I Am Big Enough to Admit I Wasn’t Entirely Correct About How Much Yushi Sucks
Seeing as I am addicted to all Asian food, I was pretty excited a year ago when Yushi Bento Bar opened up on 47th St. btw. Park and Lex. Maybe that explains why I was so disappointed to find pretty bland, overpriced bentos, in a setting where salad and low calories seemed more important than taste. I called it “style over substance”, meaning that clearly they were more concerned with making beautiful food than filling you up. There is no question the bentos are made with quality ingredients, and they have a wide array of sauces to spruce up whatever you order- but with so many other great Japanese bento places in Midtown, this expensive bento bar just didn’t seem to make the Midtown Lunch cut.
That is until last week. It’s been a year since I’ve been inside Yushi, and I decided to just pop in and see what was going on. And that’s when I noticed this: “Peking Duck Roll.” Oh yeah? Delicious roasted duck, in sushi form? Expensive or not, how could I not try it?
When I first visited Yushi a year ago, I’ll admit, I didn’t try any of the sushi rolls. They were sold in these weird tubes, and at $4 to $5 it seemed too expensive. I don’t even know if I realized they were rolls (you have to look real close to see that they are in fact sliced inside those weird tubes.) Two rolls for $10 from a take out sushi place was more than I wanted to pay, and it was called a “Bento Bar”. The sushi seemed like an afterthought. Since that time, I’ve noticed it’s tough to get even take out sushi in Midtown for less than $4-5 a roll, especially from a place with quality ingredients (which I admit, Yushi definitely is.) So, after noticing the Peking Duck roll, and realizing that with some creative math I could get two rolls for under $10, I decided to give Yushi another go.
Not as satisfying as real Peking duck, but it still tasted good- and there was alot more meat than I was expecting. Their “hoisin”, which came in a little tube attached to the roll, was a little too gussied up for me (plain hoisin would have been better) but it still worked. At $5, it was almost worth it… I mean we are talking duck here. The rice was cold from being prepackaged, and in the fridge, but the texture was still moist and pleasing (unlike some other prepackaged sushi places.) I can’t imagine how this could only be 135 calories- but hey, I’ll take it! (I don’t count calories purposefully, but if I can eat something tasty- and be able to not get any fatter than I already am, sign me up.)
To round out my lunch I went with the Spicy Salmon roll, which at $4.35 enabled me to come in at exactly $10 for my lunch. I’m mostly against places that promote healthiness, but the fact that they give you extra spicy mayo on the side is a pretty nice touch. That way you can regulate according to taste. It also means you can actually see the real chunks of salmon (or tuna), unmasked by the spicy tuna sauce. Most sushi places use the mayo sauce to cover the fact that they’re just chopping up their crappy, leftover fish.
At $10 for 2 6 piece rolls, it wasn’t filling enough to qualify for full fledged Midtown Lunch status, but there is no question that Yushi is using some quality ingredients, and at least they’re trying to slip in some fat guy’ish tasty items. Peking Duck Roll? I mean, you’ve got to admit that’s good. Still not for everyone, and to truly fill up I’d probably have to spend $15, but the sushi rolls are tasty- and as far as good, reasonably priced sushi goes, we don’t have too many other options.
- They’re doing some creative things with their sushi rolls, like Peking Duck
- They give you an extra container of spicy mayo on the side (for those of us who like to lay it on thick)
- The ingredients are very high quality
- The rice stays tasty and good despite being put in the fridge
- For $10 you may not get enough food to fill you up
- They don’t give you ginger to go (you have to get it from the self serve area that is mostly used by people who are eating their food in the store)
Yushi, 245 Park Ave. (But it’s actually on 47th St. closer to Lexington), 212-687-1900