Kuru Kuru Sushi

November 18, 2014

One of the great joys for a restaurant lover is to visit a tiny, unprepossessing place you’ve probably walked past before and barely noticed, and discover it is doing completely wonderful food.

californiaSo today I share with you Kuru Kuru Sushi on Welford Road in Leicester city centre. I’m no expert on sushi – and my last visit to Yo! Sushi left me with no desire to go back  – but I was pleased to take up an invitation to join Chris from Crafty Burger and Andy from St Martin’s Tea and Coffee for lunch at this tiny kitchen opposite the doomed New Walk Centre.

It’s full with five of you in there, but that means we had a ringside seat as chef Shyiam created a series of fantastic dishes. Basically we had him as our personal chef for an hour. You can order set sushi variety boxes, set menus with main courses such as salmon teriyaki, tempura prawns or Java curry, or just order individual rolls, sushi and hot dishes.  We just asked chef to keep giving us highlights from the menu, with Chris putting in a couple of specific requests.

We started off with really tasty hot pumpkin croquette, then a divine soft shell crab roll with flying fish roe and avocado, California rolls with crabstick, avocado and mayo,  superfresh salmon sashimi, eel teriyaki, salmon minced up with Japanese chilli and rolled with tempura prawn, and a remarkable roll made with crispy salmon skin. I’ve probably missed a couple  – suffice to say from the rice to the seaweed wraps to the fish it was all umami-tastic. We ran up a bill of just over £20 a head but you could lunch handsomely for under a tenner.

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crab

Soft shell crab

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Crispy salmon skin hand roll

Eel teriyaki

Eel teriyaki

Now for the bad news. Chef Shyiam is off to Sri Lanka shortly and the restaurant will be shut during December. So either get down there quick, or make it a new year resolution to give it a try. It’s open lunch times and evenings until 10pm and they will deliver to homes and offices.

With Peter Pizzeria now confirmed as opening in nearby Welford Place on Valentine’s Day (below), a promising-looking Chinese snack café on Pocklington’s Walk, and the ever reliable Shivalli just a few yards further down Welford Road, it’s good to see a range of quality independents providing an alternative to Highcross.

Spelling might not be their strong point, but as long they can make pizza...

Spelling might not be their strong point, but as long as they can make pizza…

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A Sushi Skeptic

April 21, 2010

A quick supper last night at Yo! Sushi before seeing a talk from  Jon Ronson courtesy of Leicester Skeptics in the Pub.   Kind of wish I’d not bothered – with the sushi that is, Jon Ronson was simply wonderful.   I didn’t expect transcendence from a sushi bar in Highcross, but I was shocked that the salmon in a dragon roll managed to be 100 per cent tasteless.  Chicken kutsu was unremarkable too, small pieces of  crumbed chicken wrapped in sushi rice with a spicy but somewhat gloopy sauce sploshed on top. Best dish was simple aubergine slices, possibly because I was able to whip it off the converyor belt the moment it went on. These were tender and tasty – plenty of umami here.  Quick and convenient certainly,  but I left  feeling I could have done rather better elsewhere.

As a footnote, I see that Cafe Rouge in Highcross has now opened  and at 6.45pm on a Tuesday was doing good business.  Still think its faux-francais look is more than slightly ludicrous in what is a glorified shopping precinct but am trying to keep an open mind.

Sushi search

November 16, 2009

Sushi. Interesting one. I’ve had a little. Quite liked it. Makes a difference from a sandwich when passing through Marks and Spencer. But one of the things that enthusiasts say about it is that really good sushi is a revelation – but it needs to be hyperfresh and cut by a chef who’s trained for 37 years or something.  So I’d like to try the very best. And much as it’s fun and funky, I don’t think that’s Yo Sushi.

So I’m pleased we’re getting a new sushi restaurant in central Leicester, Belvoir St, in a site that was a short-lived juice bar and even shorter lived chicken franchise.  But  once again I’m a little disconcerted by its strapline:

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Why call it a Japanese Sushi restaurant? To distinguish it from all those dodgy Tuscan sushi bars? 

I look forward to trying it, but a longer term aim would be to visit Derby’s Ebi Sushi. I’ve read incredulous, not to say patronising,  reviews marvelling that the best sushi in the UK should be found in the centre of Derby. The presence of a ginormous Japanese car factory just up the road could just  be a factor.  If anyone’s been, please do feed back.  If anyone’s going – I’d happily join in.

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