Food & Drink

Eat out, drink up



Maybe it was the pre-Festival need for a party or as one honest wag put it - the promise of a lot of free drink; regardless, Edinburgh’s new Yo!Sushi restaurant and YolBelow bar was packed at its recent launch party. Whatever may have brought in people that night, the novelties of the operation alone - from sushi delivered by conveyor belt to a tarot card reader in the downstairs bar - should guarantee an initial brisk business on Rose Street.

On the ground floor, the restaurant is dominated by the central island within which the chefs are busy rolling up rice and raw fish. Around it are counter seating and some tables to the side, past which the colour-coded plates of food travel on their circular trek. Find the music too loud? You can adjust the volume of the speaker above your head. Don’t see a plate of coriander crusted tuna sashimi or fancy a bowl of miso soup? Press the help button. Waiting staff will relay your order - sometimes with a holy shout - to the proper chef station. Parched? Taps of sparkling and still water are at your elbow, while an automated trolley with beverages in bottles and cans works the room. You simply grab one.

Downstairs is the sprawling YolBelow bar, where one long wall is bombarded with video images. The bar staff are hired largely on the basis of their singing voices. But they don’t spontaneously break out in song, as in some Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. Rather they take the mic karaoke style, with other servers offering support: ‘Go girl’ comes the shout as ‘Ray Of Light’ a la Madonna is belted out.

Masseuses are there to offer a combination of Swedish and pressure point massage either while you’re seated at one of the sunken tables or lying face down on the deep banquettes. In London, the usual gratuity for such stress-relieving service is between SIS-£10. Behind a black curtain, a tarot reader issues advice.

What do the cards say about the future for Yo!Sushi in Edinburgh? It is off to a promising start, with a broad selection of Japanese cuisine served in a lively atmosphere. The concept that founder Simon Woodroffe pinched from Japan has been a continuing success in London and expansion plans are extensive. He may end up the Ray Kroc of sushi in the UK. (Barry Shelby)

I Voist'rsnx. 66 Rose Street, E<f//7t;;,,r9h m3: 220 (50.101



Side Dishes

An extra Ire/pr’ng of news . . .


no longer run, but Seafood Scotland is promoting 4-11 August as ‘herring week‘ with select Glasgow restaurants Rogano, the Hilton and Mussel Inn - reviving this somewhat forgotten fish's fortunes. For example, Mussel Inn on Hope Street (0141 572 1405) is preparing its 20 kilo consignment in ‘as many ways as we can think


according to manager

Jim Baird. That includes grilled, pickled in Scandinavian fashion, rolled in oats (the traditional Scots manner), as well as others. Seafood Scotland is the Edinburgh- based trade organisation and promotional body for


seafood industry.

Herring, like other oily fishes, is not only good for your heart but carries other benefits. Marketing officer Craig Morris says, ‘If we can encourage people to


more herring and oily

fish, for the tasty and nutritious meal that it is, then everybody can gain.’ V‘JOHK (X )N l |Nl ll 8 Al


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CAFE COSSACHOK, Scotland’s only Russian bistro, gallery and cultural centre on King Street, Glasgow (0141 553 0733), has reopened after some ‘vital repairs’ with a full range of music to go with your Slavic meal. The scheduled line-up for August includes Andrea and Georgie Gajic performing on violin and accordion 19 August and ‘Kaleidoscope’ - mixing folk, gypsy, jazz and Eastern European music - on 26 August. Dinner begins at 6.30 with the concerts following at 8.30pm.

', ex; 27. THE LIST 37