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“A bit pricey, but excellent” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Yujo Sushi Bar and Izakaya

Yujo Sushi Bar and Izakaya
4 Kyadondo Road | Nakasero Hill, Kampala, Uganda
+256 77 220 9999
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Ranked #6 of 182 restaurants in Kampala
Price range: $12 - $35
Cuisines: Japanese
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Delivery, Late Night
Description: Yujo has a Facebook page - it's not been open for very long, but is the latest attraction here in Kampala
Kampala, Uganda
Top Contributor
401 reviews 401 reviews
160 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 118 cities Reviews in 118 cities
178 helpful votes 178 helpful votes
“A bit pricey, but excellent”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2012

Good service and rather excellent food make this a great choice for a meal. The setting is lovely, though the prices are a bit higher than most. In part, I'm sure, due to relatively high procurement costs as the fish seems to be flown in, and in part because of the restaurant's location, based in one of Kampala's more expensive neighborhoods, housing several larger embassies, including the Japanese embassy almost next door.

It seems weekday lunchtime deals are on offer, if you want to save a few shillings.

Oddly, the menus are tattered photocopies stapled together, not at all in line with the class and style of the place.

  • Visited April 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HanifRehemtulla, General Manager at Yujo Sushi Bar and Izakaya, responded to this review, April 30, 2012
Hi!

You're on point about sourcing seafood in Uganda, it's what drives up the price points a great deal.

In fact, the seafood is also one of the major reasons behind why we haven't been able to easily launch a permanent menu.

The fish we have today, might not be in stock tomorrow. That's been the case since we've opened!

We've come to terms with that, as I believe many of our clients have too.

Tattered menu problem should be solved within 10 days or so.

Thanks for coming, and we hope to see some more of you in the very near future!
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93 reviews from our community

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Kampala, Uganda
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“A taste of Japan in Nakasero”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2012

www.inkampala.com

The owners of Yujo are young and enthusiastic about everything Japanese, a penchant reflected throughout the restaurant. Check the bottoms of the soy sauce cups if you’re unsure – no Chinese makes or models here. Everything in the restaurant is authentically Japanese including the ingredients 90 percent of which are from Japan.

The first dining area strikes the right mood being calm, cautiously lit, and open and with six to eight tables surrounding a large bar/sushi counter that seat about 20. There is also an ‘Izakaya’ dining area in another building where patrons sit on traditional tatami mats on the floor and eat from low tables.

The wait staff are numerous, attentive and knowledgeable – which is good as anyone less than a sushi aficionado will find the six page menu daunting. There were eight staff on the dining floor serving seven tables plus two chefs behind the counter.

The chefs have had 15 years training in Japanese cuisine and it shows in the dishes produced. Yujo’s does serve an ample variety of Japanese dishes so it would be a shame if it became pigeon-holed as a ‘sushi restaurant’ with customers not venturing on to other items. The Katsu Don (a bowl of rice topped with a deep fried pork, egg and vegetable) had a disappointing lack of promised leeks (being cheekily replaced by scallions) and vegetable but despite this was comparable to what one would find in London. The sushi was also comparable to decent London sushi restaurants. Sushi can be ordered a la carte or by platter with platter prices varying from 29,000 to 78,000. The platters were fresh and plentiful with only the shrimp being unimpressively chewy and the maki rolls being loosely rolled.

Starters vary from Miso Soup at 7,000 to Tempura, Udon, Tataki and Katsu up to 26,000. Other mains are in the 24,000-38,000 range. The drinks menu bears an extensive non-alcoholic section with concoctions veering inventively from the standard Kampala list of a couple of sodas and a juice options. Wine is served by bottle (up to 75,000) or by the glass (7,900).

Four other items bear special mention. First, parking is street side so can be limited. Second, unless dining early book a table – especially if your party is over four people – or you will find a wait or be seated at the bar. Third, the choices in background music on any given evening are bemusing – take notice – ranging from the greatest hits of the 60′s-80′s to South American pan pipes. Fourth, the toilets seem to have been imported from outer space and should be visited for the sake of themselves. The sinks, also of modern design and without taps seem impossible to switch on but it can be accomplished by twisting the faucet spout.

Overall, if diners are looking for a solid Japanese dining experience they can now find it in Kampala. If they’re looking for a magnificent experience perhaps Air Uganda could be persuaded to put a flight on to Tokyo.

The restaurant is open Mon-Sat, 12-3pm and 6-10:30pm. Closed on Sundays.

Visited April 2012
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HanifRehemtulla, Owner at Yujo Sushi Bar and Izakaya, responded to this review, May 22, 2013
Glad to have INKAMPALA spread the word about Yujo and other local businesses around Uganda.

Thanks for stopping by, and for your kind comments!

H.
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chicago
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“nice small place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2012

Good fresh sushi, nice small place.
A little expensive, ut you can try it atleast once if you are in kampala for a long itme

Visited April 2012
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HanifRehemtulla, General Manager at Yujo Sushi Bar and Izakaya, responded to this review, April 24, 2012
Hi Kate,

Thanks for stopping by Yujo!

Hopefully as our volumes continue to increase, we should be able to bring some of our prices down. Suppliers and air freight are two hindrances that have made this a bit difficult for now :(

What I can suggest to those who'd like to give Yujo a try, especially for the first time, is to come by during lunch from 12-3pm (MON-SAT). We have an assortment of bento box specials that allow you to try a medley of different items on our menu in smaller portions at a discounted price!

From approximately 25-37,000 UGX ($10-$15) you can get a full meal complete with a house salad, main dish, starters like tempura or gyoza, steamed rice, and a miso soup. Some of these bento boxes have some sushi and rolls in them too in case that's what tickles your fantasy;)

Our donburi bowls are also discounted at lunch time, and are worth a try for a quick but tasty meal at lunch.
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Fourmies, France
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Almost perfect but truly dreadful piped music”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

The food here is fantastic. Fresh sushi, sashimi and other Japanese delights, flown in fresh from the coast, and always top quality. The outdoor location is lovely, and the staff are very helpful. it's almost perfect. However, for some very strange reason, the restaurant insists on playing very loud 1970s pop music. it's awful, and you can hardly hear yourself think. Please, please, please Yujo buy some CDs of Japanese Koto music to make the atmosphere perfect.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HanifRehemtulla, General Manager at Yujo Sushi Bar and Izakaya, responded to this review, April 17, 2012
Hey Pogleswood6!

I'm so glad we managed to claim this page on tripadvisor so we could access and respond to comments that we weren't otherwise receiving in the restaurant!

When we opened, we actually shaped a great deal of our recipes, drinks, colours, and general ambiance based on the few japanese friends we had in the area.

They would each come by and tell us which things appealed to them, and which didn't.

Ironically, this group of Japanese people, and many other Japanese clients of ours that are now working in Uganda and dine at Yujo, can't stand listening to traditional Japanese music throughout a meal, let alone for the whole evening! They said it's fun when they're entertaining clients for the first little while, but then they can't wait to move on to the next place to enjoy a drink and the rest of their evening!

So when we asked them what kind of music they'd like to hear, 70s and 80s pop (and "J-pop" for the young ones), was the consensus. And now one group of people's enjoyment, is another's nightmare!

We do actually play koto and traditional Japanese sounds, piano, and other creative instruments with no lyrics (All played by Japanese artists only) from opening to close, every day that we are open...I'm not sure all our clients are aware of this!

This takes place in the Japanese dining room in the rear garden area of Yujo. We are trying to find a common ground, something that everyone can enjoy. We could pull the plug on music altogether, but I think for our guests that come alone, or early, around 6pm silence isn't the best environment??

Anyways, we're working on this and many other things that definitely need attention, and appreciate the constructive feedback!
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Lots of sushi”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2012

The service was great. The sushi was great. The price was good. They do not have brown rice :(

Visited March 2012
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HanifRehemtulla, General Manager at Yujo Sushi Bar and Izakaya, responded to this review, April 17, 2012
Konnichiwa luckeelu!

Thanks for expressing to us your interest in brown rice:)

We have seen some brown rice in town, and with one of our suppliers, but unfortunately it won't work very well for sushi or steamed rice in our restaurant due to the shape of the grain.

The grain of brown rice we've seen available around here and in Kenya is not short enough to retain it's stickiness, which is key for Japanese cuisine. And if we bring brown sushi rice from USA (where the majority of the world's brown sushi rice is made and consumed), the cost of shipping is creating a bit of a barrier for us.

Let's see if we can find some way to make it work, and perhaps you shall see it on our menu at some point in the future!
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