Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
May 9, 2009 06:16 AM

Toronto Star Exposes Sushi Scam

The Star has tested (by DNA bank comparison) 12 sushi restaurants in Toronto, to see whether they are accurate in menu description and presentation of Japanese Sea Bream, Red Snapper, or Tilapia. Here is a link to the article:

I understand red Sea Bream is farmed in Japan, for sushi, and possibly to better standards than farmed and frozen tilapia, which can come from 'anywhere'. .

Genuine Red Snapper is usually wild, but there is some farming of Snapper, and I believe I have seen them in tanks at T&T.

The gist of the article is"You get what you pay for", and "caveat emptor".

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Interesting and not surprising - Toronto is not a sushi town.

    I don't understand how you could enjoy tilapia sushi - is it better raw perhaps? - it tastes like nothing and it's texture is meh.

    BTW red snapper is on the bad list due to overfishing. If that kinda stuff's important to y'all check this out:

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sui_Mai

      Thanks for the link. I wonder if the sushi restaurants in the survey serving tilapia care enough to get sushi grade fish, or U.S, farm raised tilapia..

      1. re: jayt90

        This situation is so depressing considering how beloved sushi is by most people and that they (most people I know) are willing to spend more money than usual for it. In Vancouver it is so different (obviously): people demand quality and sustainability.

        Oceanwise, a conservation program started by the Vancouver Aquarium is fast becoming the standard for all restaurants that serve fish in the city. Nice.

        I rarely eat fish here, so few fishmongers that care and in the grocery store they're rarely able to answer your questions.

    2. I'd also add to your gist list "Wise up, chump." GTA fish counter patrons have long been rooked in the old "red snapper" scam, where other species are routinely passed off as the real deal. In past years, it was possible see a half dozen species sold as "red snapper" around DT TO when the genuine article was nowhere to be seen. The sushi scam is just more of the same. AYCE sushi joints really are a mug's game.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. Not surprising, in fact I think most people don't even care in Toronto about wrong labelling on food. You should see the CB thread.

          3 Replies
          1. re: skylineR33

            What, you aren't willing to suspend disbelief while you munch down on tilapia and dream it's tai, or devour escolar called white tuna or something equally ridiculous? Haha.

            1. re: tjr

              Perhaps we'll see "white angus beef" one day, hah!

              1. re: aser

                Beef, the other, other, other white meat.

          2. More like "Toronto Star Copies Teen Girls' Science Fair Project"


            1 Reply
            1. re: ferret

              And another one in Chicago...Toronto Star has never been noted for originality.