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Experiences with Sushi in Toronto

To start off my first post, I want to write about my experiences with sushi in Toronto, some of the places that I frequent. I still long to try Sushi Kaji, but the price just seems way too much for a university student. And no, I'm not into the AYCE/korean/chinese places for sushi either (and I'm chinese).

Takesushi- I used to frequent this place a lot, but I'm starting to find their portions are getting smaller, and their sashimi and sushi selections are the same thing over and over again, which I can't justify for the high price, despite the fish being very fresh and high quality. What also irks me is that they recently switched to the pink ginger instead of the yellow ginger.

Zen- This place I will never stop going to. The fish is impeccable, the service is perfect, and I love how every time the sashimi or sushi dishes have something different. Every single visit has been absolutely perfect, and I love how they actually use fresh wasabi (at least on the sashimi dinner), but I find myself out of luck everytime I try to make a reservation, and have to end up going at 8:30pm.

Kumai (Mississauga)- This place I also go to frequently, but I find the service too slow at times. I've known the chef and the server for a very long time when my parents bought takeout sushi at the takeout stand they used to run at a Japanese supermarket, and the food is still as good today. The sushi omakase is a paltry $35, and always has something really special on each visit included in it (last visit included bluefin toro, aji, wild hamachi, uni, abalone as some of the highlights)

Cafe Michi- Went once and felt it was good, but not great. The fish was good, but the sashimi portion was quite tiny, and I left hungry even after eating everything that came with it.

Taro's Fish- I stop by this place a lot, get something from the fridge and eat it at the tables nearby. Every visit also brings something new everytime, and this is where I discovered monkfish liver. I've had rarities like live uni, mirugai, giant clam, etc. here numerous times. Last week I had them slice up a $66 slab of bluefin toro and I ate all of it on the spot, which was pure bliss.

These are some of the highlights of my sushi experiences in Toronto, it would be great if anyone else could recommend places that I am really missing out on. (I've wanted to try Hiro Sushi, but all of the bad reviews are keeping me away).

And I've had really bad sushi in Toronto too (think Markham and Yorkville area), thinking about these places make me lose my appetite....

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  1. Where's Taro's fish? The place sounds wonderful! have u tried Japango? I haven't really heart any negative reviews of the restaurant besides from the size of the place.

    keep up the postings!

    1. Taro is in the J-Town mall, 3160 Steeles Ave. E

      1. For sure, Japango on Elizabeth St. just north of City Hall is one obvious omission from your list. They seem to serve the most consistant quality sushi and are shockingly cheap for the quality. The staff is friendly and I believe they actually speak Japanese. The sushi combo lunches and dinners are good deals, and they also serve Omakase if you decide to get really serious. Yes, the place is very small to the point of inducing claustrophobia, but it's worth it.

        I have found Saturday afternoon lunches to be the least busy, surprisingly, although my only visit that wasn't completely stellar was on a Saturday afternoon when we noticed a different chef than usual behind the counter, so that might explain it. But it was still okay.

        1. Don't let the reviews on this board prevent you from visiting Hiro. He is a perfectionist and does not bastardize his product to suit Toronto palates. Those that know proper Sushi give him very high praise for his unwavering standards. Give it a try and judge for yourself.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ishmael

            Gosh darn it, I did forget Japango. I went there for lunch 2 weeks ago, and it was definitely a good-price good quality sushi lunch, but I definitely would have preferred if the sushi lunch has more than the bland salmon/tuna/snapper/shrimp X2 combination, but I left quite full for less than $17, which is really good for a high-quality lunch not far from the UofT St. George (definitely much better than some $15 flops I've had in Chinatown).

            I must go back to try the omakase to get the full experience...

          2. If you're ever on Queen East make sure to get takeout from Sushi Marche. I think they come very close (if not surpass some nights) Japango in terms of freshness and value.

            1. i am by no means a sushi expert, and i've been really hesitant about posting it on the sight, but i absolutely LOVE yangs teppanyaki and sushi (in the new plazas in front of vaughan mills mall) it is the best maki i have ever had (again, im not an expert, or japanese), everything is super fresh, and the plates are beautifully presented.

              3 Replies
                1. re: icey

                  I am assuming Yang's is affiliated with the AYCE sushi restaurant on Hwy 7 just a touch west of Kennedy. I was there once and left quite underwhelmed, and note, I eat a lot of AYCE sushi.

                  Is this Yang's AYCE as well? It is not too far from me, I just may need to check it out to see how it compares to my regular AYCE palaces of gluttony (Akina and Maison du Japon).

                  1. re: jonnybee

                    i believe it is the same owners but it is NOT ayce. i was hesitant because i am not that familiar with japanese cuisine (as i am with italian, for example), and although i enjoy it immensly, i am not sure whether its really great for people that are familiar with jap cuisine. but of all the japanese restos that i have tried, this is by far my favourite, and of the highest quality that i have encountered so far. its definetly worth a try...also, i have only dined in the dining room and have not tried the teppanyaki yet, but it looks good and its always busy.

                2. Japango- i havent been in about 2 years now, but it was my fave back in the day. I have never had anything bad there. Great atmosphere. A little pricey for being a broke university student but easily the best ive been to. Love the philly rolls (I know, I know....)
                  Kokyo- my second favourite. Im a sushi pizza addict, and this place does it best. Love their spicy salmon hand rolls, and pretty much anything with salmon in it. Not a huge fan of bento boxes and the food other than the sushi or maki, but thats a preferance anywhere. Great prices. Love the patio in the summer. (younge and alexander street i believe)
                  Yamato- this was my first sushi expirence ever. It was good, and entertaining for a newbie to the city. I actually enjoyed the fried rice and I had salmon teppyaki. I wouldnt pay to go back.
                  Sushi Island- Not the greatest, but the all you can eat is one of the better ones if you have a craving for huge amounts of sushi. I like the brown rice option, but find the sushi too warm for my tastes, and dont really like some of the maki (with cheddar chesse).
                  Crisy Roll- If Im on queen street this is where I would go. Yummy and decently priced.

                  I have been to about 10 other sushi places, and wouldnt go back unless I was desperate.
                  I dont really like anywhere in the annex.

                  1. Kaji, Omi, Japango, thats all you need to know!

                    1. Had a superb Omakase sushi dinner at Zen Sushi tonight. S0memale, have you eaten there?

                      1. There are so many good japanese restaurants mentioned here.
                        One more great one : Jimbay in Mississauga. It is owned by Japanese and I always see Japanese go there. It has been there for at least 18 years. Their sushi/sashimi is very nice.

                        1. Taro's Fish

                          For those who don't know, and just to clarify, this is a Japanese fish market within a bigger market. The market itself is nothing spectacular, don't try the pastries/do try the black sesame ice cream, but the fish store is a true jem. I've been frequenting this place ever since hearing about it here. There is always a great variety of fresh fish prepared and packaged in their fridges, both for cooking and sashimi. They always have fresh oysters, homemade full bbq eel, sea urchin, and other delicasies. They also offer two big freezers full of frozen fish, squid, roe, and shrimp. On most days, you'll also find prepared meals sitting out on a table, with a wide variety of cooked and raw options. It wasn't until last week that I tried a salmon croquette from up at the cash register. WOW! A must if you haven't yet, but not always there. The staff are courteous, and the place is always spotless. This place is in no way a fine dining establishment, but if it's quality you seek, you will not leave disappointed.