Meal ticket: Yamamori Sushi, Lower Ormond Quay
- 38-39 Lower Ormond Quay
Dublin perennial Yamamori has weathered the onslaught of newer Asian restaurants to open in the city over the past two decades. The original restaurant on South Great George’s St prevails, with Yamamori Izakaya, a Japanese bar, across the street, but the large Ormond Quay premises is now the centre of the action, housing a sushi restaurant, covered bamboo garden dining area, and bar out the back with ping pong tables and DJs.
The menu here leans more towards sushi – although you can still get the usual Japanese staples of noodles, teriyaki, ramen and curries. There are a number of interesting dinner specials, including a good-value seafood platter for two people that includes seafood tempura, tuna and salmon sashimi, norimaki rolls, salmon teriyaki, nigiri sushi, oysters with tuna salsa, seaweed salad, miso soup and rice for €50. At the moment, they’re including a free bottle of house white wine with this deal.
Interestingly, they offer sushi with regular white sushi rice here, but also with brown rice, and zakkoku rice (black rice) which is actually a deep purple colour and is mixed with a sprinkling of seeds. It’s softer than its white equivalent, with a sweeter, nutty flavour. It is a little overpowering in a crayfish and avocado norimaki roll (€9.50) – the sturdy rice crowding out the delicate flavours of crayfish and avocado. It works better in a very good spider roll (€17.95) – eight large pieces of sushi, crammed with crispy softshell crab, creamy avocado and wasabi mayo, all surrounded by jewel red masago, tiny capelin roe that pop with each bite.
A bowl of edamame – soy beans steamed in the pod – are tasty, liberally doused with salt and satisfying to pop from their pods into your mouth. It’s sad to see this side dish costing €6 though – an all-too common phenomenon now, when they used to cost just a few euro.
Prices for mains/large plates hover around the €18 to €22 mark, and while portions are large, combining a couple of smaller plates can make for a more interesting meal, such as a delicious spicy beef tataki, €10.95 (wafer-thin slices of flank steak served with a citrusy ponzu and truffle dressing) with yakimono moriawase, €8.50 (three grilled skewers of pork, prawn and bacon meatball, a chicken thigh with creamy yuzu sauce and a lamb meatball with mint and chilli).