Yujo Izakaya


Being a bit of a Japanese/sushi junkie back home, imagine my joy when I found out that there was actually a good Japanese restaurant in Kampala! On hearing this I made it my number one priority to try it out. After quizzing a couple of people who had been there on the logistics of getting fresh fish in Uganda – a quite clearly landlocked country – I made my way down there. I was given assurances that there were many complex processes involved including freezer containers on Kenyan fishing boats in order to avoid food poisoning…

YujoFirstly, the setting is great – it somehow does manage to conjure up the feel of a peaceful Japanese garden with a sushi bar and even an ‘Izakaya’ dining area in another building where you can sit on the floor with your legs dangling under the table for a truly Japanese experience! The night I went there was even a lighting storm and torrential downpour to add atmosphere. All it lacks is some school girls in mini-skirts giving peace signs and a vista of neon signs advertising strange animated characters and you could be in Tokyo itself (Ok, enough of the stereotyping…) Music in the main restaurant is pretty horrific with Leona Lewis/Whitney Houston medleys but ask to sit in the Izakaya where the music is general massage/lift stuff and much more in keeping with the general ambience!

The menu is pretty extensive with all the classic dishes you’d expect from a good Japanese restaurant including a wide range of sushi and sashimi, teriyaki, katsu curry, tempura and noodle ramens (22-34,000 UGX) and at lunch time they also offer Bento box selections (fluctuating around the 35,000 UGX mark). There are also a number of much longed for starters including Miso soup (7,000 UGX) and wakame salad. All this can be washed down with a cup of sake (19,000 UGX).

Yujo Izakaya, Kampala

I ordered the rainbow roll with unagi (eel) which was great and some pork gyoza (22,000) which were amazing followed by the mixed seafood yakiudon for 35,000 UGX (not quite Udon noodles but I’m willing to give them this seeing as they’re 11,535 kilometers from Tokyo – yes, I Googled it), which were both yummy! A friend did, however, order the tofu and was sadly disappointed with the slightly soggy offering that arrived (but then who ever orders tofu as a main meal anyways?).

YujoI went with one Aussie friend who had never had Japanese food before and was mildly suspicious of the whole thing to say the least, and another friend who claims to have a serious aversion to raw fish. Both had Dons (chicken Katsu and beef teriyaki (27,000-29,000) and both of them came away happy which just shows that, if you’re still unsure about raw fish in Uganda, you can eat at Yujo and entirely avoid seafood of any kind!

Prices for sushi and sashimi are around 15,000 (for tuna) – 19,000 UGX (for salmon) and mixed platters range from 29,000 UGX (veggie) – 78,000 UGX (the sushi wave platter).

Service takes a little while if you’re in a big group, which is nothing new for Uganda, and the staff were very helpful and friendly, even recommending the special of the day.  Again, not the cheapest food in Kampala but considering its such speciality (and seafood heavy) stuff thats not too surprising. All in all a good African replica of classic Japanese dishes and one of my favourite restaurants in Kampala!


Hours: 12pm – 3pm & 6pm – 10:30pm
Address: 4 Kyadondo Road, 23248 Kampala, Uganda
Phone: 0772 209 999
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/YujoJapaneseRestaurant


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About Lucy

A Kampalite as of the start of 2012 - I'm really loving my time here and planning to stay for a while. I’m originally from London where I’ve worked for a range of NGOs and am now hoping to try my hand overseas, plus London is way too cold and grey and full of pigeons. I’m currently in search of interesting job opportunities and experiences here and elsewhere – until global warming kicks in that is and then I can head back to the UK as it should have removed the pigeons. Get in touch at lucy@livinginkampala.com.