- a blog about food and value

Yamamori Sushi, and Japanese Food in Ireland

yamamori-sushiI 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.


  1. Sushi is very cheap to make, as are dishes like ramen. So snobbery must play its part. Ultimately though, I think demographics, economics and necessity are the real reasons for the lack of good value Japanese options. There aren’t many restaurants here – so competition is lacking. In addition, even though the Japanese have many restaurants outside of Ireland, they are not traditionally a nation of migrants the way the Chinese or Korean are. So if they leave Japan it is often because they want to rather than need to. And they clearly don’t want to come to Ireland! I wouldn’t either.

  2. So the reason why there’s a snob appeal to Japanese food is that Japanese chefs have played hard to get and refused to come and live in our cold and miserable country? JuniorBox, you have great wisdom.

  3. I had foreseen your japanese inquisitiveness and consulted the rainbow dragon on the mount of pink lillies (not the daughter variety). It is he who has given me the wisdom of the lotus.

  4. Does good Sushi take a long time to prepare? Is it not more profitable to make wok based food, curries or noodles or Burgers? I presume these types of food would be cheaper to make than sushi and you could probably knock them out very quickly meaning one would require less chefs. Add the unconventional cooking skills required and you have a complicated recipe for a food based business.

    ( btw Cheapeats rules!)

  5. I am the head buyer for Yamamori and all our team works very hard to deliver good value food. We source our products all around the world.

    We import our own wines from several countries and hope to have the best value wine list in Dublin.

    Yamamori means “Mountain of food” in Japanese. We serve quite siginificant portions lunch & dinner! Our lunch offers the best value. Friends & family can share dishes like traditional japanese meal.

    I like to thank people for their feedbacks.

  6. Sushi King on Lower Baggott street does great take a away sushi but better still they have a hot lunch special take away option for apprx 8 euro. The hot special changes every day and is ideal on a Monday if you are feeling too anti social to go for lunch but seek warm comfort food instead of a sandwhich. On alterate days they have Katsu Curry, Thai Green Curry and other curries. Also if you fancy sushi for tea they often reduce the unsold sushi at the end of the day, I think they close at 5pm.

  7. im a regular here. i usually have duck ramen and sashimi, or yakisoba and gyoza. as much as i love my bannofi pie and tea at the end of my meal, i would really be delighted if they start offering japanese dessert soon.