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)
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