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Mar 22, 2008 08:19 PM

REAL Japanese food in GTA/north end

New to the board and the GTA. Lived in Japan for 5 years. Where is there REAL authentic Japanese food in the GTA or north end like Richmond Hill, Hwy 7, or north of the 401? No fusions, no Chinese- or Korean-run quasi-Japanese restaurants. I am looking for the real deal, with a real Japanese chef. Where does the Japanese community in the GTA eat?
Thanks in advance. Cheers!

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  1. Places where I notice a lot of Japanese customers are Ematai in downtown, Aoyama in N. York, and J-town at Steeles and Don Valley. You will be getting a lot of replies to this post...

    1. Here are your best bet of authentic Japanese food in GTA :

      - Zen in Scarborough (order the sushi and sashimi omakase, the sushi is the most similar to what you have at Tsukiji market of Japan)

      - Sushi Kaji in Etobicoke (high end Japanese Omakase with both raw and cooked food)

      - Hashimoto in Mississauga (a kyo kaiseki experience in Toronto)

      There are also other good choices like Ichiriki, Japango, Takesushi, Ematei (for cooked food only), Aoyama, Cafe Michi .....

      1. I am willing to bet that Konnichiwa on Baldwin St is what you are looking for.Everybody that I seen working in the place is Japanese. The husband wife owners are ex-Prince hotel.
        I would be interested in comments.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

          What do you recommend at Konnichiwa ? There are a lots of Japanese restaurants with Japanese-only staffs and chef like Sushi Kaji, Cafe Michi, Hashimoto, Ichiriki, Japango .............................

        2. I'm sure you can't wait for this to hit town:

          Japanese government inspectors deciding which Toronto "Japanese" places are authentic enough for their standards... this will separate the wheat from the chaff in a hurry...
          (now if the governments of Mexico or Louisiana started such a program, NOTHING in Toronto would pass!!!)

          6 Replies
          1. re: TexSquared

            Yeah...but too bad that Authentic and good-tasting are not necessarily the same I've found out too many times to my chagrin...

            1. re: T Long

              I say the quicker these guys get here the better. Going by what you said, "Authentic and good-tasting are not necessarily the same thing" just means you've grown so accustomed to eating the phoney stuff, that when presented with the Real McCoy you don't realize it and think it's wrong.

              Like if all you knew of Cajun food was that repackaged Chinese crap from Bourbon St./Kelly's Cajun Grill, then you went to New Orleans to try authentic....

              1. re: TexSquared

                What I mean is that some "Authentic" stuff is not for me...for example what you think is great, I might still think is crap and we would both be right. Of course "authentic" can be great...just not necessarily.

              2. re: T Long

                Hi T Long, would you share some of your authentic and bad-tasting experience with us please ?

                1. re: skylineR33

                  There are a lot of posts on this board about "great authentic food" experiences....some I just happen to disagree with. Not that they were "bad" (don't think I used that word), just that they were not great for me (bleh...for lack of a better word). I am not suggesting that anyone else is wrong...just expressing and sharing my viewpoint...

              3. re: TexSquared

                The Japanese Restaurant Association of Canada folded earlier this year, and that probably means no "Authentic" certification program either. Had no idea until now.

                This is their home page with the announcement:

                The page about the Authentic Qualification Program is still up, and it's at
                Quite interesting reading and mirrors a lot of the opinions on this board about authenticity.

                This is sad since such a program was badly needed. Would have made it easier to find authentic places rather than waste a trip to yet another "100 California rolls from hell" place run by non-Japanese....

              4. Miyabi at 280 West Beaver Creek Road is great.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Wil

                  But the service is terrifically slow. The food is quite decent, but be prepared to wait for everything -- menus, tea, water, giving your order, food, and even the bill.