Having plates of food travelling around you, just waiting to be plucked and eaten, is everyone’s dream, right? That’s how it works in YO! Sushi in Whiteley as mini plates of Japanese cuisine zoom past my booth on a conveyor belt, just waiting to be picked up.
There is also the option to sit at the bar facing the chef who is busy chopping, slicing and cooking in the middle of the sushi train of wonder.
However, my companion and I decide to face each other in a comfortable booth rather than stare into the eyes of a chef wielding a large sushi knife and cutting at pace.
Dish Detective must confess they ate at this establishment a few years ago but the waitress informs us the menu has had a shake-up since then.
After looking through pages of sushi rolls, platters, ramen, katsu and street food, we concur.
There is a lot of choice and one imagines you could be here all day deciding between the chicken teriyaki and the salmon fried rice. But luckily a) the majority of the dishes are mini so you can choose a good selection and b) there are pictures so you can identify what is what on the conveyor belt.
While wading through the array of Asian delights, we were offered beverages including the popular Japanese aloe vera drink which is hailed for a number of health benefits, but my lunchtime pal and I skipped this nutritional opportunity and opted for water.
I know, I know, but before you judge, this is not regular water, it is triple filtered still water that comes from a tap built into your table. Sparkling is also available.
While waiting for my companion to pick a few dishes to order/pluck from the train of dreams, I stared out the restaurant walls – no I don’t have x-ray vision, all the walls are made of glass which makes the place feel bright and airy.
To announce we are ready to order we have to ring a large bell in the middle of the table – we are told it is normally a discreet button that lights up but that this is broken.
It feels incredibly rude but it is very efficient and the Dish Detective is sold on the belief this is the future of the restaurant biz.
No having to catch the waiter’s eye or performing hand aerobics to get their attention, just a swift bell tap and they will be by your side – lovely.
Cold dishes can be taken straight off the belt next to you but, don’t panic, there are time-limited stickers on them so you don’t eat a portion of salmon nori roll that was up and ready to roll before you left the house.
Hot dishes, however, must be ordered and so we reel off our list that has taken a solid 12 decision making minutes.
Spicy pepper squid (£5) Korean fried chicken (£4.50), stir fried pak choi and garlic (£4), prawn gyoza (£4.50), chicken yakisoba (£4.50), chicken katsu (£4.50) and takoyaki doughballs (£4) all arrive at our table as and when they are ready – again we are told this is the future, but the Dish Detective is not so sold on this idea.
However when the food does arrive on a train from heaven, it is quite glorious and everything seems to go together.
Tinier mini bowls are available to pour yourself some soy sauce to accompany your feast.
For me the chicken katsu and spicy pepper squid are the best while my companion favours the crunch of the Korean fried chicken
The takoyaki doughballs were slightly too doughy and perhaps would have been best suited in smaller portions, but we concluded the meal was a success.
A food conveyor belt really is a dream come true.
YO! Sushi, Whiteley Shopping Centre
Ratings (out of five)