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....
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!
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.
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...
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.