Tako Sushi (Oakville)
Despite the unfortunate name which conjures up images of uni on corn chips, my 3 visits have been most enjoyable.
Having long suffered sub-standard sushi joints in the 905, I was ready to resign myself to having to travel to Toronto for a decent raw fish fix. Sure, I go downtown quite a lot to dine, but I've always yearned for decent place to pop into when the craving hits.
Each subsequent visit reinforced the good impressions. A very friendly greeting and offer of a table, though I always sit at the bar. Excellent choice for tea is served - a green tea with roasted rice evident in flavor and presentation really hits the spot. Gen Mai Chat (sp?) is what they call it.
The efficiency and skill of the chef(s) belay the fears that such young men could have even the most rudimentary skills required, but the knife work and presentation, while certainly short of the talents of downtown masters more than double their ages), is none the less impressive. Most apparent is that they genuinely care about the food.
After answering some of my questions and taking my order they graciously noted that I know something about sushi, and began to turn it up a notch. First off they offered an off the menu upgrade from the basic Maguro (tuna) to Toro (fatty tuna belly). They explained that they did not have enough to list it as a special, so I felt quite honored. IT WAS ORGASMIC! How can you not LOVE something so fatty that it literally melts in your mouth, while at the same time pumping you full of those oh so good for you Omega-3 guys? This is the foi gras of sushi.
Item after item did not disappoint, and suggestions to try other items were all good. Most notable was a paper thin sliced whitefish (sorry, can't recall the name), that was as delicate to the eye as to the palate.
Deftly executed soups, crisp simple salads with just the right dressings all hit the high notes.
They seemed to enjoy making the food as much as I enjoyed eating it. As for the ground floor basics, the gari was good, and the chef proudly pointed out to me that they make their own wasabi, grinding it from fresh horseradish instead of reconstituting the green paste as is the defacto standard at almost every "Korean-Japanese" sushi joint on Bloor or Queen Street. Rice was cooked to proper doneness and flavoured perfectly with rice wine vinegar.
Compare this to the disgusting crap (carp?) served at a Trafagar Road establishment which fully embraced the ill conceived and short lived government mandate to freeze all raw fish for X hours at one temperature, or less time at absolute zero.
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360 Dundas Street East
Oakville, ON L6H 6Z9
I've had multiple good experiences at this place too, sorta unexpected given its strip-mall location.
Another indicator of being above average: they actually use genuine shiso, not the silly green plastic frills in lesser establishments.