The FiDi’s Yushi Has A “Build Your Own Bowl” Bar, And It’s Delicious
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when walking into the freshly opened Yushi on Pearl St. (btw. Cedar & Maiden Lane), but I certainly didn’t think I’d find a Chipotle-esque setup serving build-your-own rice and noodle bowls. I hesitantly joined the line after bypassing the premade hot food display of noodle dishes, overpriced dumplings, soups and the cold options of sushi rolls and salads. It turned out that deciding to fashion myself a “Yu Bowl” was a surprisingly excellent choice.
I must have had that dazed “I never go to these places where you stand in line and customize your meal” look in my eyes because the counter workers gently led me through the process. There are four prefabricated bowl options featuring each of the meats and tofu offered, or you can make one yourself by choosing a base (white/brown rice, soba noodles or salad), a protein (chicken, pork, beef, tofu), three vegetable toppings, a sauce and a garnish. There are a lot of decisions to make, but I’d have to say most of them looked pretty good so if you mess up it’s not going to be a catastrophe.
My choice was white rice (they were out of soba noodles at the time, sadly) with “Shanghai beef,” green beans, carrot and cucumber and kimchi, with sweet chili sauce and cilantro as a garnish. Mine cost $8.95, but most are $8.50 depending on what protein you get.
The biggest surprise here was that all of the toppings were well-flavored, and they did not skimp on the meat. I swear there was nearly as much of the braised beef as there was rice underneath. The green beans were a little bit spicy, and the kimchi wasn’t the best I’ve had, but was still decent. I don’t think I’d do the carrots and cucumbers or cilantro again, but hey, you build your own bowl and you learn.
I found the bowls to be a better value than the premade hot options, but if you don’t have time to wait in line there were a few good options for less than $10. Did anyone else check out any of the other food at Yushi?
Yushi, 100 Maiden Lane (entrance on Pearl St.), (212) 742-2150; World Financial Center food court, (212) 945-3096, on the Web