed a recruitment drive for the accounting firm KPMG. I subsequently awoke locked inside a private courtyard with a dollop of ketchup congealed into the front of my shirt. I like to think I have learned from these experiences… although I probably have not. Anyhoo…
The food today was close to perfectly palatable. In fact, I could even go so far as to say most of it justified my use of the word ‘Yum’. The only let down was the Spicy Kimchee Chicken Salad, a dish I could probably replicate with two fifths of half a chicken, some beans, a blowtorch and a bat. With the service better than a kick in the teeth from a horse, things were going well. Dishes were scooped from the conveyor belt, and I ordered the soft shell crab tempura from the menu too. It arrived swiftly with a sweet chilli mayonnaise and was more enjoyable than a headache. Our dining complete, sadly the experience then fell apart.
As we readied ourselves to leave I glanced to my right. There, beyond our booth, beyond the conveyor belt parading bits of fish, radiation-green soybean pods and a noticeable absence of blenders and cuddly toys was the kitchen where chefs chopped things and shoved them on plates. Between the latter two was a stack of those plates. Three were encrusted with ‘matter’.
Closer observation of this ‘matter’ indicated a combination of old food and an inability to wash-up. I shall try to attach an image by way of an illustration, and must point out that where the ‘orange’ plate appears to show an imperfection in the image itself, this is not the case. It is indeed ‘matter’ attached to the plate and left on display. I discussed this with my business associate who made mention of the fact that these plates were in situ for the duration of our dining experience. No plates were added or removed from these stacks during the course of our stay, and so I have little option but to hereupon use the word, ‘Yuck’.
It was imperative I brought this issue to the attention of the manager, whose response was to hold an expression of surprise and shock across his face for a particularly unnatural period of time. It was the kind of expression that captured in its purest the response had one unthinkingly invited a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses into their home with a toddler in tow, whereupon the toddler then immediately takes a dump on the carpet. To his credit the manager was clearly surprised and thoroughly apologetic. But while such a reaction was good and proper, there really is no excuse for grubby plates being in full view of customers. It made me wonder whether anything my associate and I had eaten had been served upon a similar plate, and so perhaps I will need my back-up pants after all.
To conclude, Yo Sushi is not a fine dining establishment. Yet with its loud and raucous décor and its menu clearly designed by someone whose brief was, ‘Take these mushrooms, drink this bottle of Benylin and make the customers feel as if they’ve been punched in the face’, it remains a fun place to chomp on bits of raw fish and other pseudo-Japanese delights… my unpleasant trouser experience and the ‘matter’ on plates notwithstanding.
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