Yamato fails sushi test, recovers with hibachi

By Ashley Coker
Managing Editor

Dayton’s newest culinary staple, Yamato Japanese Steakhouse, has brought life back to the often-vacant building in front of Holiday Express on U.S. Highway 27.

The frequently crowded parking lot should tip visitors off to what is waiting inside: hungry guests lining the walls, and no shorter than a 15 minute wait. The soft, orange-tinted lighting and lack of overwhelming scents, typical to many sushi places, help create a serene atmosphere despite the hustle of a busy wait staff.

Yamato’s menu primarily features sushi, but they also have a hibachi menu for those disturbed by the idea of eating Nemo raw.

They offer approximately 30 different rolls, including specialties like the “Green Dragon” (spicy salmon, avocado and masago) and the “Dinosaur” (crab and tempura, topped with eel avocado and eel sauce). Four of their rolls are deep fried; the “American Dream” (crab avocado, mango and spicy tuna), however, is not one of them.

For those unfamiliar with sushi but open to trying new things, Yamato offers bento boxes. The boxes include your choice of a cooked meat, fried rice, soup, salad, a spring roll, and four pieces of a California roll. It is priced between $9.99 and $12.99 (depending on the meat you choose) and provides variety, as well as the chance to try the quintessential “starter sushi.”

Because the California roll is so widely appreciated, the quality of this roll is often a good test of the entire sushi menu. Unfortunately, Yamato’s California roll did not impress. The consistency of crab and avocado to cucumber was off, with the crunch of the cucumber overshadowing the rest of the roll.

The Philadelphia roll and the eel roll fared better in the taste test, but still ranked around the same level as theIMG_6420 grab-and-go sushi from any given supermarket.

Where Yamato really dazzles is their hibachi menu. The meal features fried rice, grilled vegetables and your choice of quality, flavorful meat for a competitive price ($8.99 lunch, $10.99 dinner).Their rice tastes lighter and is less heavily buttered than their local competitor’s, like Panda Garden Buffet.IMG_1591

While the restaurant boasts a completely Asian lunch and dinner menu, their dessert menu is a sharp contrast, featuring ice cream, brownies and cheesecake. The cheesecake tasted similar to what one would find in the Walmart deli, which is better than expected from a restaurant specializing in raw fish.

A trip to Yamato may not be something to add to your bucket list, but it’s 10 p.m. closing makes it a valid option for those needing a sushi fix after Peking House closes at 8 p.m..