I hope I don’t, you know, blow your minds by categorising this post in both good and bad value. The bad value element has a question mark after it, and it’s more about the general pricing of Japanese food in Ireland than about this restaurant specifically.
Why, when there are so many great cheap Chinese and Korean places, is it so difficult to get similar versions of Japanese food? Big cities like London, New York and Sydney are full of unpretentious Japanese noodle and sushi houses where you can eat really well for under a tenner, whatever the currency.
Most Japanese food is very simple and uses basic ingredients – ramen is just stock, noodles, a little veg, spices and some protein in the form of meat or tofu. I don’t see any reason why it should cost €16.50 (Yamamori’s price). I think there’s a snob appeal attached to Japanese food, and I don’t really know why. Is it the impeccable Japanese design ethic that convinces us to pay €16 for a bowl of stock and noodles?
But anyway. Peter and I ate an early dinner in Yamamori Sushi on Ormond Quay yesterday, getting in at 5pm while they were still serving their lunch menu. This is the good value part of Yamamori – they serve their lunch menu till 5.30pm. It’s almost exactly the same as the dinner menu, and up to 40% cheaper. Most of the mains are around €10 and the portions are very generous.
I had tempura fish and vegetables with a soya and ginger dip and a side of rice. The tempura was really good, properly light and fluffy and crisp, yet still extremely filling. The dip was a little disappointing, not having much of a ginger flavour.
Peter had their €10 lunch special, which was a large winter veg salad accompanied by red gurnard fish, avocado dip, and rice, with delicious freshly squeezed apple and mixed berry juice. He said the fish was really fresh and full of flavour, his only complaint being that it should have come with a proper squeezey lemon wedge. It left him feeling healthy and refreshed, satisfied, and not too full.
You can also get the lunch special with five other options, including beef gyoza, tuna and avocado salad, and pumpkin korokke.
Our bill for the two mains, one beer and two coffees was €29.95. I have no problem recommending the food in Yamamori but would suggest that you eat there early to get real value for money.