I was excited to hear about the arrival of Yamato, a second restaurant from the folks behind Kanpai, so made a note to visit before heading off on travels.
It has taken over premises on Lochrin Terrace that traded for years as a Chinese place before sitting empty for an extended period, just along the street from Indaba.
The interior is really quite stylish, in the Japanese fashion. It feels formal but welcoming with the super-friendly and attentive service pitched in a similar way.
Word hasn’t yet reached the ears of enthusiatic lunchers so I found the place very sparsely populated when I visited. This was a shame as what was on offer was outstandingly good.
I fully committed to their broad menu which features some considerable luxuries. I started with some toro – tuna belly – sashimi, moved on to the grilled wagyu nigiri, then some more modest pickle maki, before rounding things out with the seafood soup delights of dobinmushi.
The toro was expectionally good with deeply flavourful tuna with a velvetty texture. It was the first time I’d sampled this much prized delicacy. It will not be the last.
The wagyu was deeply meaty with a buttery finish. Decadently topped with gold leaf, this was very satisfying stuff. The pickle maki was also to a very pleasing standard.
The dobinmushi brought some flair and theatre, with a teapot served on a hotplate filled with a selection of seafood and mushrooms. The soup was poured into a tiny cup for me to sample in dainty mouthfuls.
The broth was delicate with a light sweetness. Once I’d finished that I lifted the pot’s lid and tucked in to the clams, prawns, mushrooms and other morsels. It was all highly accomplished stuff.
So overall, I was highly impressed with Yamato. It’s a place that deserves your immediate attention. It’s the best Japanese meal I’ve been served in the city. I look forward to many future visits.
Blythe scores Yamato
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4.5/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 17/20
I ate: pickle maki, wagyu nigiri, toro sashimi, dobinmushi
I drank: green tea, water
I wore: green trousers
Total bill: £38.50
Address: 11 Lochrin Terrace, Edinburgh EH3 9QJ