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



  • I got the pre-made Bull & Bear, which is brown rice, bbq pork, corn, carrots, broccoli, in a sweet chili sauce. The sauce wasn’t spicy so I asked for chili flakes, some spicy peanuts and siracha. Wasn’t charged extra for that but I suppose I would have been were it a veggie or meat. It was good. I loved the carrots (big chunks roasted so they’re partially browned and sweet) but could have done without the broccoli (they chopped up the stems into big hard circles and that’s what was mainly on my plate as all the florets were gone). The sweet chili sauce was good and the siracha and chili flakes gave it a nice kick. I also tried the veggie dumplings, which yes were overpriced and nothing spectacular, and the strawberry basil thai lemonade which was very refreshing but overpriced as well. Verdict: I’d go back for sure and play around with the bowl combos. That is def the way to go. Btw, a pre-packaged spicy tuna roll was more than $8 for 6 pieces and you get 8 pieces at Duane Reade for $6.50.

  • Yushi is absolutely my favorite bowl option out there. I call it my “power lunch” because it’s my go-to after a hard spin class. I usually get the brown rice & chicken with whole sautéed mushrooms, carrots & kimchi. The chicken has a really nice “off the grill” flavor and I think they use both white & dark meat and the carrots are really nicely roasted with a ton of flavor. Anyways I’ll get to the point.
    I pick up food pretty late (around 2pm) and I’ve noticed that they have been out of some options. I spoke to the manager (I think his name is John) because I really like the bowls and get pretty disappointed when they are out of my favorite ingredients. And then he told me why: They are still running on GENERATORS! I had NO idea. So because of this, he cannot refridgerate anything on site and only stay open until 3pm. He has to estimate how much beef, pork, and other ingredients he needs to bring in for the day. So if the majority of customers orders beef and they run out, unfortunately they can’t replenish it. Yushi is still losing money every week. I feel so bad – here I am gripping about not having carrots while they might not make it through the winter. I wanted to do something, so I wrote this. SUPPORT YUSHI!

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.