I’m a sucker for sushi and I’m a sucker for the Riverdale area of the Bronx. As a kid I used to go to swimming class through my grade school with my brother and sister at the pool that used to exist at Manhattan College, then later on ended up attending the school for my degree. Now most of my close friends either live or have lived in the area, so I find myself in Riverdale at least once a week. Across from the “Overlook” residence hall up on the high part of 238th street is Yokohama, a small Japanese restaurant. Being one of my favorite types of food and in one of my favorite areas, I had to try Yokohama to see if it was any good.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve driven by Yokohama before and never even noticed it was there. It’s understated green awning with white and yellow lettering is nestled in between a small residential building and other more stand out locations. It’s hard to even see in as the storefront is blocked from the inside with paper shades and menus and other types of signage, but yeah there is a restaurant in there. The entrance is off to the left side and it’s pretty awkward. It feels as if you’re walking into a multifamily house, about to go to someone’s apartment. The entrance to the restaurant is to open the door immediately to the right when stepping into the building. The decor inside feels a little cluttered. There are half height partitions throughout separating sections of the restaurant and a nice big fish tank dividing the main restaurant portion and the sushi bar.
The menu is a typical Japanese cuisine menu. Appetizers include the normal gyoza, spring roll, edemame etc. I ordered the shumai as a starter since I am partial to dumplings in all forms. Entrees included tempura, teriyaki, and various sushi and sashimi dishes along with rolls. I ended up asking for the sushi deluxe with salmon rolls, the Waldo Ave Roll and a nice large hot sake.
The sake came out first after it was heated, followed almost immediately by the shumai. I wasn’t a huge fan of the shumai, it didn’t taste fresh, felt a few days old and that it was reheated. Understandable with dumplings due to the way they are prepared but it was very noticeable. The sushi arrived in short order and looked really good. I dove right in to the sushi pieces. It wasn’t anything outstanding, the one thing of note for me was that the wasabi had a weird consistency like it came out of a tube that didn’t have a chance to properly defrost. No matter, I scarfed it all down. The salmon rolls with the sushi deluxe were fresh and tasty. When I ordered the Waldo Ave Roll I had asked the owner what he thought of it and he had suggested I try something else based on my order. The basis for his opinion was that since the rest of my order was straight up raw fish sushi, that the smoked salmon in the Waldo Ave roll would not be something I’d really like. To my chagrin, he was right. The smokey flavor just overpowered every other flavor in the roll. I was so turned off I didn’t even finish the whole set, granted it was an over sized roll as you can see in the picture.
End of the day, Yokohama is a decent sushi spot, but not one I’d put at the top of the list if I feel a craving. It does the regular things regularly and not much else. You’d be better off heading out to Kiraku on Williamsbridge.
Yokohama Review reviewed by Well Fed on January 9, 2015 rated 3.0 of 5