Man Yo: High-End Japanese For The People

By Noelle Mateer, January 22, 2017

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We don’t often describe pork tonkatsu as ‘decadent.’ As far as Japanese dishes go, it’s not the most refined. It lacks the price tag of Kobe beef, the deft rolling skills required for sushi and the rarity of an obscure sea creature rendered sashimi. And yet, Man Yo’s pork tonkatsu is downright luxurious, slices of fatty Iberico pork piled atop each other and then lightly breaded. It is the classiest fried meat we’ve ever emptied a gravy boat onto.


Is the preceding sentence a metaphor for Man Yo as a whole? Quite possibly. For while Man Yo is Sushi Yotsuba’s down-market experiment, it still exudes good taste. And while it offers budget-friendly ‘lunch sets,’ said lunch sets include seven courses. In sum, Man Yo is Yotsuba’s attempt to hit a lower income bracket – just not that much lower.

After all, this is a project by Yotsuba, a sushi place whose rolls are so dope, they make us look at an RMB2,500 check and go, ‘Wow, what a great deal.’ And while we’re not saying we’re too poor to always drop RMB2,500 on dinner – ugh, yeah, that’s what we’re saying – Man Yo brings Yotsuba’s culinary chops to a price local magazine editors regular Beijingers can afford.

Yet there’s more to Man Yo than sushi. In fact, there is no sushi at Man Yo whatsoever (although there are still sashimi platters, don’t freak out). The star of our meal is a whole roasted whitefish (RMB380), tender and practically glistening in its own gentle juices. We’re also enamored with the barbecue skewers, which, for a lack of better term, we’ll call Wagyu chuan’r. And the gazillion-course lunch sets are unbelievably good value, at RMB80-150.


Because Man Yo has the backing of big brother Yotsuba, it’s able to get the same high-quality Japanese seafood on the cheap. This is good news, because the team behind them both has big plans to open up as many as 20 Man Yos throughout the city. We may be seeing more of Yotsuba’s little sister.

See a listing for Man Yo & read more Beijing Restaurant Reviews

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