Wagamama pitches itself against Yo! Sushi by offering new sushi menu

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Japanese cuisine, Feng sushi

The sushi market is expanding with Wagamama now offering it in all restaurants and other sushi restaurants looking to grow
The sushi market is expanding with Wagamama now offering it in all restaurants and other sushi restaurants looking to grow
Wagamama is to present a major challenge to Yo! Sushi’s status as the UK’s only national branded sushi operator after deciding to serve sushi in all its restaurants. 

The Japanese-inspired noodle specialist launched a trial menu and takeaway service at its site in London’s Mansion House earlier this year and now plans to implement the new menu across its 80-strong estate and all future openings.

The offer includes three common types of sushi – hosomaki, uramaki and nigiri – and a ‘twisted tataki’ section that is comparable to Peruvian ceviche, featuring raw fish and beef in acidic dressings. Small plates cost from £2.15 with sharing platters at £8.95 – prices broadly comparable with its main sushi rival’s offer.

Yo! Sushi has also picked up on the Japanese/South American crossover, having launched a tilapia-based ceviche earlier this year.

Wagamama’s decision to enter the sushi market makes the two propositions even more similar, with both concepts already offering noodle dishes, katsu curry, tempura and Asian-inspired salads.

Sushi expansion

With a tighter offer centered around sushi and katsu curry, Feng Sushi also has ambitions to become a national player​. Now backed by serial restaurant investor Luke Johnson, it currently operates six restaurants across the capital plus a delivery unit in Billingsgate fish market. 

Meanwhile, three-strong London sushi-chain Tsuru is diversifying to launch a specialist ramen restaurant on Soho’s Dean Street​ this month. Tonkotsu will offer just three varieties of the Japanese noodle soup dish: the eponymous tonkotsu (pork in a pork-based broth), Tokyo spicy and London ramen, a take on bacon and eggs. 

This article first appeared in the June issue of Restaurant magazine. For more on Asian dining, an interview with Raymond Blanc, a special report on coffee and tea and more, pick up a copy in a branch of WHSmith or subscribe here​.

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