Yuzu Kitchen and Bar
Fusion cuisine in a trendy setting.
If you blended together American and Asian inspiration, threw in a pinch of Tarantino and a dash of rock ‘n roll, you’d have what is Yuzu Kitchen and Bar. Owner, Rikku Ó’Donnchü, has done just that and the restaurant is the latest go-to place for tasty fusion cuisine.
Yuzu occupies what was previously the Ocean Basket on Kloof Street. The space has been completely revamped into a trendy bar and eatery with a stunning outdoor courtyard, complete with twinkling lights and massive palm trees. You’d be forgiven for thinking you were anywhere but a busy street in the CBD.
The interior was inspired by a dojo and the speciality wood flooring has been designed to mimic that. There are touches dotted around that carry the Asian theme, as well as funky features such as the menacing looking weapon beer taps.
The menu features an eclectic mix of Asian dishes with some local flair thrown in for good measure. There’s sushi and it’s delicious. We tried the Snow Dragon, which is a panko crumbed prawn with avo, sweet and sour chilli with miso mayo-dressed crabsticks on top. The rest of the menu, with some creative names such as, Piggy on the Braai, That Ol’ Cow, The Italian Ninja and Miso Salty, might have you puzzled but the dishes deliver. We survived the Killermari (corn coated deep fried squid) and the Danger Dumplings (sweet and sour pork dumplings). Both dishes were generous in size and full of flavour. The dumplings come with a dipping sauce that’s so tasty you’ll be licking it off your fingers long after the dumplings are done.
One of the signature items on the menu is the ramen and you can opt for line fish, chicken, tofu, wagyu beef or pork belly. We chose the pork belly and it did not disappoint. The broth is full flavoured, the pork tender and the noodles generous and tasty. The portion is also big, so go hungry.
The restaurant has created a special cocktail menu that should also be considered if you’re looking for something unusual. My Colada Burn – Yuzu’s take on a Pina Colada – had a delicious twist of chilli in it. I was tempted to try The Bill – bacon-infused Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Whisky with coca cola, maple syrup, candied bacon and maple smoke but I was running out of space and missing dessert was not an option.
When you get to dessert you’ll have to put aside your inner prude if you want to order the chocolate fondant, also known as ‘Not for Pussies’. It’s a decadent molten chocolate cake served with honeycomb, ice cream and a chilli and pineapple salsa. Not a combo you would think would work in your head but it does. If you can’t get passed asking for it by name try the Bangkok Baboon, I’m not going to tell you what this is though, you need to go for yourself to find out.
A trendy spot to enjoy Asian-American fusion cuisine, good beer and great cocktails.