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Fabulous Sushi 930

j
justints Jan 31, 2008 10:04 AM

Hi all,

I'm new to the board and thought I might begin by recommending a seemingly modest sushi establishment. I've eaten Sushi all over the world and am very picky about it. In light of this, I think that this place is a real find. It is a tiny little hole in the wall on king street (930 King West to be exact) that took the place of a crappy sushi establishment (Fuji Sushi). Its not a place to sit down really but a place to get unusually great sushi to take home or to the office.

I've been a half dozen times and have to say that it is just excellent. The chef brings much of his fish in from Japan weekly (Wed/Thurs are the best days to go). The fish is truly out of sight, the preparation and rice are top notch. He often has blue fin toro which is very hard to find in Toronto. I would certainly say that the sushi is easily on par with Kaji. His prices are very reasonable. It feels like a real find.

http://sushi930.com

I hope that this finds the sushi lovers out there.

- J

  1. pinstripeprincess Jan 31, 2008 10:35 AM

    when did they get the website?

    there's a typo on the sakura (sashimi)... it says 6pcs for 7 kinds of fish but really it has 20 pcs. it's a steal but it's certainly not kaji quality unless his rice making has improved.

    1. Recyclor Jan 31, 2008 11:18 AM

      I live around the corner and have been going since day one, the owner and his wife are charming and the food has been great, the only deterant I've had so far was he is or has been training a new chef and his skills aren't as good as the owners...fish quality is still top notch though...

      4 Replies
      1. re: Recyclor
        Googs Jan 31, 2008 11:28 AM

        Do they have more varieties of sushi available than the printed menu might indicate?

        1. re: Googs
          Recyclor Jan 31, 2008 12:37 PM

          During the day he tends to have better options, he runs out of a lot of special stuff he gets at lunch, but I will ask him for what he suggests or if he has anything special...once I was looking at a container of very small crabs on the counter by the cash, I asked if they were edible, he said they could be, when I got home I found in my order a nigiri sushi with a tiny pickled whole octopus under a band of seaweed and a crab that was put in the fryer perched on top...

          1. re: Recyclor
            Googs Feb 1, 2008 08:18 AM

            Whoa that sounds AWEsome, Recyclor. How did it taste?

            1. re: Googs
              Recyclor Feb 1, 2008 10:40 AM

              It was good, the crab disolved in a crispy poof in my mouth and the tiny octopus was marinated in a vinegary brine...interesting and so nice, he seems to enjoy getting to do fun stuff like that...once I when I was picking up an order there was a couple eating in and they had a small silvery fish (6" long or so) that was filleted but otherwise whole, pierced through the tail and head so it bowed on a straight bamboo skewer, it stood upright over an artfully displayed pile of it's own sashimi...looked great!

      2. skylineR33 Jan 31, 2008 11:39 AM

        Price is attractive, so I suppose they have a daily fresh list that you can order from ? Do they grind their own wasabi from fresh ?

        3 Replies
        1. re: skylineR33
          Edith S Jan 31, 2008 02:08 PM

          Does anyone in Toronto?

          1. re: Edith S
            skylineR33 Jan 31, 2008 04:41 PM

            yes, I had fresh wasabi at Hashimoto and Zen for example.

            1. re: skylineR33
              a
              artificialard Feb 27, 2008 02:23 PM

              This place is really a great value; really for me the best of any takeout Japanese in Toronto.

              I just saw on their daily board that 'fresh wasabi' is now available +$3...

        2. chocabot Feb 1, 2008 06:01 AM

          We got takeout last night. I got the sakura sashimi and the fish was incredibly fresh and flavourful. The BF had the sushi#8 and said it was very good/fresh, with no complaints on the rice. Our meals were very well cut so either the trainee has improved or the owner cut our dinner.

          BF went to pick up and said they were very busy and friendly, trying to get to know their customers by name. The price is great for the quality and it's certainly the best available sushi in the neighbourhood.

          Skyline, no fresh wasabi but the ginger is undyed...

          2 Replies
          1. re: chocabot
            Recyclor Feb 1, 2008 06:05 AM

            I haven't been in a few weeks, so I wouldn't doubt that the owner has his new guy up to snuff, he really cares about the quality of his products...

            1. re: chocabot
              Edith S Feb 1, 2008 08:36 AM

              You're not going to get real wasabi at these prices.

            2. pinstripeprincess Feb 1, 2008 08:18 AM

              i'm fairly confident is saying that the sushi 930 you're getting now will be the sushi 930 you will get for a while.

              it's value fish at its best. a variety of the regular and premium fish are kept in rotation and based on what the owner feels is fresh. you can find the changing options listed on a white board (as of last night it was lobster claw, uni from vancouver, spanish mackeral, yellowtail belly). the trade-off for the price is in the portion and rice quality. which is a shame because i had an entire conversation with him about how different the water and rice were in japan. he seems aware of what could be the best but chooses to focus on the fish.

              i've never seen his "apprentice" work with fish. he mostly takes orders and does a few things in the back. the cuts have gotten better though, at the start it was a bit rough and a bit incomplete but they're definitely up to par now.

              last night i had the sakura and an order of uni nigiri. the amaebi was a little pasty, the tuna seemed a bit fishy, and the uni lacked sweetness... but otherwise everything was quite good. the rest of my order contained hotategai, albacore tuna (a little searing provided a nice permeated smoke flavour), spanish mackeral, salmon (this has been consistently delicious and i'm not usually a fan), and slivers of really lovely tai.

              the rice is still of poor quality. it wasn't mushy but the consistency wasn't quite right and indicated that it had been sitting out for a while. the seasoning is still amateur and i resort to making my own rice at home instead.

              no he does not have real wasabi but when i show my face he's given me this interesting concoction that seems to be a muted form of generic "wasabi" with a very fine dice of horseradish? the flavour is quite different and seemingly more refreshing.

              i will note that he uses shiso leaves rather than that silly plastic and puts a lot of effort into presentation (garnishes of finely cut green onion, black caviar over the amaebi, beautifully patterned containers).

              anyhow... sorry for the scattered thoughts... this is my go-to cheap sushi place now and i appreciate the effort and heart he puts into it even if the skill isn't quite there.

              and lastly... on previous visits i've gotten monkfish liver, lobster sashimi and more. in a week he will have a fresh order of toro.

              1. aser Feb 4, 2008 11:42 PM

                does he do an omakase if you give him a price range to work with?

                17 Replies
                1. re: aser
                  pinstripeprincess Feb 5, 2008 06:42 AM

                  just for clarification.... 930 sushi is the most hole-in-the-wall sushi joint i have ever seen in toronto. even sushi marches operation on the east side is massive compared to this place. i'm even pretty sure that my parents' bathroom is larger than this restaurant.

                  that being said, they do amazing things with their lack of space and maki roll oriented neighbourhood. there are 4 cramped seats at two tiny tables that mostly get used for waiting. i have actually dined there twice and find the service spotty simply because they're just not used to dine-ins (ie. tea one time, no tea another time, wasabi on one plate, no wasabi on another). he will try to bring in a wide variety of fish but will only do it when he feels there is a demand and the expense will be worth it. during these times he will advertise to his regulars and on his white boards what the specials are. he also does put in extra effort for those that he knows will enjoy it.

                  he does not officially do an omakase, but i'm sure he would love to do one for you. BUT, you really should call him in advance and discuss it with him. by doing this you'll be able to determine the best day (for optimal freshness and variety) to show up and he'll have time to prepare. If you just drop-in, an omakase will likely not meet your expectations. other than that, my only other advice would to be opt for something that focuses on cooked dishes and sashimi because his sushi rice is really just not up to par.

                  1. re: pinstripeprincess
                    aser Feb 18, 2008 01:42 PM

                    I finally went, good thing I called ahead as it took 1.5 hrs for the order to be ready. Granted it was on a Saturday but I called at 5:30 to be safe, even then still a long wait time.

                    As for the sushi itself, the fish is very nice for the price. The rice leaves a lot to be desired as has been said already. It lacks mouth feel and needs more vinegar. To reconfirm, the gari is of the white variety.

                    I ordered sushi #8 + sashimi sakura + uni nigiri, came to $46 w/ taxes included. In this price range, I reckon sushi marche is slightly ahead overall. Sushi930's mediocre rice holds back the potential of the fish, which clearly trumps marche's.

                    1. re: aser
                      skylineR33 Feb 18, 2008 02:56 PM

                      Hi aser, for the sashimi sakura, how many pieces are there in total ? Do you remember what they are ?

                      For sushi #8, are there 8 pieces of sushi + some roll ? Thanks.

                      1. re: skylineR33
                        Recyclor Feb 18, 2008 05:40 PM

                        Hi skyline, I ran across this pic the other day (and I actually found it again!)..Sushi Sakura from Sushi 930....

                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonguean...

                        1. re: skylineR33
                          aser Feb 20, 2008 09:33 PM

                          My sashimi sakura was basically the same, butterfish was instead replaced by hotate.

                          For sushi #8, the nigiri used the same fish (maguro, sake, seared albacore tuna, ebi, etc) as the sakura set. In addition it came w/ 2 rolls (tuna & negi + hamachi).

                          Usually I take pics but I forgot my camera.

                          1. re: aser
                            skylineR33 Feb 21, 2008 05:28 AM

                            Thanks Recyclor and aser for the info. It is a pity that their rice is mediocre as it is equally important as the piece of fish above it in a sushi. I think I will go for the sashimi when I have a chance.

                          2. re: skylineR33
                            d
                            deabot Mar 23, 2009 07:54 PM

                            I had the sashimi sakura here tonight-really good value I have to say-20 pieces for 17.95 and the fish was fresh and of good quality. Also had a unagi maki roll-tightly rolled and compact and the horse mackeral sushi. (gulp, I was hungry) Anyways, still say stick with sashimi here, my rice for the sushi was too warm, mushy and fell apart easily. The owner was very friendly too.

                            1. re: deabot
                              pinstripeprincess Mar 23, 2009 09:35 PM

                              how were the sizes of slices? i sometimes find it a bit skimpy which makes the 20 pcs a little less value. his quality is relatively good if not great for downtown and the variety is excellent for such a small shop.

                              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                d
                                deabot Mar 24, 2009 03:25 PM

                                Yes some of the pieces were small but I was impressed with the quality and variety offered in the set so that seems to me to be good value. I was suprised at how small the place is though-literally a hole in the wall and it can be easily missed on King Street if you aren't looking for it actively!

                                1. re: deabot
                                  pinstripeprincess Mar 25, 2009 07:06 AM

                                  ha! i know what you mean... sometimes it makes me wonder how the first few times i had the audacity to actually eat a platter while sitting in a couple of times.

                                  just so you know, during most of the holiday seasons he also seems to have some interesting specials up and tries to get large sides of o-toro and what not for a very limited time. i'm not sure about the quality of his o-toro though as i haven't had an opportunity to have it.

                          3. re: aser
                            chocabot Feb 19, 2008 06:00 AM

                            We had Sushi Marche again this weekend and totally agree with your comparison to Sushi 930.
                            Sushi 930 seems fresher but Marche has better rice. Marche also has the trademark lemon zest which is nice/creative.

                            1. re: chocabot
                              m
                              MartiniGirls Feb 27, 2008 04:16 PM

                              can someone ask sushi 930 to improve their rice? it seems a shame that they are losing business to such a correctable problem!

                              1. re: MartiniGirls
                                pinstripeprincess Feb 28, 2008 03:45 AM

                                a recent chefdb search revealed that Tomo is formerly of Edo! i'm not sure if he told me this before and i just plain old forgot... but the head sushi chef no less! i earnestly wonder about how he could serve such awful rice when he spouts such high standards for fish and obviously has a little bit of pedigree.

                                1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                  c
                                  cowhound Feb 28, 2008 08:43 AM

                                  I've been to Sushi 930 several times in the past month and didn't notice anything "wrong" with the rice. It wasn't particularly memorable but there was nothing wrong with it that I could tell. Too bland? Too sticky? Not sticky enough?

                                  1. re: cowhound
                                    pinstripeprincess Feb 28, 2008 09:50 AM

                                    the question is, have you had fabulous sushi rice? it's so hard to go back when you do.

                                    ideally i want it to be just sticky enough to cling to each other so that it doesn't fall apart as i pick it up but also not compacted and dense. texturally the rice itself should be somewhere between just under fluffy but softer than al dente.... ie a light firmness you won't find in regular properly cooked rice. but the seasoning and flavour is where omi had me swooning. a mild vinegar tang and a touch of sweetness in perfect balance... with a backdrop of bonito or dashi makes it fantastic.

                                    sushi 930 is a bit hard and lacks any astuteness in seasoning... or really any seasoning at all.

                                    i've made much better sushi rice at home with a very basic morimoto recipe that doesn't even go so far as to use a little dashi or bonito.

                                    1. re: pinstripeprincess
                                      Googs Feb 28, 2008 10:28 AM

                                      Perfect description of the perfect sushi rice.

                                      1. re: Googs
                                        k
                                        katana750 Mar 26, 2009 04:49 PM

                                        I didn't know shari had dashi in it. Thought it was just sugar, vinegar, salt and water. Some chefs use MSG though

                      2. j
                        jeannieh20 Mar 27, 2009 07:47 PM

                        my fav sushi take out by far... i live just west of there and if they're not too busy or you call WAY ahead of time they will deliver (they just don't advertise it - you have to ask)...

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