We all need a little more balance in our lives, am I right? With the idea of a nutritionally constructed "square meal" in mind, a new Japanese comfort food restaurant with international roots opened recently in Plano, at the corner of Legacy and 75. There are about 300 locations of Yayoi worldwide, and the Plano location is the first of 8 they plan to open in Texas.
Yayoi Plano offers a new concept to me, "Teishoku", which is a balanced Japanese meal. While I visited Japan several years back, and eat Japanese food on occasion, I was eager to learn about this when I first heard the term. For decades the concept has perfected their selection of carefully appointed full meals which come served on shiny black trays.
The traditional Teishoku concept is refreshing. No choosing between sides and sauces, you just choose your protein/entree and they do the rest, serving your meal up beautifully with the appropriate side dishes to fill your belly. They use the best quality ingredients and classic cooking methods to prepare these plates.
If you want to order appetizers, salads, entrees, sushi, desserts, or your entire meal a la carte, you can, but for me, the highlight is the Teishoku experience you can't get anywhere else in the area.
With the optional tablet dining experience, which is how it would typically go at one of their locations in Japan or in California, you can forgo the ordering with the server and keep literal "tabs" on your order from start to finish. If you'd like to go that route just tell them at the hostess stand. Just select the items you want on your tablet, then you can watch as it notifies you when it's cooking.
But they are trying out the whole server experience for the first in the Plano location, which is extremely helpful if you're a newbie to the concept like I was. They're friendly, patient, and willing to answer any questions you might have about the cuisine, ingredients, etc.
The Teishoku meals come centered around steamed rice, or sometimes noodles, and comes served with a tray of three appetizer bites, miso soup, and pickles, with some variation based on which dish you selected. Lunch and dinner Teishoku menus are available. And lucky for me, instructions were included for how to enjoy my Hitsumabushi Teishoku (BBQed Eel).
Drinks aren't an afterthought at Yayoi, which I love. Bar Manager Lyndsy Rausch is building an exciting menu of Japanese-influenced libations, like the Yayoi Old Fashioned, shown below, which is crafted from Japanese whiskey.
The "Meet Your Matcha" is a refreshing summer spritzer made with matcha, shochu, and mint.
The Roppongi Hills is an easy drinking, sunset looking cocktail made with yuzu, tequila, and champagne. Look for a full cocktail menu to come.
The dessert menu features 7 different selections. We tried the Matcha Anmitsu, a green tea ice cream served over azuki beans, azar jelly, and fruit.
The highlight of the dessert was the sticky black sugar syrup (pro tip: ask for extra and drizzle to your heart's content).
Yayoi Plano is open daily from 11AM-10PM.
120 Legacy Dr.
Plano, TX 75023
*While our meal at Yayoi was complimentary, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.