Midtown Lunch’ers Report: Yushi’s New Refrigerated Conveyor Belt

Lunch'er Matt Reports: Yushi

Last week, to promote their new, now refrigerated, conveyor belt, Yushi (on 47th btw. Lex+Park) gave free lunch away to 10 Midtown Lunch’ers. A few of the winners were kind enough to send us their thoughts, with photos. Kee in mind the food was free (and free food always tastes better!) But you still get the general idea…

First up is Lunch’er Matt:

Hi Zach, just got back from Yushi! Food was good. The conveyor belt is a *little* gimmicky but it does exactly as advertised. Each plate has a color on it and that color corresponds to a different price. I think there were 5 colors in all. Now, on to the food!

As you can see in the shot of the conveyor belt there is no chef in the middle so I’m assuming they make all the food in the kitchen, package it up, and then put it on the belt outside. Not a traditional style but it works.

Lunch'er Matt Reports: Yushi

On the left is their spicy tuna roll, and on the right is their peking duck roll with hoisin dipping sauce. The spicy tuna was average, it wasn’t bad, but just wasn’t memorable. The peking duck was good. I thought it was going to be hot but it is indeed cold. The scallions gave it a really good crunch and the overall flavor was pretty good. Different, but good.

Lunch'er Matt Reports: Yushi

This is the salmon dill roll. It was my favorite of the lunch. Fresh tasting and it’s the first time I’ve seen dill paired with raw salmon. I see it all the time with the cooked version. Very good.

Lunch'er Matt Reports: Yushi

Top is nori wrapped tuna (good but the fish was very thin) and on the bottom is the seared tuna. That was good as well but I couldn’t figure out what they put on it.

Overall it was a good lunch. I prefer my rolls with a little less sesame seeds than they put on (I think they rolled them in a huge vat of them!) but they were still enjoyable.

Thanks for the opportunity and the website that consumes most of my day!

Lunch’er Jayspec is up next.┬áHe was less excited about the sushi basics, but admitted that some of the more elaborate options were pretty tasty.

When I go to a donut shop, the first thing I try is a plain, cake donut. I feel it is the singular, perfect expression of the donut maker’s art. Sure, you can cover up mediocre donut making with frostings and fillings, but if you’re not truly committed to practicing your craft, the plain donut will reveal your sins.

Salmon Sushi at Yushi

Similarly, the first sushi I tried when I went to Yushi was the plain salmon sushi. (One could argue that tuna is the better analog, but salmon came along the belt first.) It was cold, which is not surprising since the belt is refrigerated. But worse, it didn’t have that super-fresh melt-in-your-mouth quality that defines a good sushi experience. In fact, it tasted a little… fishy. Not rotten by any means… no worse than one would get at a thousand take-out sushi cases in a thousand generic midtown delis… but no better, either.

The next thing I tried was the ebi (shrimp). Their presentation had tiny red peppers on the top of each piece, which I was hoping was some kind of hot pepper. It wasn’t. It was just a flavorless… something. Again, it was only marginally better than a take-out sushi box.

Shrimp Tempura Roll at Yushi

Dan, my dining companion, not concerned with reviewing the place on its merits, went for the money plates to start off with. So, after blowing half my wad on disappointing basics, I followed his lead and
got the shrimp tempura sushi. It was delicious and wonderful. Again, frying and covering in spicy mayo is good at covering sins.

Beef "Sashimi" at Yushi

My final dish was the beef tataki, and it, too, was wonderful. Perfectly rare, delicious and tender. Dan tried two other dishes of note: The Tom Tom Chicken, and the vanilla panna cotta for desert, and he thoroughly enjoyed both.

In conclusion, the place isn’t bad. They don’t do the sushi basics right, but their more elaborate sushi-type dishes are very, very good. The problem is, in order to be a “Midtown Lunch,” (aka keep the meal under $10) you’d have to stick with the basic sushi which is neither delicious nor filling. I cannot, for the life of me, imagine why Yushi is trying so hard to get the ML crowd. Our meal came to $39 (comped, of course — we tipped the waitress $20) and we certainly weren’t full. So it’s not good enough to be a high-end place, but not cheap enough to be a Midtown Lunch.

Finally Lunch’er Monique posted a full review on her blog. She traveled all the way from downtown to cash in on her free lunch! Despite finding it a little expensive as well (we Midtown Lunchers are a cheap bunch!) she really enjoyed all the food (except, ironically enough, the beef tataki.) You can read her full review here.

Deja Vu? Yushi Wants to Give You Free Lunch From Their New Coneveyor Belt
First Look at Yushi’s Conveyor Belt, Which Opens on Monday


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