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Currently good sushi restaurants. ?

pie_pie May 27, 2009 08:24 PM

Looking for a sushi restaurant that is still actually good. Downtown toronto. Any recs? Thanks!!

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  1. Charles Yu May 27, 2009 09:01 PM

    Based on all the discussions these past few days, the answer is 'NO!' for down town.
    Current consensus for 'good' sushi seems to be pointing at 'ZEN''s way! ( Scarborough ).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Charles Yu
      Teep May 28, 2009 01:02 PM

      I think the 'NO' is for "top notch" sushi places. Take Sushi is still "good" and is downtown. (Yonge and Front).

    2. c
      chillihigh May 27, 2009 09:27 PM

      I quite liked Momijis at royal york and bloor

      1 Reply
      1. re: chillihigh
        Toronto Chower May 28, 2009 12:23 PM

        I second Momiji. I am definitely not a sushi connoisseur but I absolutely love this place. Although it is not downtown it is still accessible from the TTC.

      2. sloweater May 28, 2009 01:28 PM

        Let the great debate begin once again...

        Although there are those who feel that Hiro Sushi is overrated, I am going to have to politely disagree. Yes, the service is so-so at best, but that can be said for most sushi restaurants. Yes, the room needs to be painted and generally restored from its dingy state. But, if you're talking about the quality of the sushi, Hiro is still in my top 3 for Toronto. For places that are not downtown: Zen and Kaji are the way to go.

        1. s
          Sadistick May 28, 2009 01:37 PM

          Can anyone recommend any mid-town places?

          7 Replies
          1. re: Sadistick
            Notorious P.I.G. May 28, 2009 01:44 PM

            Ichiriki on Bloor is actually not bad if you stick with the fresh fish on the chalkboard. Their cuts of fish are a little bigger than Zen or Kaji but some people like that style better and depending on your jaw size may feel better in your mouth.

            1. re: Sadistick
              sloweater May 28, 2009 03:07 PM

              There have been some pretty favourable postings about Mikado on Laird. I have yet to try their sushi.

              114 Laird Dr, Toronto, ON M4G3V3, CA

              1. re: sloweater
                Charles Yu May 28, 2009 03:21 PM

                Yes, I second sloweater. Mikado is Japanese own and run. Quality is more than acceptable

              2. re: Sadistick
                peppermint pate May 28, 2009 05:31 PM

                My best midtown find is Fukui on Bayview (Leaside). Good fresh sushi, great prices, it's solid.

                1. re: peppermint pate
                  Arcadiaseeker May 29, 2009 06:48 AM

                  I agree - it's great.

                2. re: Sadistick
                  tjr May 28, 2009 07:22 PM

                  I'd second Ichiriki or Mikado.

                  1. re: Sadistick
                    cheeser May 29, 2009 04:57 PM

                    for midtown i highly recommend i zu at yonge and davisville. http://www.izutoronto.com/index.html . they have a solid menu, fresh fish (have never been disappointed), friendly service and new reno's so the room is very pretty. midtown sushi restaurants we have tried: sushi supreme, echo sushi, sushi rock, sushi garden, sushi and tea, fukui, oisi oyster, takara... can't remember the names of the others...but i zu definitely comes up on top for food quality and tastiness.

                  2. t
                    tjr May 28, 2009 02:41 PM

                    It depends what you consider "good" sushi. Perhaps you can suggest some sushi restaurants you would consider good?

                    For some of us, good will mean Kaji or Zen. For others it could be Hiro and Take. For others still, somewhere even like Yuzu or Japango is good. For others, it's AYCE. It's pretty subjective, and therefore hard to determine.

                    I agree with Teep in suggesting Take as perfectly acceptable sushi downtown, or that Hiro serves an acceptable product as well. Keep in mind that these are both from more of a purist perspective -- if you prefer rolls with mangos and stuff in them or something, I'm not sure.

                    1. d
                      dubchild May 29, 2009 06:27 AM

                      It seems that sushi and Hiro gets hotly debated on this board. For the record I've been going to Hiro for the past ten years.
                      Last night was packed, which is always a good sign. I sat at the bar and had the chef order. The first three plates from the kitchen used seasonal ingredients; an asparagus custard, a hot soup with fiddleheads, and a large piece of smoked salmon with wild leeks. Sushi followed. Everything was good, some things were great. Other people around me ordered omakase, and everyone got different items.
                      Everytime I go I'm reminded why I go back. Its more than the food. I like the scene. I love watching his knife skills. I know some of the regulars and I like talking with the people next to me. I like the way the chef interacts with his customers.
                      A far as the food, I've always like everything from the kitchen. I look forward to his classics; the salmon trio, his marinated tuna, those rolls with cucumber and shiso. The hamachi, last night, was superb.
                      I know people complain that if you're not a regular, you will get treated differently. But I was treated like this from the first day I went there. On my first visit, I sat at the bar and ordered the omakase menu. I was open to the experience. Maybe its like that scene in Tampopo, where the student is instructed to study the face of the customers to see if this is a customer the restaurant wants to maintain. If you go to Hiro, sit at a table and order california rolls, then maybe you'll be disappointed with the experience.

                      17 Replies
                      1. re: dubchild
                        skylineR33 May 29, 2009 10:36 AM

                        Hiro great sushi ?! Have you tried sushi in Japan ? I have been to Hiro many times too. They do not even use real fresh wasabi ! Sushi there is good, definitely not great, ok in Toronto. Once, the rice is quite hot, definitely higher than my body temperature. The other time I order the Anago sushi, it is way too dry, Hiro put the anago into the oven to heat it up, probably he put it there for too long. I do not consider any place which do not use real fresh wasabi great sushi. Maybe you do, not me.

                        1. re: skylineR33
                          dubchild May 29, 2009 10:56 AM

                          It was very busy last night and the wasabi was pre-grated. I'm assuming it was fresh. Other nights he has grated the wasabi right in front of me. Its a little troubling when a post, and its not just this one, makes a comment about ingredients used, as if its a fact.

                          1. re: dubchild
                            skylineR33 May 29, 2009 02:43 PM

                            I have never seen Hiro using real wasabi in my visits and I speak from my experience with Hiro with NO assumption made, which is more than 5 times. I have ordered a la carte at the bar in all my visits

                            1. re: skylineR33
                              Charles Yu May 29, 2009 05:14 PM

                              Hay skylineR33!
                              Interesting you mention wasabi! I just had dinner at Cafe Michi. Noticed wasabi texture different from the past. Mentioned that to Toshi San. He told me he had changed over to using the 'fresh stuff' for a few weeks now! No more powder or tube! Great news for us foodies!

                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                skylineR33 May 29, 2009 05:34 PM

                                However the fresh stuff they are referring to at Cafe Michi is the same as the 1 to 4 real wasabi to horseradish mixture I can get from a Japanese store. I have tried it a couple of time at Cafe Michi.

                                1. re: skylineR33
                                  Charles Yu May 29, 2009 05:45 PM

                                  If he keeps on making money. Hopefully one day he'll use entirely the real thing! BTW, Toro was good tonight! And unlike Omi, I noticed they have lots of freshly packed uni!

                                  1. re: Charles Yu
                                    skylineR33 May 29, 2009 07:19 PM

                                    I like the Uni at Cafe Michi too. I once had a Uni don there, it is good !

                                  2. re: skylineR33
                                    pinstripeprincess May 31, 2009 01:22 PM

                                    it's also available at some korean grocers... much better than the powder but still no match to the real stuff.

                          2. re: dubchild
                            T Long May 29, 2009 03:22 PM

                            Did you get the feeling that you were being judged by the chef as to whether you were worthy of his best food?

                            1. re: dubchild
                              tjr May 29, 2009 06:49 PM

                              Suggesting that some of the people here were disappointed because they ordered california rolls is ridiculous. I've been disappointed at Hiro going with a regular, ordering omakase and not speaking a word of English the whole time. If Hiro doesn't want my business, he certainly didn't show it, but the food showed me that I don't really want to give him my business over other sushi restaurants in the city (though I have on many occasions, as it is a favourite of some of my friends). Or maybe I just know nothing about sushi whatsoever, Hiro sensed this, and served me an unimpressive meal.

                              I think his sushi is decent for Toronto, but it isn't really the whole package. It's definitely not superb or excellent, but... to each his or her own.

                              1. re: tjr
                                T Long May 30, 2009 05:25 AM

                                Perhaps Hiro is judging customers beyond their ability to speak Japanese, and/or their knowledge of sushi, rather concentrating mainly on their appreciation of his skills...that would explain why some get the real wasabi and others don't get a sniff...but I'm hyper-speculating (which is not unusual on this board)

                                1. re: T Long
                                  dubchild May 30, 2009 11:22 AM

                                  Wow, something happened at some point in this post. I'm not sure what. Anyway, I've never felt judged.
                                  For me, its about more than the food. I go back because I like the whole experience.
                                  Which wasabi is used, I'm sure, only Hiro knows.

                                  1. re: dubchild
                                    skylineR33 May 30, 2009 01:02 PM

                                    Actually I asked Hiro and he said he is using faked wasabi, no assumption ever made. And of course anyone who has try the real stuff (I mean good real fresh wasabi), not some cheap real or pre-grated wasabi knows the differences. FYI, real wasabi is rarely pre-grated unless people are using those chilled or pre-packaged one.

                                    1. re: skylineR33
                                      Royaljelly May 30, 2009 09:01 PM

                                      skyline, I know what you mean about the freshly grated wasabi making a difference. The one and only time I've had it fresh was at Kaiseki Sakura, where you grate it yourself. I was considering pocketing the whole wasabi root home with me. :)

                                      1. re: Royaljelly
                                        skylineR33 May 30, 2009 10:30 PM

                                        Yes, I think the use of wasabi is definitely a main factor to determine whether a sushi is good or bad as it affects the taste of the sushi directly when it is mixed in the mouth. Sushi with faked wasabi which gives a strong nasal burn is a no-no but well, I guess it is generally accepted in Toronto with the use of it. Toronto Japanese restaurants such as Hiro which claims to provide authentic high quality sushi may want to pay more attention to the use of wasabi when they decide to apply it on the piece of "expensive" fish, if they want their customer to enjoy the true taste of sushi, rather than letting the customer to have nasal burn every time. Otherwise, it is no better than a all-you-can-eat piece.

                                        I have tried the real wasabi at Kaiseki Sakura as well, whereas its wasabi is not top grade, it is really something that is hard to found in Japanese restaurants of Toronto. Actually there are many different grade of real wasabi when one goes into more details of it !

                                        1. re: skylineR33
                                          childofthestorm Jul 23, 2009 02:46 PM

                                          And just a quick note to dust off the wasabi issue, the last few times I've been to Sushi Marché for takeout, they've had fresh wasabi root. Where it's from, I don't know, can't be the ultra high-end stuff I guess, but it sure was delicious. My advice would be to take a look in the chef's fridge and if you see it, ask for it. I doubt they're giving it out to everyone.

                                          1. re: childofthestorm
                                            szw Jul 23, 2009 03:09 PM

                                            Yep Sushi Marche has it, but you must ask for it! I guess not enough people appreciate it to be worth the cost, I can't really blame them if most people will wonder "why isn't this strong enough?!"

                            2. r
                              rayzer Jul 23, 2009 07:39 AM

                              it seems that Hiro is a hit and miss (more miss then hit). I will be going tonight for the first time and will let you know my thoughts (imho) about Hiro. We will be a group of 5 foodies (with friends who works at both Kaizan and Mikado in Montreal) who knows their sushi. Will be ordering the Omakase menu. Will keep you posted!

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