As they say, better late than never. Tonight is sushi night and this place up in Mansourieh has been recommended by many. After visiting Mitsu-Ya, the renowned Japanese restaurant in Gemmayze owned by the same group, it was time to check out what Yoshi is all about. The difference is clear confirming the importance of Mitsu, the Japanese chef down in Gemmayze.
Yoshi has been open for some time now. It's one of those mid-range Japanese casual diners where the value for money is good.
The last building before reaching Ain Saade hosts Yoshi. The place is cozy with one main round table and couple of square others around the main rolling bad.
On the menu:
Appetizers, soups, salads, tempura, noodles, hot dishes, gunkan, hoso maki, temaki, sushi, sashimi, futo maki, classic maki, yoshi maki, yoshi platters, desserts and drinks.
The first impression:
- You're offered pink and white ginger.
- The salads are served with a fork and spoon wrapped in napkins; doesn't fit a sushi place at all.
- I was happy to have my favorite San Pellegrino.
- The music playing in the background is soothing and enjoyable.
- The staff is welcoming and smiley.
Salads came first:
- Marinated salmon: A generous portion of salmon chunks bathing in a creamy sauce. A firm salmon, is a bit too firm, in a sauce that's flavorful but a bit creamy for my taste. I expected to feel more freshness, an icy punch and less sesame flavor. A good salad, but I've honestly had better.
- Spicy salmon avocado: Not spicy enough, a salad of crisps covering a mix of avocado and salmon. Lovely, but a bit too creamy for me, the mayonnaise is over powering. This salad needs to be lighter and fresher.
- Edamame: Fresh and tasty covered with the right amount of salt. A nice way to start a meal.
Salmon sashimi: As good as you would expect. A good quality, enjoyed as it is. Smooth salmon with light stripes of fat, adequately oily and tasty.
The maki rolls: The maki rolls are as you expect, prepared for a fast casual sushi place. Definitely better than hundred of places that have mushroomed around town. A good quality of ingredients and good flavors. The rice for me is a bit gooey and the nori leaf is chewy, but the heart of fish is well balanced.
Run by the same owners as Mitsu-Ya, Lebanon's favorite Japanese restaurant... I believe Yoshi can be better... much better!
Now for dessert:
- Dark chocolate fondant warm and softened to perfection leaves an interesting, pronounced after note you'll surely enjoy. A liquor flavor adds this touch of enjoyment. It's this kind of chocolate cake fondant that might be frozen, but that's good enough to be served in fine dining restaurants.
- Mochi: Different from all the ones I've had in town. A thin envelope reduces the chewiness Mochi usually have. They're stuffed with a vanilla ice cream. Order the flambé one topped with caramelized sugar; it's awesome!
- Narutto Banana: The yummiest of treats. Lightly crunchy caramelized bananas served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
A good casual Japanese, Yoshi Mansourieh; but I expected to be amazed...