This is a well known and liked place. But with Maria Przybyszewska, its new chef, Youmiko Vegan Sushi gains new tastes.
Initially, many clients were skeptical: sushi without fish? Does it make any sense? Paweł Gnatowski , a founder, wasn’t entirely sure how far he may go with his ideas. In Cracow his restaurant serves fish. In Warsaw, known for many vegan places, he could spread his wings. The risk paid off, because this little place in Hoża Street, with a characteristic neon designed by Maurycy Gomulicki, has a large group of enthusiasts. Among them, there are our friends from Japan, whom we bring here when they are in Warsaw. Their praises for Youmiko are the best compliment.
In May, Marysia Przybyszewska became a chef- a woman with a strong personality. She is about 45 minutes late for our meeting, but we forgive her immediately when she says it was so hard to go out of Forteca (Good Food Market) because there were so many delicious things to taste and buy. Maria works with seasonal products. Thus these visits at the market are of high importance. She is radical with this routine – when the season for tomatoes is over, they instantly disappear from the menu. There are so many exquisite tastes of autumn, for example, a great variety of herbs from Pan Ziółko or mushrooms from Dąbrówka.
Maria is also radical when it comes to the “zero waste” philosophy. She hates waste and destroying nature. If it is necessary to have napkins and straws they have to be biodegradable, if wine only from Naturalists. She is always in a company of two cute rescued dogs: Szajka and Czaja.
After an intensive practice at a famous Noma in Copenhagen, which reverberated in culinary media, she paradoxically blocked. She wanted to take a break from cooking for a while. Now, she is ready to conquer the Warsaw gastronomical scene. She has always been a busy bee, and at Youmiko she works tirelessly in the kitchen so that the clients could get the best product.
Now to the nigiri, she adds eggplant and caviar from seaweeds, oyster mushroom, and ginger oil. Seasonal futo roll is tempura kakiage – finely chopped vegetables: parsnip, kale, red onion. In the rolls and on top of them there is rutabaga, scorzonera, butternut squash, mangold and golden beet.
When we are tasting all the treats, under the table Szajka is staring at us with begging eyes. In Warsaw all of us will become vegans soon.
Youmiko Vegan Sushi, Hoża St 62, www.youmiko.vg
Photo: Aga Bilska