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Sinai Sushi - Bleh

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after numerous good reviews i was interested in trying out this place and wished it would be my new cheap option, leaving utterly disappointed i will never return again.

the prices are low, three of us stuffed ourselves and had an excess of sushi with the bill amounting to $62 including tip. but even this low cost offers me no enticement.

ordering the medium sushi and sashimi party tray (42 pieces total), we received the maki rolls from the set first and was initially delighted to see the barely there lining of sushi rice around the plump california rolls and the gigantic cubes of fish in the tuna rolls (nearing one inch in all dimensions)... but the first taste said it all. bland indescernible fish requiring a hefty helping of soy sauce to provide any source of flavour. sour stiff rice was also a huge turn off.

separate spider and unagi roll orders arrived next. the unagi rolls were part of a special that day and were filled with cucumber, avocado and tempura shrimp with the unagi covering the exterior. i could feel tempura bits adding textural crunch to each bite, but the unagi and shrimp were again lost in the flavours. the spider roll should not be named as such, with only two heavily battered (crazy crunch on these) crab legs threaded through and filler of tempura-ed fake crab taking up the rest... these were just awful. doused on top with a thick sweet sauce it was just too much too handle and all i could recall was sweet and mayo creaminess in each bite.

sushi and sashimi from the platter were the basic salmon, tuna and mushy red snapper (although i'm pretty sure the red snapper was tilapia and most restaurants are serving tilapia or other fish instead - see this thread http://www.chow.com/topics/400887 ) in thick and large cuts. so devoid of flavour were all of these that my tastebuds gave up and refused to bother with the eight various pieces of sushi left sitting on the plates.

one of the dishes came with a single set of soup and salad, after refusing the offer of adding more to the table and bill... he gave them to us for free. at the end he noted an additional 10% off the entire bill. the service was fine and with all the korean dishes on the menu, perhaps that route would have been best.

but in the end, one of my dining companions remarked how it was marginally better than an ayce sushi and may return. he will definitely be going along as i just never want to go back again.

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  1. When hubby & I want inexpensive sushi in a relaxed environment, we go to a little place just south of there called Daio. It's at 45 Carlton which is on the south side just a little east of Yonge. It's not a woohoo kinda place, but they do a nice job at a reasonable price. Hey, not every night can be an Omi night. They do not omakase there, just regular off the menu stuff.

    Originally found Daio when I was looking for fully wheelchair accessible restaurants so feel free to invite any of your friends. However if you wish to communicate with the sushi chef there, you'd best invite someone who speaks Japanese.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Googs

      very good to know, i'll have to check it out.

      my biggest complaint is just that restaurants like sinai sushi have no interest in the quality of the fish and are the ones that have turned me off of tuna and salmon. they're a revelation when i go to omi or japango.. but i'm very willing to suffer not being stuffed and not having fantastic service if i could still get some sort of tasty fish at a reasonable price. i'll suffer lack of variety as well... just make sure it's good!

      1. re: pinstripeprincess

        I think you may have caught Sinai Sushi in its death knell. I used to frequent the place months ago when it first surfaced, and the quality of ingredients was exceptional, regardless of price.

        I went back recently, and noticed a sharp decline in the quality of the sushi, as well as new people working there. This indicates to me that the restaurant changed hands, and the food has suffered.