By Ainsleigh Cunningham
YUGO recently opened its doors for Oxford residents and tourists to enjoy a unique twist on Pan-Asian cuisine. YUGO is located on The Square at 1001 Jackson Avenue East.
A.J. and Claire Kiamie, the owners of YUGO, are no strangers to the unique foodie atmosphere Oxford provides. They also own The Sipp on South Lamar, which is a wine and tapas bar. They opened The Sipp back in October of 2019, and since then it has become an Oxford staple restaurant and experience. YUGO is expected to accomplish the same goal.
Claire Kiamie describes the vision and goal of YUGO as, “bringing a fusion of modern flavors and global cuisines to the Oxford Square paired with another outstanding wine list and Asian inspired cocktail menu.”
“(YUGO) means ‘fusion’ in Japanese,” Kiamie said, and the name YUGO incidentally originated from “a few too many sakes one night.”
As far as cocktails and food items go, YUGO has an extensive and diverse menu of both drinks and cuisine items to offer. Just after a few weeks of being open, there are already some clear customer favorites.
“The Mayazaki & Hibiscus Lemonade seem to be quite a hit at the bar,” Kiamie said. “Guests have seemed to really enjoy our sampler platter which offers a taste of some of our favorite Dim Sum dishes (small plates) as well as the ribeye and chicken stir fry.”
YUGO has quickly become the hot new spot in Oxford. Not only are Oxford residents raving about it, but food guru tourists as well.
“YUGO offers such a unique experience, an experience you can’t quite get just anywhere,” said out-of-town foodie Adelaide Russell of Brownsville, Tenn. “The atmosphere, the aura, the food, the drinks— everything— all came together to create a memorable night and I can’t wait to go back to Oxford and dine at YUGO again”
Cameron Bryant is the executive chef at both YUGO and The Sipp. He trained in culinary arts in Parma, Italy, which goes hand in hand with the experience he has had in the New York City and Mississippi restaurant scene.
“He (Bryant) has curated a menu combining global flavors with traditional techniques, creating a unique dining experience with every dish,” Kiamie said. “His vision of a contemporary, eastern-inspired dining concept that pushes modern cooking to vibrant new bounds has really come to life at YUGO Oxford.”
One thing that sets The Sipp on South Lamar apart from other Oxford dining spots is that they put on tasting events for the Oxford community, which has been extremely successful. For example, some of the previous events held at The Sipp are “Southern Sipps,” “Bourbon and Barbecue,” and “Chateaus and Chocolate.”
YUGO plans to host similar events, as well.
“Most definitely!” Kiamie said. “We have some fun events in store that will probably kick off in the new year.”