#KlaRestaurantWeek: Yujo Izakaya
Sometimes staying number one is harder than becoming number one, but the reigning Restaurant Week champions Yujo Izakaya are making a solid effort to retain the top spot this year. From their new premises in Nakasero, the restaurant promises the same kind of balance and innovation that won it for them with some new twists on Japanese classics. Below is a sample of what they have lined up for the second edition of Kampala Restaurant Week.
Torched Philadelphia Salmon Roll.
When most people think about Japanese food, they think about sushi.
The foodie uprising catalysed by the internet and social media has contributed to bringing sushi to the global mainstream, and in Uganda, Yujo is at the forefront of the revolution. A light green trio including avocado, English cucumber and lettuce leaves forms the core of this roll that is tightly wrapped with sushi rice by a thin layer of sea-weed and topped with Norwegian salmon and creme cheese torched nearly to the point of melting.
To garnish; a generous sprinkle of sesame seeds and dill leaves which are a traditional accompaniment for salmon wherever salmon is enjoyed widely enough to have traditions develop around it. It is a light, crunchy roll reminiscent of those delicate cucumber and salmon sandwiches the English (on Keeping Up Appearances at least) enjoy with tea. The salty sea-weed and salmon pair up in terms of flavour and are balanced by the more herbal dill and slightly pungent cheese. Altogether, it is a mouthful of complex flavours and textures whose magic is in their delicate balance.
The Katsu Berry Burger.
A stand out amongst the main course offerings has got to be the Katsu Berry Burger, because the burger part may be the last thing you expect to see on a Japanese restaurant menu, but let us look at the Katsu part for a minute. A meat cutlet (usually beef or chicken) breaded in panko (bread crumbs), Tonkatsu is a popular Japanese dish often served on its own with veggies and/ or soup but often used as a sandwich filling.
The Yujo Katsu Berry Burger places the cutlet in a toasted bun with fresh lettuce and strawberry infused mayonnaise.
What? You read that right. A strawberry puri is folded into the mayonnaise before it is spread between the layers of bread and meat. Biting into it, the, soft, succulent chicken is moistened by mayonnaise and held together by a crispy, buttery bun.
It gets better.
On the side is a bowl of apple based sauce with soy, Worchestshire sauce, onions and brown sauce for a thick, brown, sweet and savoury sauce. When dipped into, its sweet richness contrasts and enhances the flavours of the mayonnaise based burger.
The Banana Roll.
“Sushi? Again?”- said no one, ever. The simple adjustment that turns this into an unforgettable burger is the banana. Sushi rice around a banana with some sea-weed and deep fried may sound counter-intuitive, but that is why it is so surprisingly good. The crunchy outer roll reveals a mushy, subtly sweet inside where the banana and rice almost integrate for a sensation much like marshmallows. As with most variations of sushi, a little soy sauce on the side can only make things better and its sharp, salty flavour notes balance out the sweetness of this dessert roll.
Photography: Julius Caesar Kasujja