MAXINE GORDON heads for some Friday night fun at Yo! Sushi in York

MY friend has just been to a fancy restaurant where everything was delicious, but the food was served by serious waiters who delivered each dish as if it were a priceless piece of art. The mood, she said, was rather solemn.

As much as I'd love to visit that restaurant, I'm not sure I would enjoy such an atmosphere.

Yo! Sushi in York couldn't be more different. Granted, this is a chain, rather than an exclusive restaurant, but this is a place designed to bring a smile to your face – and the food is really tasty too.

To the uninitiated, Yo! Sushi's USP is to have a selection of small dishes that revolve on a conveyor belt and diners at neighbouring booths help themselves to what they fancy.

Each dish is colour coded to indicate price (from £2.30 to £5.50). You can also order items from the menu to be cooked to order.

Tables have a buzzer to alert the waiter – be warned that the announcements are loud. I pressed ours a few times and our waiter Jason, who was just on his second shift and getting used to the Yo! Sushi way, could not have been more attentive.

At first he brought us a drink. It was just after work on Friday, so I was ready for a cold beer and Japanese lager Asahi (£4.10) hit the spot with its dry, clean and refreshing taste. My teenage daughter had a green tea (£1.90).

We were hungry too and immediately began helping ourselves to some dishes, beginning with yasai, marked as "new" on the menu. This comprised of three rounds of sushi rice stuffed Liquorice Allsorts-style with cucumber, cos lettuce and carrot and topped with teriyaki and vegan mayo. For weight watchers, each dish comes with its calorie content too. We polished these three discs off in seconds, really liking the soft, fresh rice and the healthy fillings, which were lent a sweet overtone from the creamy coating.

My daughter is vegetarian, so we mostly picked veggie dishes, which had the bonus of being cheaper. Next up was another new plate, the inari taco, which was basically two little pancake pockets made of tofu filled with rice, avocado, salsa and a vegan sriracha mayo. I'm not a fan of tofu, but these were sensational. The pockets were nice and thin, like a crepe, and the insides brought to life by the spicy mayo which is made from chilli, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt.

We had about another six dishes from the conveyor belt including a bowl of green edamame beans covered in chunks of sea salt. These are fun to pop and delicious to eat.

Another memorable choice was the very attractive blossom roll. Here the sushi rice had been rolled in purple shiso (a Japanese garnish). Inside were pieces of crunchy prawn katsu and chunks of firm avocado, crowned with heaps of pinky-red tuna, sitting like a pile of tiny jellied sweets. It was very pretty and I'd watched the plate go by several times before temptation got the better of me.

We also ordered some dishes from the kitchen, which were delivered fairly promptly. If you like watching chefs at work, this is another reason to visit Yo! Sushi. You can see the staff prepare each dish, from rolling the sushi rice to filleting the fish – and cooking the menu items for diners.

First up, we had the pumpkin katsu which amounted to two halves of a squishy pumpkin 'burger', all crispy on the outside and soft and melt-in-the-mouth inside. Quite delicious. The spicy pepper cauliflower was also crunchy and had a bit of a spicy hit to it, and again, was enjoyable.

We also picked a small burger each: a mushroom teriyaki one and a chicken version. These come in pillow-light buns (similar to bao buns), packed with plenty of filling including crunchy pickled vegetables. Thoroughly recommended.

Given there were only two of us, we'd managed to stack up a fair amount of dishes.

The menu has lots of choice for meat and fish eaters as well as vegetarians and vegans. Also, if you would prefer a more substantial meal, the menu includes ramen and curry plates with rice, which are more filling.

Choosing lots of small dishes, as we did, probably turns out to be more expensive – because the price soon racks up and you need to eat a lot to feel full. Our bill was just shy of £50 for the two of us, but we did have a lot to eat for that price.

Also, it's worth noting that on Wednesdays you can enjoy Yo! Sushi's 20 vegetarian and vegan dishes for £2.30 each.

If you are looking for somewhere a bit different to go with friends, and have some fun as well as tasty, fresh food, then Yo! Sushi is well worth checking out.

Yo! Sushi, 15 Church Street, York

T: 01904 566663


Food: Tasty 4/5

Service: Good 4/5

Ambience: Fun 4/5

Value: Bit pricey 3/5

Reviews are independent and meals paid for by The Press