I usually plan my sushi adventures in advance, and once I plan them, they happen according to the planned time and location, rain or shine, project due or no project due. Sushi Yoi is a new Chinese-run Japanese restaurant that opened just a few months ago, and I first noticed it during my Sushi-a-thon at Sushi Garden. It was located in one of the various buildings surrounding Brentwood Town Centre. Unfortunately, I had to endure a minute of cold, persistent rain before I made it to the entrance. Perhaps even more unfortunately, I had to try to take a photo of the restaurant's exterior so I can show it here.
I arrived at the restaurant at 3 p.m. and when I stepped inside, the first thing I noticed was the owl with peacock feathers. Well, I guess anything can happen ...
The mysterious owl with peacock feathers watches you.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out they had the "Choose 3 items for $8.95 and get a free miso soup" deal, which lasted for the whole day every day! Wanting to sample some different categories, I picked the Appetizer Tempura, Chicken Teriyaki with Rice and the BC Roll.
Miso Soup - B
The Miso Soup was served at a nice, hot temperature and contained tofu, green onions and a bit of seaweed. I liked how the grains of the miso paste were not coarse, but I found the soup a bit too salty.
Appetizer Tempura - B
The Appetizer Tempura came with 2 pieces of prawn, 2 pieces of sweet potato and 1 piece of kabocha underneath. My favourite was the sweet potato, which was cut to the right thickness and had a rich, sweet taste. The kabocha would fare better if a little sugar was added. The prawns had a nice soft texture, but the batter was a tad greasy and the shrimp could be more voluminous.
Chicken Teriyaki with Rice - A-
The Chicken Teriyaki with Rice was served at a nice, warm temperature. The chicken on top was tender and dressed with just the right amount of teriyaki sauce, giving a nice, balanced savoury taste. The chicken was pan-fried and had a nice, thin layer of semi-crispy skin on top.
BC Roll - B+
The BC Roll (BBQ Salmon Skin) came in very large pieces with an abundance of smooth salmon skin inside. It was practically brimming with fish oils. I tried to pick up one whole piece and place it in my mouth so that I could get a better sense of how the ingredients worked together, but I had about as much success in that as I did on my Grade 5 swimming final evaluation (I epically failed both). Oh well, the value was definitely there.
Salmon Oshi - B+
The Salmon Oshi pictured on the menu looked quite legitimate, so I decided to give it a try. The sushi rice was above par, had adequate flavour and was not packed too tightly. This is a dish to consume quickly as once it cools down, it loses most of its good qualities. The salmon had a decent soft texture and was seared to just the right amount, giving it a warm, seared flavour which was accented by the thin slice of pepper. It would taste even better if they put a little more mayonnaise on top and seared that.
I managed to find great value at Sushi Yoi, and the three-item combo is practically a steal! Most of the items were decently prepared and Sushi Yoi is a good choice if you’re on a tight budget or happen to be hungry near Brentwood Mall. The service was pretty much non-existent after all my food was served, but the staff (including the cooks at the back) was friendly. I was actually planning to try more items, but I was so full that I could not possibly take in any more food while my bill had not even reached $20. I had no choice but to sleep like a sloth on the bus again.