I had a catch up with Rory Jossel, one of the owners of Yu, situated on the Foreshore in the Onyx building.
Yu is loved so much in our household that we celebrated our move in night a few weeks back with a Yu take away. Absolutely delicious but nothing like the experience of being at Yu and greeted by the familiar staff and the food being hot and steamy as it just comes out the kitchen.
Like many restaurants, the guys at Yu have had to adapt to the take away market. It’s something says Rory but there are also hundreds of others doing the same thing. Regulars of Yu and foodies like ourselves have been the main supporters since lockdown allowed for take-aways. Rory also adds it has been great to get some of the staff back in and feel a bit of comradery again.
Hitting the restaurant scene in 2019 with a bang as a destination restaurant, word quickly spread around Cape Town about how great YU was. Located in the Foreshore, and admittedly not the most obvious location for a restaurant, reputation is key. Day time business traffic is good for lunches and the hotel at The Onyx supports a certain percentage of covers. However, Yu isn’t a one hit wonder. The number of times we have been there with either work or friends, it has been full and vibey.
Talking personally, the food is delicious. From the tempura zucchini with yuzu salt to the soft-shell crab in a sesame mayo…… is your mouth watering yet? It’s 05:37am as I type this and mine is! I’ll keep going – the BAO’s are to die for, all of them and then a real surprise for me as I would never usually order it, Thai papaya salad. Fresh, nice bit of bite, a real palate cleanser between your next round of dim sum …… the list goes on. Now I want to go and eat at Yu with my husband and friends.
Talking to Rory about the new trends of people eating out, he feels it’s not going to just be back to normal. People are cautious and they have become great home cooks. He did say that orders have slowed down since the government re-introduced the sale of alcohol. As a nation we do love our wine.
Yu has many meanings in Japanese including excellence and braveness but it can also mean gentleness. Rory who owned Koi in Camps Bay for many years, wanted to do something different. He wanted the customer to be comfortable and experience amazing food without all the pretence seen in many of the Cape Town establishments. His team has certainly pulled that off and for me they really make the difference and compliment what Rory has created.
So now we just wait with bated breath until we can meet again.