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Apr 25, 2007 02:50 PM

Toko Bistro - conveyor sushi

I've been to Toko Bistro twice now. Our conclusion is that it's better than Sushi Train.
There are more varieties of sushi and the prices are a little better. Both times we were there first thing at lunch time. They put out the boring stuff first, like inari (tofu), tamago (egg), fake crab, and tempura. Then comes a variety of California rolls, regular, jumbo, crispy (with tempura bits) and various dragon rolls. They do put a twist on all these by shredding the fake crab first and seasoning it with a bit of mayo, so adds a bit of flavour.

As the restaurant started to fill up, more varieties of sushi appeared, like gunkan sushi (the kind where the seaweed goes around the side) with a long thin cucumber strip replacing the nori seaweed. I tried the spicy scallop (made with small cooked bay scallops) and it was pretty good. The spider roll was so-so; while the crab itself was tasty, the roll had fake crab, as well as a dab of cream cheese (!) which I had to surgically remove.Tried the tuna nigiri, wasn't top notch. The rolls are definitely better. The place was almost full around 1pm, which is a good sign.

For dessert, we saw fruit salad, mochi, as well as cheesecake (still had frost on the berries!). BTW I made the wrong assumption in my previous post, they are Korean, not Chinese. Also, they did not have the plastic covers on them during the busy period. The chef did tell us what some of the rolls are before he put them down, otherwise we would have to look closely to figure out what some of them are.

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  1. Haven't been there myself, but I'm definately going soon.

    Here's a link to a review I found with pictures and prices.

    1 Reply
    1. re: squingy

      Good pictures there! the very last photo shows the spicy scallop gunkan with the cucumber wrapper, at the bottom right.

    2. I passed by it today at around 4pm and peeked inside~ there were around 10 ppl at that time... the rolls looked good~ do u know if we can order items from a menuf if we don't see them on the conveyor? I'm interested in the restaurant but is only available to be there at around 3-ish (worried that choices are limited)~~!

      3 Replies
      1. re: purplepiano

        Yes they have a full menu also. The rolls on the conveyor are like a half order of the a la carte version. Some people were there for bento boxes and didn't take anything from the conveyor.

        1. re: Teep

          oh nice~~ can we place half orders off the menu also??

          1. re: purplepiano

            Only for the stuff that they put on the conveyor.

      2. Forgot to note the premises. It was chilly both times, and the music was loud, we had to say "pardon me?" a few times amongst ourselves. The booths were not comfy, just hard wood seats, and high - since I have short legs my feet were at least an inch above ground (this doesn't happen a lot). The chairs at the bar looked better, for two people that would be more comfortable.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Teep

          I went to Toko today for dinner around 6:45PM and it was enjoyable. The music wasn't loud at all. The four of us were seated at the bar, which was pretty comfortable. It did get a little chilly because someone propped the door open later, though.

          The service was a little slow (for tea, explanations of how the place worked, water, and the bill) but we weren't in a rush so that was fine. I had the tuna sashimi, salmon sashimi, bbq unagi sushi, and an order of tempura. The tuna and salmon were pretty good quantity and quality, especially considering the price ($3.50). The unagi was huge and yummy. The tempura was also good and I really liked that when I asked the waitress for the ponzu sauce, she checked if my tempura was fresh and decided I needed a new one from the kitchen. The friends had rolls and enjoyed them.

          My only disappointment was that the peanut butter roll (it's called something else, but has bbq eel, salmon, avocado, etc. AND peanut butter) on the menu wasn't on the conveyor belt and when I asked the chef to make it for me he told me that they were out of peanut butter. He then offered to make it with cream cheese, but really, on a bagel they may be substitutes, but not in a roll. I will have to come back to try it.

          1. re: Amber

            We went to Toko today for lunch, and had a similar experience. Service ws slow (even though there were only 6 or so people in the resto at the time). I Wasn't so impressed with the rolls- there didn't seem to be a great variety at the time we were there. for two of us with drinks, the total was $40 which seemed ok for lunch. But we're going to try Sushi train next time we're down at Yonge & Bloor.

            1. re: rbc

              I've only been to Sushi Train when it opened and like Toko much better. Interested to hear if Train has improved.

              1. re: Teep

                I went to Sushi Train shortly after it opened and it was awful. Everything was overpriced and not particularly good, but at that time, they didn't have plastic covers over food. When people wanted to know what was in dishes, they looked really closely (read: leaned over the food), or worse, picked dishes up, held them close to their faces for inspection, and sometimes put them back. Yuck. Worse yet was a booth who changed their minds on some food items and put them back on the belt. After they had been sitting on the table for a while. If there had been covers, you could tell if it had been touched by the absence of a cover? Also, in order to place things on the belt, the waitress had to climb into a one point, she tilted a plate too far and the contents fell onto the table. She actually looked around to see if anyone was looking before taking the food back into the kitchen...where I suspect the food items were rearranged on a fresh plate and brought back.

                My concern with conveyor belt places that always have something on the belt is that, in slower times, the food doesn't get eaten...and they never seem to remove food from the belt themselves. We were at Sushi Train for almost two hours and some of the rolls were still circling... I much, much prefer Mochizuchi on Bay at Elm. They only start with the conveyor belt around 7pm-ish when there are enough people to keep the food fresh...

                1. re: morrigan

                  Went to Sushi Train with a friend for lunch a couple of weeks, I was so not impressed. I found the prices a bit outragous and the portions way too small. I would not go back. I'd be interested to try Toko.

        2. I went for dinner last night, and really enjoyed it- more so than I expected.
          We ordered a sushi pizza (my fave) and it was only 5.50, and was excellent for the price. Off the conveyor we got a smoked salmon and cream cheese roll, some type of dynamite roll, tempura shrimp and veggies, 2 orders of tofu stuffed with rice, one order of the sweet egg sushi, and probably something else that I dont remember. After that we got a green tea ice cream bombe.

          The server was attentive and we sat at the bar, which I would recommend. They told us to order and sashimi or hot food from them. The bill, with one diet pop came to $33, and we were full. Pretty awesome for dinner for two.