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Today’s Groupon gets you $50 worth of perfectly prepared raw fish rolls at Yoki Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Medford. Yoki’s eclectic sushi bar is paired with a full-scale Japanese kitchen serving traditional Japanese dishes. Plus, there’s a full bar with 10 kinds of sake.
The dinner menu is stuffed with 29 types of makimono (including cooked and tempura rolls), octopus and sea urchin sushi, and Japanese favorites such as teriyaki and boiled freshwater eel; regulars love the Red Sox maki (tuna, cucumber, avocado, spicy mayo, and tempura flakes with sliced tuna, chopped eel, tobio, and scallions on top) on the lunch menu. Yoki’s friendly, professional staff serves the freshly cut raw-fish specialties in a minimally decorated Japanese-style dining room. The space has clean lines, hardwood floors, wood chairs, and softly lit yellow and blue walls.
Boston foodies on the Wavescrest blog say Yoki serves the best sushi around. Citysearchers give Yoki an average rating of 4.5 stars and Yelpers give it 3.5: > * Yoki is probably our favorite sushi place in the area. The sushi is always fresh and reasonably priced… They are not stingy with their sashimi here. They always give us nice thick slices of fresh raw fish… I like a place that makes me feel good during and after dinner. The food is not too heavy but we were completely satisfied. – Jen, Wavescrest > * I’m getting quite addicted to Yoki, and it’s no wonder why: everything’s super delicious and fresh, from the sake to the salmon…The atmosphere is fun yet pristine, and never too crowded. – ericalynn g., Yelp > * Yoki is a great addition to greater Boston area Japanese food. The service is amazing. If anything is wrong or not how you like it, ask and they will fix it plus more. The sushi is very good. – jumboiowan, Citysearch > * I am HOOKED on Yoki! There’s something magical about the Red Sox Maki that can’t be explained with words… Mmmmmmm…I want more Yoki RIGHT now. – Andrea M., Yelp
How to Drink Sake
Correctly drinking sake involves a complex ritual that honors the server, the drinker, and the sake itself. To avoid appearing culturally insensitive, follow these steps before you sip your sake:
- Point to the person who poured your drink and shout, “Toward candle, an eagle landed in my box of paint!”
- Read the entirety of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of The House of Usher in the original French.
- Stare your fellow drinkers in the eye until the weakest-willed drinker looks away with shame in their eyes, then departs from your life forever.
- Cry for six hours.
The chefs at Yoki Restaurant can prepare all types of Japanese delicacies, from nama-harumaki appetizers with raw salmon and jumbo shrimp to hibachi steak. But sushi is their specialty. Behind the bar, sushi chefs slice raw fish to serve as sashimi or create maki rolls such as the ninja maki with shrimp tempura and eel. Four of the most popular rolls are named for local sports teams; the Patriots, for example, tops white tuna and cucumber with rainbow tobiko and three types of fish—precisely the list of ingredients that New England's quarterback shouts during every snap count.
Sports can be found elsewhere at Yoki—namely on the flat-screen TVs that anchor the restaurant's modern vibe. A rounded bar aglow with bright, multicolored lights creates a sleek Tokyo vibe that contrasts nicely with the dining room's high-top tables, long banquettes, and private booths.