"Fusion is dead!" you might say. "It went out with Vin Diesel and the Spice Girls." Well, not so at Yo! Sushi, which has launched a new breakfast menu at Heathrow Terminal 3, marrying the traditional British egg and bacon with the mystique of Oriental cuisine.
By development chef Mike Lewis's own admission, traditional Japanese breakfast just wouldn't be commercial in the UK. Items like natto, a fermented soy bean served with rice for breakfast in Japan, would lose out every time to the cooked offerings of other restaurants. And the last thing Yo! wants to do is betray the branding with croissants, bagels and fry-ups.
Instead, the conveyor-belt sushi chain has tweaked Japanese dishes to incorporate traditional British items, all priced at £3 each. For example, yakitori, a marinated skewer normally made with chicken or pork belly, is made with pork and leek sausage and quail eggs, or with tamago - a sweet Oriental omelette - wrapped in bacon. There's also the very Western-sounding - though not in name - Breakfast Okonomiyaki, which is Japanese-style savoury pancake with pork and leek sausages, bacon, shiitake mushrooms and katsu (brown) sauce, finished off with scrambled egg.
Putting together the menu hasn't been easy, admits Lewis. "The hardest part has been rounding it up for Western tastes and keeping it as authentic as possible. The end result has been that some dishes are more Western, some more Eastern."
More authentic dishes exist in the form of grilled kimchee salmon, marinated and served on rice with spring onions or smoked mackerel onigiri - triangles of rice, smoked mackerel and spring onion with nori (seaweed).
While fry-ups and croissants are avoided, there are a couple of dishes that are, to all intents and purposes, Western breakfast dishes - fresh raspberries, strawberries and blueberries with yogurt and crunchy granola drizzled with honey, and green tea-smoked salmon with miso scrambled egg and chives.
All in all, though, the cooked-to-order offering is a welcome change from the full English or eggs Benedict offerings of most restaurants and canteens, and shows that, in the right place, fusion can still work.
Is yours the best breakfast?
In association with Heinz, Caterer will be selecting an annual Best Breakfast offer from those featured in the Breakfastwatch column, with the winner to be announced in the spring.
To qualify, you must run a breakfast menu with a cooked offering. The sponsor's judges will be looking for food selection, healthiness and value, among other criteria.
To put forward a menu, send it and any supporting information to firstname.lastname@example.org.