Yoobi Temakeria Sushi @ Lexington Street, SOHO

Yoobiは、ブラジル風手巻き寿司を出す、ロンドン初の「temakeria」。「ブラジル風」寿司というと驚くかもしれないけれど、実はブラジルは世界最大の日系人人口を擁する国。コーヒー園で働くために1908年に移民が始まって以降、約100年間で13万人の日本人がブラジルに移住、現在約150万人の日系人が住むといわれる(Wikipedia)。去年リバプールストリート駅近くにオープンした、アメリカ発のレストラン・Sushisambaも同様のコンセプト(日本、ブラジル、これまた日系人の多いペルーのフュージョン料理)だが、カジュアルなyoobiと比べて値段も張る。

「yoobi」という店名は、日本語の「指」からきているそう。ここの手巻き寿司は、独自の米のブレンド、持続可能な魚、新鮮なワサビ、地元産の野菜など、クオリティーの高い食材を使用しているという。梨、ワカモレケッパーハラペーニョ、トマト、フィラデルフィアチーズ、クルトンなど、びっくりするような材料を使った寿司もあるが(メニュー)、さすがにいきなりクリエイティブ過ぎる寿司を頼む勇気はなく、無難にwasabi tuna(£3.20)、scottish salmon(£3.20)、yellowtail(ハマチ。£6.50)を注文。なんちゃって寿司の多いロンドン、最初yoobiに対しても半信半疑だったけれど、これらの手巻き寿司は丁度いいサイズで、値段も許容範囲、すし飯も具材も期待したより美味しかった。次はもう少し変わったメニューにも挑戦してみよう、かな??

Rio meets Tokyo in London. Yoobi is London’s first temakeria, serving freshly made temaki (‘hand roll’ sushi in Japanese), with Brazilian influence. It may sound crazy, but Brazil has more experience in sushi than British. Brazil has the largest Japanese population in the world outside of Japan. The first Japanese immigrants arrived in Brazil in 1908 to work in the coffee plantations, as a result of the decrease in the Italian immigration to Brazil. As of 2000, there were between 1.4 and 1.5 million people of Japanese descent in Brazil (Wikipedia). US-born Sushisamba has the similar concept, that mixes the cuisines of Japan, Brazil, and Peru (another country where a large number of Japanese descendants live), but it is more upscale than yoobi which is more like fast food.

The name ‘yoobi’ is derived from the word ‘yubi’, Japanese for fingers, which reflects the ‘hands on’ nature of their food, according to them. Their temaki rolls are made with high quality natural ingredients; from their own rice blend to sustainably-sourced fish and from fresh wasabi to locally sourced vegetables. Some of their ingredients are never used in Japan, such as asian pear, guacamole, capers, jalapeño, tomatoes, philadelphia, and croutons (menu), and I didn’t have enough courage to try those creative recipe. Instead, we chose safe option of fresh wasabi tuna  (£3.20), scottish salmon (£3.20) and yellowtail (£6.50). At the beginning, I was a bit suspicious about yoobi, as many sushi in London are phony, but those temaki rolls were in reasonable size and pricing was justifiable, and the taste was enjoyably good. Next time, I promise to try a little bit more challenging kinds.

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