Yushi’s Newly Launched Yu Bowl is Worth Checking Out


If Yushi (47th btw. Lex+Park) is famous for one thing on Midtown Lunch, it’s that they sure like to switch things around every few months. (Remember the conveyor belt, dim sum, then the refrigerated conveyor belt?) Well, they’re at it again. They recently launched Yu Bowl (no relation to the Super Bowl, we’re assuming) which has completely replaced the conveyor belt. The Yu Bowl uses the Chipotle style ordering/serving method where the customers line up and you point to the server what you would like in your (Yu) bowl.


I’ve never been to Yushi but with the introduction of the Yu Bowl, I guess it was time to finally check it out. Here’s how it works. First you pick the base (jasmine rice, brown rice, noodles and veggie), then a protein (chicken, tofu, mini beef balls and pork), follow by three toppings (out of eight choices) and top it off with a sauce and free garnishes.



The price of the bowl is determined by what protein you get. (Teriyaki Chicken and Shiso Sesame Tofu $7.95, Mini-Baller Beef Balls $8.45, and Ooey Gooey Char Siu Pork $8.95)

Yu Bowl

So how was the food? Surprisingly tasty (though I did walk in with super low expectations). I got brown rice, mini beef balls, Cambodian sweet corn, sauteed magic mushroom, Szechuan green beans, satay sauce and topped with cilantro and spicy peanuts. The mini beef balls, which tasted sufficiently beefy, were a little dry- but the satay sauce did help give a bit moisture to the balls. While the mushroom side wasn’t magical, I did find the other two veggie sides to be fresh tasting and had enough snap and crunch. Also the Szechuan green beans had enough heat.

Yes, $8.45 for a lunch bowl is still on the pricier side, and if you get stuck behind an indecisive luncher it could get ugly.  But in the end the lunch did a good job of filling me up and the food was actually quite good (though I would have preferred to have some fatty juiciness in my meatballs!)

Yushi, 245 Park Ave. (on 47th btw. Park+Lex), 212-687-1900


  • Pork should never be “Ooey Gooey” unless that is some phonetic way to say the name of the pork preparation, though I doubt it.

  • Yushi is nasty. You’re better off heading over to Dainobu one block east.

  • I had higher expectations for the magic mushrooms as well.

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    I got a bowl with bok choi, green beans, mushrooms, bean salad and tofu.

    Green beans – Very strongly flavored with garlic and red pepper. Their color suggests canned but the texture suggests fresh but prepared well in advance. LOTS of garlic. Buy some mints on the way back to the office.

    Mushrooms – Strongly flavored with ginger and tons of scallions. I like bold flavoring but the ginger was a bit over the top.

    Bean Salad – Lima beans and chick peas. Very lightly flavored, if at all, with a little citrus (I think). Limas were cooked well but chick peas were solidly underdone. If eaten alone it was boring but if eaten with the other strongly flavored items it worked very well.

    Tofu – Soy marinade with sesame seeds. Seems to have been pressed followed by a long long marinade in soy sauce which made it tasty (in my opinion) but quite salty.

    Bok Choi – Fresh and crunchy. Raw and not seasoned as far as I could tell. Similar to the beans, it was boring taken on its own but it worked quite well as a base for the spicy bits on top.

    Compared to other food in the area I was pleasantly surprised.

  • I like the idea of caging one’s employees like a veal

    If the serving chick moves too quick she going home with louver burn on her cheeks

  • I tried one of these bowls yesterday. I got it with Noodles, Pork, corn, eggplant, sprouts, spicy nuts, and sweet chili. I enjoyeed it. The pork wasn’t as tender as it looked, but it wasn’t terrible. I liked the flavors and mix of ingredients. With a bottle of water it cost around $12. I think it’s worth a shot.

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