The availability of great Japanese food in Sheffield has increased dramatically in recent years. Tania Tailor shares her five favourite Japanese restaurants in Sheffield.
1. Yama Sushi
Easily-overlooked, Yama Sushi is a quirky, pint-sized pearl on London Road. Its varied menu includes ramen, stir-fried noodles, and imaginative sushi roll combinations which you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Try the Golden Dragon Maki which comes topped with melted cheese. It sounds weird but it works. The raw fish is top quality, and the steaming gyoza dumplings are sensational. This is my absolute go-to when craving Japanese with terrific food, traditional Asian decor and faultless service.
WasabiSabi has been a Sheffield institution for many years. A crowd-pleaser, it is well-known for its theatrical teppanyaki area, where diners get to watch the chefs cook up a feast right in front of them. Wasabisabi is the perfect place for a special occasion and a grand spectacle. Understandably it is a touch pricier than others in the top five but it’s a price worth paying. Top tip: pick up a business card on your way out. They feature a loving tribute to the Steel City, kawaii style.
3. Sumo San
Sumo San is modelled on a traditional Japanese izakaya – in other words, a pub! You can expect a relaxed, informal atmosphere where staff let you enjoy your meal at a leisurely pace. The decor is under-stated yet elegant, and the teppanyaki is impressive. The sushi rolls are Sumo San’s signature dish however – huge, delicious, and absolutely beautiful, with fabulous attention to detail including tempura crumb garnish. A lot of love goes into this food and you can taste it all in the finished product.
Koko is a new addition to Ecclesall Road, and the owners have clearly thought about surpassing customers’ expectations. As such the interior is lavish, with modern furniture and mood lighting, accentuated by smooth, glossy finishes. I was delighted by a complementary taster course – chicken cooked in mirin and soy – and the mains do not disappoint either. Order more portions than you normally would as the portion sizes are not huge. And make sure tour their fantastic drinks list, which includes some great sake!
Kaiten (conveyor belt sushi) is a fun, cheap way to introduce newcomers to Japanese food. The dishes are colour-coded based on price, and glass lids mean you can double check the contents before you tuck in. There’s a handy menu explaining each plate, and if your favourite dish isn’t on the conveyor belt, ask a member of staff and the chefs will prepare it freshly for you. Sakushi is very reasonably priced and has offers on most nights of the week.
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