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Any good Japanese Resturant in downtown

pokerdan Mar 7, 2008 09:55 PM

My question is any good JAP rest in T.O is not as pricy as kaji. average $30 per person (not included drinks) per dinner and i perfer those operated by Japanese.

  1. Rabbit Mar 8, 2008 03:35 AM

    You might like Ematei. Lots of Japanese expats hanging about! I wouldn't go for the atmosphere, but the food is quite good.

    Others like Japango, but I haven't tried it yet, so can't comment.

    We've had decent food at Nami too (in a more upscale setting).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Rabbit
      JonasBrand Mar 8, 2008 09:47 AM

      Ematei is the most authentic place we have found in Toronto.

      1. re: Rabbit
        pokerdan Mar 11, 2008 12:20 PM

        I try 2 places, one is Japango, very small place but serving a very good sushi, I found their small hot dishes are so authentic but not many choices. Overall good for 2 people dinning.
        Another one is Ematei, we have a group of 6 to try out. We ordered from sushi, sashimi, even japanese style hot pot. I like this resturant because they provide a good variety and atmosphere. At least we don't need to listen what is going on at the table next to you.

      2. Charles Yu Mar 8, 2008 05:09 AM

        Japango, hands down! Even my Japanese friends gave it a thumbs up!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Charles Yu
          sugarcube Aug 12, 2008 05:46 PM

          Hey Charles,
          when I went downtown I noticed there were two restos with the same Japango name... are you referring to the one on Elisabeth street or the one on queen east (near the beaches)

        2. o
          obstructionist Mar 8, 2008 05:45 AM

          Ichi Riki, Bloor just west of Church.

          1. Googs Mar 8, 2008 07:09 AM

            IMO Daio Japanese on Carlton is superior to Ichi Riki, the current incarnation of Japango, and Nami. I wish more people would give it a chance.

            Japanese sushi chef whose Japanese wife makes the hot dishes served to you by kimono clad women from Japan including their daughter. Traditional sushi and maki, no gimmick rolls, a good selection of interesting hot dishes and soups. Get my point?


            3 Replies
            1. re: Googs
              skylineR33 Mar 8, 2008 07:46 AM

              No, I don't quite get it. Superior in terms of what ? price, quality ? All the restaurants mentioned above has "Traditional sushi and maki, a good selection of interesting hot dishes and soups", plus some has interesting roll provided on top of this.

              I found Ichiriki, Japango, Takesushi, Nami all serves pretty good standard sushi/sashimi, not much different from one another, reasonably fresh fish, good variety, good preparation, rice ok with fake wasabi and standard soy sauce. So what is the differences at Daio ?

              When I look at Daio's take-out menu, it is very standard with nothing stand out. Hopefully, their dinner menu probably has more varieties.

              1. re: skylineR33
                Googs Mar 8, 2008 09:15 AM

                Sorry skylineR33. I guess my frustration over my inability to get people to try the place is showing. Probably not the best tact.

                To begin, I've been going to various sushi places trying their wares since John Lee's Omi closed its doors. Even while Omi was open, hubby & I always had Daio as an alternate for those nights when we had the craving after hubby's work and too late for John Lee. It served us well then.

                Of the places I've tried since, I have to say Daio has provided consistent quality and service. I've never had a problem opening my wallet to pay as I feel they provide excellent value for the money. I've spent a couple of twenties and I've spent in the 'hood of $200 and always been satisfied.

                The take-out menu bears no relevance to their dine in menu. It would likely serve them better if deleted from the Toronto.com website. Recently, though, we decided on a sushi pig-out by ordering their medium party tray for $50 which was fantastic so I do think their take-out is worthy.

                When I say "traditional" sushi and maki, I mean to separate it from the herd of Yonge St joints with their fusion rolls. You'll find none here. It is as authentic a place as I have found in my journey.

                I can also distinguish it from say Ichiriki in that the service at Daio is quite good. I've found it problematic at Ichiriki. Chef has a lighter hand with wasabi, also a problem with Ichiriki's sushi. In terms of Japango, the room is far more spacious at Daio including about 5, 6 booths so no listening to the conversation of others. Nami I find to be more style than substance. Daio is all about substance. I can't make a truly fair comparison to Takesushi as I've only been to Take once. I *think* Take's quality is higher, but then so are the prices. To be fair I should make at least one more visit. I do think though that it's more special occasion courtesy of its pricing whereas Daio is suited to everyday cravings.

                What makes it different to me is the pride the family takes in their work. There is much preparation before it hits your plate including working on ideas at home. Very old world to create upon order and I'm grateful for that. It shows on your plate.

                Happy to answer any more questions.

                1. re: Googs
                  skylineR33 Mar 8, 2008 10:31 AM

                  Thanks for the information. Will give Daio a try when I am in that area, sounds good value with great hospitality which is a very important aspect in Japanese cuisine.

            2. T Long Mar 8, 2008 07:51 AM

              Takesushi, Japango, Nami and IciRiki....not necessarily in that order for Sushi. Ematai is good option for overall including price point, but not the best.

              1. p
                passionate1 Mar 11, 2008 05:07 PM

                Check out Sushiman Restaurant, 26 Richmond St. E., Toronto, ON M5C 1N1
                Tel. (416)362-8793


                2 Replies
                1. re: passionate1
                  Juniper Mar 11, 2008 06:43 PM

                  If you're looking specifically for sushi, I would not recommend Sushiman, despite the name. The sushi selection is limited and not really as expertly prepared. What they excel at are homestyle Japanese hot dishes.

                  1. re: Juniper
                    Googs Mar 12, 2008 08:55 AM

                    Sushiman is for business types looking for a quick lunch. Not for serious sushi aficionados. (MAN I hope I never have to say that sentence while drunk.)

                2. p
                  passionate1 Mar 11, 2008 05:10 PM

                  Yamato Japanese Restaurant(located in Yorkville)-- Amazing food and restaurant

                  24 Bellair St., Toronto, ON M5R 2C7. Tel: (416) 927-0077, Fax: (416) 927-1413
                  LUNCH: Mon-Fri 11:30am-3pm; Sat-Sun 12pm-3:30pm
                  DINNER: Mon-Thu 5pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 4pm-12am; Sun 4pm-10pm
                  American Express, Cash, Diners Club, JCB, Mastercard, Travellers Cheques, Visa

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: passionate1
                    JamieK Mar 11, 2008 05:58 PM

                    Have you been there? What do you recommend?

                  2. mlukan Mar 11, 2008 08:05 PM

                    I would have to agree with Yamato in yorkville. One of my faves.

                    1. a
                      aptlyvenus Aug 12, 2008 08:11 AM

                      We just spent a very rainy weekend in Toronto (visiting from Chicago) and Daio was one of the highlights. An unprepossessing location but quiet and charming inside. I had my usual bento and everything was fresh, delicious and slightly unusual (long tails on the sushi!). Soup and salad had depth of flavor and lovely presentation. Particularly good seaweed salad and pickles. My son's chirashi was lavish and equally good. Try the ginger tea!

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