One of the most interesting ethnographic tidbits I found out about this year is that Brazil is actually the home of a LOT of Japanese people – in fact, it’s got the largest population of Japanese people outside of Japan, according to the Japanese Brazilian guy I met (and backed up by Wikipedia). And that’s why Yoobi is cool and not a weird and misguided attempt at fusion: in light of all that immigration, a Brazilian-Japanese Temakeria totally makes sense.
Yoobi is located in Soho, close to the old Whole Foods down there. They specialize in handrolls (temaki), that are big enough for a fun snack. I would recommend getting more than one per person if you actually want to make a meal out of it. Our table of two got a Tuna Tartare Temaki and a Citrus Salmon, which tasted pretty great but reminded us of California. I think their Brazilification means mostly a lot of lemon marinade, avocado and crunch. Delicious, but not “oh wow, I’ve never had this flavor combo before!”
In fact, now that I’m looking at it, the only thing that stops that Citrus Salmon from being a California Handroll is the lack of roe. Huh! Once again though, delicious. Lots of salmon, fluffy vinegared rice and it doesn’t fall apart when you bite into it.
If you want it in an easier to share Maki style, they do that too for a little extra. Below, a Spicy Tuna roll.
We felt like we needed a little more, so we got a sashimi too, which came as a cute little rose
Judging by the lack of hot drinks like green tea, this place is pretty darn new. It’ll be interesting to see what else they add to the menu. I know it’s not quite fitting with the theme of a Temakeria, but I would love to know what a Brazilian udon tastes like.
Yoobi // 38 Lexington Street London, W1F 0LL // telephone: 020 7287 9442