Sheffield surprisingly has a few Japanese eateries, other than the big one at the corner of Woodhead Road (the two wagamama[1] eateries don’t really count. Heh.).

Yama Sushi is a gem of a place tucked at the corner of a row of shops on London Road. It is always busy in the evenings, even if you think you are early turning up at the door at half six in the evening, as the place is quite small[2] similar to an izakaya. Busy=good food in my simple books. The place has been around for a few years but I haven’t gotten around to trying it out until a couple of Sundays ago. And to avoid the crowds I actually had a very late lunch. Like at half three. The tactic worked because I was the only customer!

Donburi (ぢんぶり) literally means ‘mangkuk‘ or rice dish, and since I was somewhat famished I felt like having rice as opposed to noodles. I ordered the unagi Yanagawa don (うなぎやながわどん)and some nigirizushi on the side. I chose the unagi don as I remembered the Lat comic strip of him visiting Tokyo where he was treated to unadon (鰻丼 – a portmanteau of unagi[3] (eel) and don, obviously) by his hosts. This Yanagawa version has eggs with the eel. I later found out later that Yanagawa is a place in Kyushu, famous for its unagi dishes. I loved it – I have no qualms with it being belut and all, but if you look at the cross-sections of the fish, try not to think of snakes being serially sliced and grilled. And man, the unadon portion was a lot. It came with miso soup, so it was nice to have especially with it being cold at the mo’.

And, yes, the sushi I ordered on the side (it arrived first, actually). It was a good thing I didn’t go all gung-ho as it would’ve been difficult to finish the unadon. I had a modest portion of maguro, sake and ama ebi[4] (two of each). Superbly presented on a simple geta (wooden block). They do have a wide variety on the menu although I’d love to see ika (squid) on it.

They actually do take aways, which is an added plus. My verdict? I highly recommend having a meal here if you like Japanese food. For added ambience, the establishment actually plays Japanese music, albeit of the pop variety[5]. I just love the food that I actually went again with a mate last Friday, this time for some ebi kare raisu and a larger portion of sushi!

88 London Road
Sheffield S2 4LR
0114 278 7887

[1]Nothing wrong with wagamama, I love their food – but it’s more fusion Japanese more than anything else.
[2]I love small eateries. It makes one feel smug getting a table when people have to wait for 20-30 minutes to be seated. *evil grin*
[3]Not of the Ross Geller variety.
[4]That’s tuna, salmon and ‘sweet prawn’. The prawn is cooked ever so slightly, I think, although people say ama-ebi is served raw.
[5]I’ve dined at a somewhat upmarket Indian restaurant at the Quayside in Newcastle once – it had a maître d’ and tinkling piano music in the background. Like, c’mon lah!