Yamato was the lead ship of her class of in the Imperial Japanese Navy. With the same precision and execution, Yamato here in Edinburgh leads the way in Japanese cuisine.
I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert in Japanese cuisine, I’m not, this was very much a voyage of discovery for me. That said, I can recognise fine dining when I see it and Yamato very much felt at that level. Serving Wagyu Beef Nigiri and delicacies such as Otoro (more on that later!) it was a series of firsts for me.
Sushi and Sake were very much the order of the day and I enjoyed looking at all the fresh fish in the cabinet and choosing what to try. Our ‘first’ first of the day was Yuzu Sake, it was absolutely delicious and we were tempted to buy the bottle, but at £48 our sensible heads kicked in and my mind drifted to my diminishing Christmas budget! We will most certainly treat ourselves at some point in the future.
The first dishes to arrive were the Chicken Karaage served with a mayo type dip. The chicken was really tender and it was nice to have something that felt a bit ‘naughty’ to go alongside all the lovely sushi. Alongside that were Lotus Root Chips, our second ‘first’ of the evening. I liked these very much, they reminded me of parsnip crisps, very moreish.
The next dishes to arrive were Gyoza, usually my favourite, but the Grilled Scallop Ngiri was so delicate and flavoursome. It had a stangely comforting mouth feel – soft scallop on a pillow of rice – one that I’d order again.
The next two dishes were the most challenging, Otoro Ngiri was another first – lightly grilled tuna belly – it was quite oily and with a very strong fish flavour as you’d expect. A bit much for me. I was expecting to love the Wagyu Ngiri but I found it a little rich, again with such a high fat content it was quite oily tasting. It was ok but given the price probably not something I’d order again. Both my personal tastes of course, and absolutely nothing wrong with either the ingredients or the presentation.
We finished off with a Dragon Roll – tempura king prawn wrapped in sushi and covered with fresh avocado and fish eggs. This was tasty and there was childlike delight that it looked like a real dragon. Finally a crispy portion of assorted Tempura finished us off for the savoury course.
Dining at Yamato I felt like I could be in Kyoto, and a million miles from Edinburgh’s Tollcross. The food was exquisitely presented, and the service attentive to the extreme. If you enjoy Japanese cuisine, well worth a visit.