Much has been made of Yorkshire’s successes at the London 2012 Games of the XXX Olympiad (to give the proper title).
As a proud Briton, of course, I applaud the successes of Yorkshire’s athletes for helping Team GB to an impressive medal haul. This is especially the case for the gold medallists: Nicola Adams, Luke Campbell, Alistair Brownlee, Ed Clancy, Katherine Copeland, Andy Triggs-Hodge of course, Jessica Ennis.
As a resident of the North West, I’m sure however, that should these athletes have originated from here, a little extra pride would be felt.
Maybe there is something in the water in Yorkshire… you certainly wouldn’t expect that the traditional foods from the region, such as Yorkshire Puddings, Parkin, Pikelets or Pontefract Cakes would make up much of the diet of your ‘average’ Gold Medal Winning Olympian.
The same could be said of products from the Yorkshire based confectioners Rowntree's, Terry's and Thorntons.
North West based athletes, don’t fear - you do not have to cross the border into Yorkist territories, for we may have an unlikely source for Olympic glory in our own fair city of Manchester…
Nope, I am not referring to Lancashire Hot Pot, Manchester Tarts, Vimto or even Uncle Joe's Mint Balls… the secret to our future success could lie in the hands of my favourite Chinatown restaurant, the little Japanese place - Yuzu.
Whilst I cannot be scientifically certain that eating a meal at Yuzu can in fact make you a better Olympian, what I do know is that, the night before their match against Egypt at Old Trafford, the Japanese Olympic football Team dined at Yuzu… they went on to win the match 3-0! “Banzai!”
This result meant that the Japanese men qualified for the semi-final against Mexico (the eventual gold medal winners) and went on to compete for the Bronze Medal against South Korea – who knows, maybe if they had have had another healthy and lucky meal at Yuzu they might have gone on to win?
In comparison to Japan’s success, Team GB, were knocked out at the quarter-final stage. My advice for the footie teams at Rio 2016 and for other members of Team GB is get yourself along to Yuzu!
Yuzu serve a small but perfectly* formed menu of high quality, authentic Japanese dishes (*I’d like to see some ramen dishes on the menu).
I have blogged about Yuzu previously (see here) but below you can see pictures and descriptions of a selection of the menu items taken during various, recent lunchtime and evening visits (I apologise for the picture quality as some of them were taken on a camera phone).
Yakitori char-grilled with sea salt (also available with sauce) – freshly made with flavoursome skewered chicken thigh meat with spring onions.
Gyōza – freshly made prawn dumplings, served with soy sauce and Japanese chilli oil. The gyōza at Yuzu are excellent.
Daikon & wakame salad – finely shredded white radish and wakame salad, served with yuzu dressing. I always order one of these.
Home made pickles – home made cucumber and white radish pickles.
Sashimi mori – a platter of assorted scallop, tuna, organic salmon and sweet prawns. Served with wasabi and sashimi grade soy sauce. Always fresh and good quality.
Agedashi tofu – silken tofu lightly dusted in flour and fried, served in a broth with grated ginger and spring onions. Perfect tofu every time.
Tempura kishimen – kishimen is a flat and broad wheat flour noodle from Nagoya region. Served in a bowl of soup, accompanied by king prawns and seasonal vegetable tempura.
Ikura don – salmon roe served over sushi rice in a large donburi bowl. One of my favourites.
Ton katsu – pork loin cooked in breadcrumbs. A little dry when I had it (fish has always been good.)
Ebi Katsu – fresh king prawns cooked in breadcrumbs.
Organic salmon don – Organic salmon sashimi served over sushi rice in a large donburi bowl.
Organic teriyaki salmon – organic salmon grilled in Yuzu’s original teriyaki sauce. A popular favourite with generous portion of good quality salmon.
Grilled whole sea bream – grilled whole and served with soy sauce (check the specials board).
Veg yaki udon – udon noodles stir-fried with seasonal vegetables.
To match the quality food, service is always good and friendly (do not go if you expect a touristy Japanese restaurant featuring bowing waitresses shuffling around in kimonos). The décor is simple and charming, I love too, the quirky jazz soundtrack.