As far as Japanese restaurants are concerned, Yong Le has all the bases covered. There’s sashimi, sushi, rolls, tempura, teppanyaki and ramen noodle soups. All standard selections you’d find everywhere, but the food here is done a notch better than the average place, especially the grilled items.
For the Flame-torched Salmon Sushi (火炙三文鱼寿司, 22RMB), the top side of the salmon was quickly torched with a flame, half cooking it resulting in a melt-in-the mouth texture and smoky taste. It’s topped with a drizzle of mayo and an accent of green onions. The Foie Gras Sushi (鹅肝寿司, 58RMB) had an acidic glaze like balsamic vinegar and it was very good. Grilled Eel Sushi (特厚鳗鱼寿司, 40RMB) had a nice crunchy caramelized sear outside and hot flaky fish inside, with no hint of sliminess anywhere. The Grilled Cod Fish (银鳕鱼西京烤, 88RMB) was perfectly balanced with sweet and salty miso. Too often I’ve eaten grilled cod fish slathered with too much miso that it overpowers the delicate fish. Salmon Sashimi (三文鱼刺身, 48RMB) was thickly sliced and comes with freshly grated wasabi instead of that overly spicy chemical green paste that comes out of a tube.
Halfway through our meal, I smelled a delicious aroma that filled the restaurant. I looked around for the source of the smell and saw a server bringing the sizzling Hot Plate Beef Tongue (石板牛舌, 68RMB) to a table. The smell of fried onions and beef tongue was so tempting that I just had to order it as well and the tender beef didn’t disappoint.
Yong Le Japanese restaurant is in the northwest side of Hangzhou, in the same complex where Charcoal is. From the parking lot entrance, turn right and then turn left again around the corner. Chinese only menu, so some basic character recognition skills or tools will be needed. Parking is available.