A trip to Yamamori with his sister in law Gilly leaves Paolo very pleased indeed with the quality and choice in Yamamori. He even finds the chopsticks manageable, and decides tofu may serve a purpose after all.
Our goal was Yamamori Noodles, which serves the kind of food that my health-conscious sister-in-law likes. It has those large communal tables with church pews abutting them, but there are a few individual tables and she had thoughtfully booked us one of these. Service is brisk and friendly and we had menus in our hands in no time. Lots to choose from and all of it reasonably priced, there are starters for under €8 and main courses for under €15.
There's a reasonably priced wine list, quite short, but with enough wines to allow for choice. I picked the a Chardonnay in deference to my guest's taste for white, which was fruity and scented and came at a modest €26.
The menu is divided into sections like sushi, sashimi, teriyaki, tempura and noodles so you can find what you're looking for easily enough. We decided on a sashimi platter of eight pieces and a norimaki roll to start with and then a tofu steak for Gilly and a beef teriyaki for me. We decided to share the starters, but with me on beef and Gilly a vegetarian who eats fish, not the main courses.
Within moments the starters arrived and for the first time I found myself unintimidated by the fact there was no cutlery as we know it. My god, I was very nearly deft with the knitting needles - I swear it's true, I was even picking up individual grains of rice. Okay, I was trying to get a mouthful at the time, but you can put an optimist's gloss on anything. The norimaki roll was very good, but the tuna pieces and the prawns of the sashimi were really excellent. Very fresh, simply presented and easy on the digestion. Perfect.
I'll confess to a prejudice; I've always believed tofu to epitomise the health-food that I loathe. Soya milk curds? Gimme a break. What's wrong with a healthy tub of lard like my grandmother used to make? So it was with surprise and pleasure that I tasted a piece of Gilly's. I really liked it, but since I couldn't offer anything by way of trade I made do with just a couple of her pieces. No surprises with my beef, it arrived sizzling on a cast iron platter, tender and tasty.
Desserts are on a blackboard, and from the day's list we picked the Turtle cheesecake, mainly because of its name. We had just the one between us and it made a sweet and pleasing end to meal. An espresso fortified me for the trot back to the car, after settling up a bill for just under €85.00, which didn't include service.