Yatta Sushi House, Nelson Street: Review

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Located upstairs at Little Chinatown on the city centre’s Nelson Street, Yatta Sushi House opened without fanfare on Sunday, April 24th. Despite the name, this Japanese restaurant isn’t all about sushi – with a menu that encompasses sushi, tempura, noodles, grilled dishes, rice and more, there’s something to suit all tastes.

To be completely honest, our first impression on walking into the restaurant wasn’t great. The large dining room – split in two by a wooden screen running the length of the room – didn’t feel particularly warm. The open door through to the stairwell didn’t really give it a restaurant vibe, while the empty walls, bright lights, massive air con unit on the ceiling and bizarrely place ice cream freezer in the middle of the restaurant made us wonder what we’d let ourselves in for.

 

Yatta Sushi House - Interior

 

Still, we were greeted with friendly service, had the choice of menus explained to us and were asked to shout if we had any questions, which reassured us somewhat.

After ordering a big pot of green tea (£1.50) and a 330ml bottle of Kirin (£3.40 – weirdly served with a plastic glass) from the drinks menu, we began to focus on the food. While the main menu was tempting, we were there for one reason and one reason only: the all you can eat option, which is available in the evenings only.

It’s a menu that offers a huge amount of choice, all cooked freshly to order. Side orders, salads, grilled skewers, noodle dishes, tempura, various sushi options and desserts all feature, and you’re free to order as much as you like within a 1 hour 45 minute period. This menu is available for a minimum of two people and is priced at £16.80 per head (£8.40 for children under 120cm tall) – and again, the menu, at first, is as offputting as the decor. “Max. 6 items at a time”, it screams, in bold letters. “Food cannot be taken away; any wasted food will be charge (sic) at a standard price”, it proclaims. There are certain items that carry a supplementary cost too, and others that have a maximum portion size per person.

Again, though, the service was at odds with the slightly scary menu wording – we marked our first order on the paper copy of the menu that was left on our table, which was then taken to the kitchen to fulfil.

While the decor and strict rules printed on the menu may put some people off, we’d definitely advise that you persevere. We managed to try a huge number of dishes during our visit (all in the name of research, of course…) and concluded that we’ll definitely be heading back.

So…a whistlestop tour of what we tried…

 

The greenery…

For me, edamame beans are a must when out for a Japanese meal – these were lovely and plump, and beautifully seasoned with plenty of salt. We also ordered a bowl of the seaweed salad, which was refreshing but with a fantastic sweet flavour.

 

Yatta Sushi House - Edamame

Yatta Sushi House - Seaweed Salad

 

The chicken…

We ordered three different chicken dishes to share, beginning with the chicken katsu: an incredibly thin fillet of crispy, battered chicken, cut into strips that were just the right size to dip into the accompanying sweet and sticky tonkatsu sauce.

The sweetness was also present in the pair of yakitori skewers that we ordered, a combination of chicken thigh meat and spring onions in a full-flavoured sauce.

We also ordered a plate of the chicken gyoza – similar to the Chinese jiaozi dumplings, but in Japan, they’re almost always pan fried. We loved how crispy they were at the edges, and the filling was very delicately flavoured.

 

Yatta Sushi House - Chicken Katsu

Yatta Sushi House - Chicken Yakitori

Yatta Sushi House - Chicken Gyoza

 

The sushi…

With a pot of soy sauce already on the table and a dish of wasabi and pickled ginger brought to our table, it would have been rude not to sample from the sushi menu. We started with a plate of three options: the spicy tuna hosomaki and the spicy salmon and cucumber uramaki were both liberally doused in a fiery chilli sauce, while the crispy duck and cucumber uramaki were just as beautiful: the amount of duck was generous and the hoisin sauce completing the flavours.

Our second plate starred four smoked salmon and cream cheese futomaki, which were tasty but the salmon could have done with more flavour. The tamago nigiri, though, were excellent – I love the sweetness of Japanese omelettes!

While it wasn’t the most expertly-made sushi I’ve encountered in Bristol, the flavours were definitely there and the fish was lovely and fresh.

 

Yatta Sushi House - Sushi 1

Yatta Sushi House - Sushi 2

 

The rest…

Yes, we ordered a LOT. We couldn’t leave without trying something off the tempura menu, and the vegetables didn’t disappoint: a combination of sweet potato, aubergine, courgette and mushroom in a lovely light batter, with the tangy dipping sauce the perfect accompaniment.

Intrigued, we also tried the wasabi chips – maybe not the best idea after the amount we’d eaten, but they were incredibly tasty. The thick and fluffy chips were lovely and crispy on the outside, and the fiery wasabi mayonnaise with which they were drizzled added a real kick.

 

Yatta Sushi House - Vegetable Tempura

Yatta Sushi House - Wasabi Chips

 

There are also two desserts on the menu – either ice cream in a variety of flavours, or a choice of mochi: a Japanese dessert consisting of ice cream wrapped in a coating of sticky rice. Our coconut mochi (we shared – we were pretty full) was bought in rather than made in-house, but it was pretty damn tasty.

After settling the bill, we were invited to the back of the restaurant to write on the wall. Yes, you read that right. It’s a fun idea – one wall of the restaurant is dedicated to customer feedback, quotes, pictures and more, and we were let loose with felt tip pens to add our own reminder of our visit.

 

Yatta Sushi House - Wall

 

Would we go back? Yes, definitely – and I’m already planning a trip with my little sister. Once you step inside, don’t let the decor, atmosphere and lengthy rules on the all you can eat menu fool you. The food and the service will more than make up for the negatives…

 

 

 

2 Responses to Yatta Sushi House, Nelson Street: Review

  1. Yum! You did go for a lot, good work. The katsu chicken looks good, I like the idea of dipping it.

  2. Pingback: Yakinori, Park Street: Review - Bristol Bites | Bristol Bites

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