Yakii Express in Loughborough is a small cafe offering up Japanese Rice and Noodle dishes. Located on the pedestrianized Market Street they are pretty close to the Market place and the back entrance into the shopping centre
They describe themselves as a “Modern Asian fast food restaurant and takeaway, and a family run restaurant at Your neighborhood” well that is what it says on their Facebook page.
I think they also do Sushi and I have seen a bit of bento box action as well, when I had peered in the window looking for a table.
Before the days of COVID on one of my many forays in to Loughborough I had never found anywhere to sit. It is quite a small place though and so even in good times it could well just be a takeout option.
That was to be the choice today and the dining room was the passenger seat of the car parked up outside Sainsbury’s
MENU BOARD AT YAKII EXPRESS
The menu board that sits outside Yakii Express had just the right words to grab my attention and to draw me inside with a desire to sample their fare.
Duck Noodles and Gyoza? Yes please! Well any noodles and any dumpling type of situation is well within my wheelhouse and an opportunity not to be passed up.
Once inside and presented with a fuller list of offerings on the TV screen menu I confess that I forgot about the Duck Noodles as I saw the pictures of the Katsu Chicken. Those Duck Noodles may have been outlined in chalk on the board but they were no longer outlined in my mind. The Option of some sort of fried chicken had erased it kind a like shaking your etch-a sketch to start again
KATSU CHICKEN CURRY WITH NOODLES
The Katsu Chicken had a nice crunchy crispy coating and the curry sauce that it came with was your basic classic. I had mine on top of noodles that were soft and moreish kind of like the sort you get in a chow mein. I liked that the Katsu Curry Sauce was stirred into the noodles so that each one was thickly coated and you got that flavour profile with each forkful and with every bite.
The Katsu Curry Chicken would have looked a whole lot nicer if it was served up on a plate instead of in a takeaway carton, but that is the world we live in at the moment so this was the best view we were getting.
I would have loved to have sat in the cafe for a meal and to see it presented more neatly but today we were sitting in the car at Sainsbury’s car park creating our own dining experience. Honestly I was just happy to be out getting a meal somewhere that wasn’t my tiny flat kitchen.
It may have been a better meal if I had chosen to have the chicken with rice and the sauce, but whether it would or not was irrelevant really in the end as in my world the noodle always wins.
They were also selling Vegetable and Chicken Gyoza at Yakii Express for £3.50 you get a bag of 5. It seemed somewhat churlish to refuse that offer so we got a bag of each to share as a little snack while sitting on the bench outside.
I am not ususally a massive fan of the fried Gyoza, I kind of like my dumplings steamed or just pan fried, but hey at the moment I will take my chance when I can.
To be fair they were fairly decent, the vegetable perhaps a bit nicer than the chicken. Decent seasoning and plenty of filling. The casing was crisp but not too tough as some deep fried Gyoza can be so all in all I was fairly happy with my lot.
If I was being picky, and to be fair I am, I would have liked a dipping sauce to go with them. I suspect that if were sat inside the cafe we would have got some as well, sadly I didn’t have any in my pockets for park bench chomping moments, but I will keep some in the glove compartment of the car for next time, just in case
EEL RICE MENU
While we were ordering I noted the chalkboard inside where they were offering Eel Rice, and Eel fried rice for £9.50 as a special. I would like to come back and try that when we can sit inside again.
While we waited I loved reading all the messages and notes that people has left stuck to the walls. In particular I was taken by the one that said “Send Noods” I could relate to that sentiment and request. The wall display was a great idea and was full of love and positivity, just what we need at the moment!
Yakii Express is located at 58 Market Street in Loughborough and you can check them out on their Facebook page. At the moment you can walk in an order takeout but I am looking forward to the day when we can go back inside to sit at a table!