October 17th 2015 has been a long anticipated day. Since the original branch of Woktastic closed down due to the building site that is our old library we have been without express Japanese food.
Well that's a little bit of a lie - we will always have the lovely Mt. Fuji tucked round the back of the bullring and Yakinori themselves have opened a parallel branch in Selly Oak opposite a pub I frequent. Neither of these have the night out atmosphere of the Woktastic restaurant - or the sushi-go-round seating arrangement.
While the Selly Oak store has made the wait easier (and Tuesdays a lot tastier) I decided that I should only do the review once the new Grand Central store opened, and that I should go on opening day.
As you can see they do a decent range of things - and believe me it took a well timed picture to get empty window seats - the place was packed!
I was tucked away round a corner with this sumo guy, but I was happy to be seated - it was VERY busy. If not there is always the take away bento box option which seemed really popular.
I went with the classic chicken Katsu (and a bottle of Aloe drink).
The reason for this was that it's always been my Woktastic/Yakinori go-to dish, being the meal that swapped me from being someone who agreed to go to Woktastic to someone who suggested we go. It certainly didn't hurt that the staff have been fantastic over the years to several younger members of my family with specific health needs - making sure they get the food they can eat and never leave disapointed. I guess it's this level of customer service that keeps people coming back - I am always amazed by just how many people who have made a special effort to go to the Selly Oak branch and today I've overheard several conversations with people saying they've been planning for opening day.
Sure - it's not the biggest of places, but I think it's got that important independant spirit that a lot of the eateries in Grand Central lack.
If you need somewhere to hide away from the chaos then this possibly isn't it, but if you are looking for a quick meal at the station that will fill you up then have a look at the menu.
Yakinori is very personal, very Birmingham, and very good value for money. Highly recomended.