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May 1, 2008 03:20 PM

Sushi Sky and Sushi BBQ - I can't complain.

Haven't been eating out anywhere new recently so this is all I have to contribute. But I thought what the hay.

I recently hit up Sushi Sky on Yonge north of College after walking past it X number of times. Although their gyoza is just deep fried mush like most places, I can't complain about the other offerings there. Authentic, no. But decent sashimi and sushi for a decent price? Sure; a quick after-work meal there proved to be quite good for the value. I got the party tray, which was a big boat load of goodies (about 36pcs in all) for $25. The rice wasn't dry, the fish tasted fresh, they used real octopus, and it arrived reasonably quickly.

South of Bloor, also on the West side is a new-ish? (I've never noticed it before) looking place called Sushi BBQ. I'm not sold on the Korean-Japanese fusion thing in some cases but this place wasn't too bad at all. For $9.95 you get a bento box that includes salad, some soft, sticky soba-like noodles, 6 pcs. of sushi and a heap of BBQ chicken on bean sprouts. They've got a lot of similar offerings. Any gym rats needing a quick fix of clean protein, rice and veggies for ~$10 would do well to check this place out.

Again, maybe nothing new here and not exactly gourmet, but, if you're trekking up and down Yonge and get overwhelmed by the number of 'Sushi' places, I just felt that these two aren't bad. You can catch a reasonably priced decent quality meal at either spot before heading out of the core.

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  1. Next time you're at Yonge & College, try Daio on the south side of Carlton about a half a block east of Yonge. Not as cheap as Sushi Sky, but consistently good. It's where hubby & I go when we don't feel like peeling multiple bills out of our wallet for Zen.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Googs

      Hey Googs. I know that you're a fellow sushi lover so I will definitely take your recommendation next time I have a hankering. I've seen that place before but as with most sushi joints in the core I just had no clue as to whether it'd be good or not, and never had occasion to enter. Now that I think about maybe it's because I rarely find myself on that side of the street. I'll be sure to check it out next time.

      1. re: 50firstdatesguy

        I wasn't that impressed by Daio. The fish was nice but I didn't find it cut that well and thought their sushi rice was less than great.

        I did enjoy Daily Sushi across the street a bit more, and a bit cheaper too I think.

        1. re: thatlankyfoody

          That's too bad. I've always found his cuts generous and his rice moist and well seasoned. After years in the neighbourhood trying various places, Daio has proven very reliable. I hope you try it again sometime.

          1. re: thatlankyfoody

            Wow did you happen to go to Daio on a Sunday 10mins before closing or something? That place is far from sub-par in my humble opinion.

            I went there on my own tonight whilst killing time (I was in the area but I was hungry too of course) and I had a fabulous meal, no word of a lie.

            Gyoza - probably the best Gyoza I've had aside from the long-since closed down Shoko Soba on Danforth (and aside from my mother's gyoza). Boiled then pan-fried properly, lots of flavour.

            Edamame + Miso - just fine.

            Sashimi - both the presentation and the succulence of the fish was impressive. Each piece was tender and moist and the flavour was clear. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had the Chirashi Sushi by the way.

            The rice bed hiding beneath the carefully arranged sashimi was also seasoned accordingly with nori, sesame and a traditional light vinegar; not dry at all - set perfectly between 'sticky' and 'I can't pick it up with my chopsticks'.

            All in all I was very impressed by Daio, mainly because it appears to be just another Yonge St. sushi joint and it far exceeded my expectations but even beyond that I found the quality to be great. The atmosphere was also very quaint, complete with Japanese staff, proper greetings/pleasantries and shamisen music in the background.

            I've only been there this one time tonight, but I'd put tonight's meal up there with Aji Sai.

            Value-wise I got what I paid for and that's just fine.

            Googs, thanks for the reco. !

            1. re: 50firstdatesguy

              No, no, no thank YOU for trusting me F1dates! I really, truly appreciate one of the Hounds finally giving Daio a chance. Such a nice family doing an honest job deserves reward.

              1. re: 50firstdatesguy

                Just tried out Daio, disappointed. I do think it is sub-par. I hope it is not always like, as it is highly praised by some hounds here.

                Ordered the sashimi moriawase, got the basic stuff which is fine as it is $15.5. However, tuna is fishy, white fish is too cold. I cannot taste any freshness from the snapper, quality is bad like what I get from AYCE, it is tasteless...

                Maybe it is already the best in that block. However, based on my experience, it is no comparison to the fish quality I get from Ichiriki or Japango which is not too far away.

                It does have a big selection of cooked dishes like chazuke and natto, a big selection of grilled seafood, good list of donburi. However, I don't think I will return to try them.

                In addition, the room is very very dark, service is alright.

                BTW, I was there at around 12:15pm on a week day which it only got 3 tables of customers including my table. Daily sushi across the street is much busier.

                1. re: skylineR33

                  Daily Sushi is run by Hong Kong folks and while cheap and relatively good it really has a fast food feel, unlike Daio which is authentic Japanese dining. I have not had sushi at Daio yet (had zaru udon last time I was there - I like all Japanese food not just sushi) so can't compare.

                  I also vouch for the freshness at Ichi Riki, but last week when I had a few pieces from sharing, the tuna had a real big wad of wasabi (just as Googs complained about). I don't know if the chef feels that tuna requires a lot of wasabi or he just accidentally put too much.

                  1. re: Teep

                    I have not tried Daily, it does not matter who own it, I would much prefer good fresh sushi with a fast food feel than unfresh sushi. I also love cooked Japanese food, but with the quality of their raw food offereing, I highly doubt their cooked dish is any good even with a look of authenticity.

                    1. re: Teep

                      That was no accident at Ichi Riki, Teep. I tried the place twice just to be sure it wasn't an off night. Too much wasabi both times. So much hubby & I couldn't taste the fish at all. It's on my Avoid list now. skyline apparently doesn't have this problem as he's exclusively a sashimi man.

                      skylineR33 must have experienced an abberation. I've dined at Daio dozens of times without any fishy aromas or cold pieces. I respect his opinion and therefore don't dispute it happened. I've just never had it happen to me.

                      I feel I should say this again: Daio isn't supposed to be in the same category as Zen or Take Sushi as it isn't a destination resto. It's just a good, reliable spot when you happen to be in the neighbourhood.

                      1. re: Googs

                        Not really, I like sushi! Actually I have this issue with Ichiriki too, I do agree their wasabi is a bit heavy on the sushi, not all of them but maybe quite a few out of 10. But I also find this problem with Japango, Cafe Michi, etc sometimes... I am ok with this as I don't expect real wasabi sushi as those that were served in Japan, the taste and after taste of it are just completely different. I guess I have more tolerance on the spicy faked wasabi taste and I find this kind of spicy wasabi taste pretty common in Toronto as they are mostly faked.

                        Some of my Japanese friend cannot even eat sushi with faked wasabi at all, thinking it is too spicy even with a tiny amount, as they use to eat only with the real one. So it is relative in a way.

                        I got some friend who cannot even eat sushi at Kaji, thinking the wasabi is too spicy. This can happen because the sushi at Kaji is not served indivdually, they made the sushi and put it aside first. The wasabi, even it is real or mix with some horseradish, if soaked in the sushi for too long, and not eaten immediately, the taste of it will change and has more nasal spiciness, even the texture of the wasabi will change as well.

                        I think we all agree the fish quality at Ichiriki is good. There is an easy solution for the heavy wasabi at Ichiriki or any other rsetaurants. Since the wasabi is not fresh and the sushi is not served individually, you can kindly ask the server to tell the sushi chef not put the wasabi inside the sushi, and put in on the side. Then, you can add whatever amount you want on top of the sushi then dip into the soy sauce.

                        Regarding Daio, this may only be a off day for them, hopefully it is good at other time.

                        For non-expensive sushi at downtown, I always prefer going to Japango, $12.95 for a fresh chirashi don + miso soup + salad !

                        1. re: Googs

                          I forgot to emphasize that i had 4 or 5 pieces (salmon, snapper etc) and tuna was the only one with the heavy wasabi.