YO! Sushi | Flavours of Japan New Menu

IMG_8721

IMG_8734

On Monday I found out that I was going to an event with the Bournemouth Bloggers to Yo! the next day to taste their new menu items. It was well timed as I was home alone and it meant that I wouldn’t have to cook for myself. My only slight concern was that I had never eaten sushi before. I know its a crime, I mean how can I be a human without eating sushi! I admit, I originally believed that sushi was just raw fish, but I was SO wrong. According to the head chief sushi is anything with vinegard rice. I found this absaloutly crazy and couldn’t believe it. I was also told that they are rebranding YO! Sushi as they are dropping the Sushi part from the name of their brand as only 49% of the food that they serve is actually sushi.

IMG_8722

IMG_4990

Now like I said I had never eaten sushi before, let alone been in a YO! Sushi, so this was a whole new experience for me so I was super excited when I got the invitation to go and try their brand new menu items! For the new Flavours of Japan menu, they went back to Japan and looked at the different street food items to create the brand new authentic Japanese menu items.

We were lucky enough to try 7 different dishes from the new menu

Bullet-Train Chicken Katsu Sando

IMG_8727

Now this one may look like your ordinary chicken sandwich, however it is no ordinary sandwich. Originally this is the staple snack of street vendors and food carts across Japan’s network of Bullet-trains, however YO! have put their own spin on it. This dish has succulent chicken thighs which is coated in the panko crumb and fried to the perfect crisp, then covered in Tonkatsu sauce and placed between white bread. According to the press release this dish also comes with a spread of Japanese Mustard, however we did not have this in our meal, therefore if you are not a fan of mustard they can easily make it for you without the mustard.
This was the first dish that we had and it was seriously yummy! I didn’t think that anything else would match how good this was!

Rating: 5/5

Fruity Beef Katsu

IMG_8730

This dish was created by one of the Head Chefs as part of YO!’s Fresh Tastes of Japan competition. This is seasons mince beef in a crispy panko crumb, fried until golden and then topped with a generous drizzle of fruity Tonkatsu sauce.
If you want my honest opinion, this one tasted like a beef burger! The waitress even said at the beginning that everyone will like this one as it literally does taste like a burger, so if you have little ones this is probably a good option. It is also served with white cabbage which went really nicely, but the waitress also told me that YO! have now started to serve fries as a dish which would go perfectly with this dish, however these aren’t your ordinary fries. From what I remember the fries had some spices on and also some Japanese Mayo (its probably better to ask the waitress than rely on that terrible description!).

Rating: 5/5

Sweet & Sour Cod Nanbanzuke

IMG_8732

This is another head chef masterpiece. This dish involved fresh pieces of cod, fried until crisped dipped into our tangy ‘Nanabn’ sauce.
I’m going to be honest with you, when I first read the press release I wasn’t sure about this one! I knew that I loved cod and I love sweet & sour sauce, but I seriously could not imagine them together, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. This dish was a firm favourite, I even think topping the Bullet-Train Katsu Sando! The sauce tasted exactly the same as what you would get at a chinese takeaway except it wasn’t that ridiculous orange colour! Also, the batter was just a lot lighter than a normal batter you would get at a fish and chip shop. This was also a firm favourite with all of the Bournemouth Bloggers!

Rating: 5/5

Seared Beef & Pickle Roll

IMG_8738

Who says sushi has to be raw fish? Tender beef wrapped around fresh homemade pickles with a dusting of shichimi powder for that added kick.
This was a dish that I was excited to try as it was the only real sushi dish that we were trying. And I’m not going to lie, I didn’t particularly like it to begin with. The beef was to tough and the rice was just too dry. Some of the other bloggers said it was too spicy for them, however I found it the perfect amount of spice otherwise it would have been too bland for me as I have a high spice tolerance. This dish is also one that I would not recommend to eat if you are on a first date! It was too big to put in your mouth all at once but it was just too tough to bite, therefore there was no elegant way of eating this so I wouldn’t have chosen this if I was on a date! As it was all a little bit tough and a little dry I thought it would be a better idea to put somme soy sauce on it. This made me like it much more so than before and I actually thought it was alright! So would 100% recommend putting some soy sauce on as it makes it so much nicer!

Rating: 2.5/5

Izakaya Pork Teriyaki

IMG_8743

This is a delicacy in the back-street bars of Japan’s Izakayas. The Pork Teriyaki uses perfectly tender slices of pork belly served in a sweet and salty teriyaki glaze. This rich dish is paired with a soft-boiled egg.
Now I know what your thinking. “Egg??? With pork?? NO WAY.” I was thinking exactly the same thing as you. I thought that there was no way that it was going to go together and what a weird combination to have! Well, I could not have been more wrong again! The egg was such a nice addition to the not too sweet and not too salty pork. I would seriously recommend giving the egg a go with the pork. I was seriously so surprised that I liked the egg with it. It made the pork so creamy and it just melted in the mouth and it was just a gorgeous experience that you need to be there for!

Rating: 5/5

Osaka-Style Squid

IMG_8744

This is YO!’s homemade crispy-fried squid osaka style with smoky bonito flakes, aonori, beni shoga, mayonnaise and tonkatsu (I do not know how to pronounce half of these words!).
Now, I have tried squid and was not sure how I felt about this one, when it came it smelt absaloutly delicious and it looked super yummy! Now, my only issue was that it was a tad little bit too salty for my personal liking, however it was still yummy and I still ate it, but if there was anything I could do it would be to make it less salty. Another good thing about this is that it didn’t look like squid (no tentacles or anything like that). Therefore, if you gave this to someone without telling them the name of it they would probably think it was just a normal fish or something. I still really enjoyed this one though and the flavours were incredible!

Rating: 4/5

Tokyo Banana Cake

IMG_8746

This is fresh cream swirled into a delicate banana sponge topped with chocolate. You can see why this dessert is traditionally given as a homecoming gift in Japan!
Most of you will know reading this that I am not the biggest fan of chocolate, however I still ate all of this up as I could not taste the chocolate in this, so if you are not a chocolate lover this is still a great dessert! I’m not going to lie the cake did taste a tad synthetic to me (I am a tough judge on cake), however the cream swirled throughout made it taste so much nicer and it made it lose the synthetic taste! You can tell I liked it so much that I ended up taking another bit home in a takeaway box!

Rating 4/5

As you can tell with pretty much all of my ratings that I’m now a big lover of these dishes and I can’t wait to go back and try more!

Over the last few days I have had to convince so many of my friends that YO! is not just sushi, they also include Japanese street food that is incredibly delicious and I can’t wait to go back and try more things from their menu! I highly recommend that you head to your local YO! and try out some of the food there.

A massive thank you to YO! for inviting me and also a MASSIVE thank you to the Bournemouth blogger girls for an incredible night!

~Ciara~

This post is not sponsored. I was kindly invited to the launch of the new menu at YO! Sushi and was not required to write a review.

Primark Beauty Sponge vs Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

Over a year ago I wanted to try a beauty blender but could not fork out all the money required to buy one. I saw that Primark sold a dupe and had to give it a go! A year on, for Christmas I asked for the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge as people said it was as good as the beauty blender. So for this video I thought I would compare my two makeup sponges, the Primark Beauty Sponge and the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.

Hope you like it!

Don’t forget to subscribe!

~Ciara~

Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush Review

too faced edited

I was very kindly given the Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush in the shade Candy Glow. This was my first ever Too Faced product and I was incredibly grateful to receive this late Christmas present!

too faced edited 2

First off, I think we should talk about this cute and adorable packaging. From the Too Faced products I have seen online, Too Faced sure do know how to package the product for us girls to look at and go wow! This is packaged in the most adorable little heart shaped box and in such a gorgeous baby pink colour with gold detailing. I mean I haven’t even started with the actual blush yet, but my hopes were high when I first saw this packaging!

too faced edited 4

Once I lifted the cute heart shape lid, I had a look at the stunning colours of pinkish toned blushes. I mean, this was the pretty blush colour I had ever seen. I really like that this comes in a trio of colours, I think its really good value for money that way because you get 3 different blush shades and because of how it is packaged you can use each shade individually, or if you are like me, you can swirl your brush into the blush to get a mix of all the colours because you can’t choose which colour to put on your face.

Now onto the pigment, this blush is great for me. I dislike a really strong blush as I have always suffered with red patched on my face, so I like something a bit more subtle, but it just adds that hint of colour that changes you from a flat sheet of paper to a 3d human face! This blush does that for me. I swirl my brush in all 3 colours and glide it onto my face with absolute ease! It adds that really nice pink tone that looks fairly natural (even though there is a hint of glitter in there!).

Lastly, I just quickly want to mention that this blush is really long lasting. I have been wearing it to college and it just makes me look more awake and it stays on my face all day.

After using this blush I am now a 100% Too Faced fan and I need to try more of there products (not going to lie I’ve had my eye on that Sweet Peach Palette for a while and never could justify spending the money, but right now after using this blush and completely loving it, I might just be purchasing this in the future!).

I seriously recommend this blush and not going to lie it has become one of my all time favourites that has now seemed to have slipped into my everyday makeup routine!

~Ciara~

Easter Baking

Happy Easter!

Easter 2016 1155

As we all know I am obsessed with baking and Easter is the perfect time to bake in my eyes!

Last year  I saw this similar sheep cake in the co-op and I thought I could create a better version! It was really easy and simple to make! AND IT WAS YUMMY!

Easter 2016 1131Easter 2016 1132Easter 2016 1134

I hope you all have a fabulous Easter Weekend! I hope you get lots of yummy chocolate! If you do make a cake similar to mine, please show me! I love seeing other peoples cakes!

~Ciara~

Real Techniques Blush Brush Review

img_7685

Back in February I treated myself to a new makeup brush as I hadn’t bought one for myself in a while, plus I went into the new Superdrug store in Bournemouth and I get 10% off of there because of my student discount and I thought that I could justify it! I have also had my eye on this brush for a while as I’ve never really had a brush that I thought was great for blush. I used to use the Real Techniques contour brush and yes that it is good but I always felt that was much better at applying highlight. Therefore, I treated myself to this brush for my blush.

Like all of the Real Techniques brushes, the bristles on this brush is so soft and when I first got it out of the packaging I could not help but rub it across my face (that sounds far too wrong, but you know what I mean!). The bristles are synthetic, therefore they are super easy to look after, plus I love that the tips of the brush are white, it means that when I clean the brush I know it is clean because it should have white ends!

This brush applies product really nicely and just feels such nice quality on the skin.

Like I feel with all the Real Techniques brushes, they are super long lasting and such good quality for the price!

~Ciara~

Honolulu Bronzer by W7 Makeup Review

img_7689img_7692

A little while ago I made an order from W7 Makeup as they are known for producing dupes of your favourite high end makeup. I bought the Honolulu Bronzer as it reminded me of the Benefit Hoola Bronzer (I mean even the name is similar!). I’ve always wanted to try the Benefit bronzer, but have never been able to justify the money for it, so when I found this on amazon, I was over joyed.

Packaging wise this is incredibly similar to the Benefit Hoola bronzer. It also comes with a brush which is near on identical to Benefit’s. The brush also gives you a real precise line that just is perfect for contouring and carving out cheek bones.

screen-shot-2017-02-11-at-23-44-24

This is also incredibly pigmented, when I used this for the first time I put a fair bit on the brush and the line I got was amazing, however far too much, which brings me onto the next section… blending. This is super blendible. I love a soft contour and when I had the horror of the super pigmented line, I thought to myself that I’m going to have to completely re-do my face, when intact all I did was blend and it was like nothing happened!

This bronzer is now one of my favourite bronzers that I own and its not to expensive!

~Ciara~

Architecture in London

Back in December I took a trip up to London to take some pictures for my photography. For this shoot we got to choose a topic for our shoot. I wanted to focus my shoot on architecture as this looked quite interesting and there were lots of artists to research when looking at architecture. I also wanted to give this shoot a theme, so I chose iconic buildings in London. This was to include the London Eye, the Shard, bridges such as Tower Bridge and also any London looking building!

Mum and I started at Waterloo station and we walked to the London Eye to look at the structures there. We walked down south bank all the way to the Tower of London. We also explored little bits of London that were north of the river such as the Monument and the Bank of England.

img_7383img_7395img_7397img_7401img_7419img_7451img_7469img_7494img_7497img_7498

 Like I say in most of my blog posts about London, I need to go to London more often! I enjoyed this day far too much!

~Ciara~