Published: 11:43, 21 May 2019
| Updated: 16:04, 22 May 2019
I've never been to Japan or, for that matter, sampled much Japanese food.
But following a visit to Ashford Designer Outlet's new YO! Sushi restaurant, I want both of those things to change.
As you walk into the freshly completed branch, you're struck by a number of things - homely but delectable smells, the sight of a snaking conveyer belt like something out of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory and the welcoming attitude of the staff.
Sitting down, you don't have to wait a minute before you can eat. Tempting dishes whizz past you in a colourful stream, each one perfectly manicured to the highest standard of presentation.
One second you can be munching on a crunchy, meaty chicken gyoza, and the next you can sample the spicy pepper squid.
Every taste and dietary requirement is catered to, with a wide range of vegetarian and vegan dishes that even a staunch carnivore like me can really sink their teeth into.
YO! Sushi provides a perfect opportunity to try food that you may not have eaten or even heard of before. Somehow for me, this includes Teriyaki chicken - a treat that I'll be sure to order at the next possible time.
Upon the recommendation of waitress Molly, who had an excellent taste and manner, I also tried pumpkin katsu curry. This dish proved the highlight of the meal despite the lack of meat, and must be among the brand's most filling dishes.
The only problem with YO! Sushi is that you'll want to try more and more, with the small blue plates quickly piling up next to you.
But exotic exploration is not limited to the food on offer. Japanese staple drinks such as sake, kombucha and ramune soda provide an all-round taste experience, with the latter being the most appealing in my opinion.
But the real stand-out for me were the employees.
The service is heavily service-centric and they hurriedly rush around, warmly catering to the needs of the diners.
Regularly asking if there's anything they can get you, or if there's anything they can do to improve your experience, the staff exude a friendly and chatty feel.
The chefs have mastered the fast preparation of upwards of 50 separate eating options, leaving you in awe at the speed with which specially ordered cuisine leaves the kitchen.
So perfect is every plate, that you can't help but marvel at the fact that the sushi hasn't been mass-produced - an idea negated by the freshness of the ingredients and the uniqueness of each item that flies past your table.
A feast for the eyes, nose and belly, YO! Sushi serves as a platform for culinary theatre. The visit of every guest is tailored to perfection.
So if you want to sample some of the spectacular spectrum of Japanese cuisine, you can do it in one sitting. With high quality dishes, drinks and staff you have to ask yourself - why go to Japan when you can go to the Ashford Designer Outlet's branch of YO! Sushi?
For store locations and menu information, visit https://yosushi.com/