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Jun 19, 2009 09:16 PM

Solo-Sushi-Ya, Newmarket - Overdue Re-visit

Its been over a year since I last ate at Solo-Sushi-Ya. With weather so nice today, I decided to make the long drive north to try it out again. The restaurant was almost full at 6.30 with 'Japanese clientele' out numbering the rest of the patrons by more than a 2:1 ratio. A pretty good sign!

As in the past I had their $55 Omakase:.

First course was a bowl of diced spicy tuna. A balanced flavour mix of sweet, sour and spicy hot, this delicious appertizer was a refreshing start to the tasting menu. Only down side came from an unexplained piece of fish scale in the mix! Ummmm?!

Next was a long oval plate containing a Salmon mousse gratin over a bed of caramalized onion and mushroom in an abalone shell. Next to it was a medallion of salt grilled Spanish mackerel. Finally, to complete this trio was two pieces of sweet soy marinated tuna wrapped in a bamboo shoot skin. Plate presentation and taste were both commendable.

The sashimi course featured yellow fin tuna, very fresh Sea Bream ( Goa San actually filleted the whole fish in front of me ) and live BC spotted prawn. Though the fish/seafood was good, however the stand-out was the sweet home brewed soya sauce! No fresh wasabi root was used here! Too expensive, Goa San apologized.

Then came the usual steamed egg custard with enoki mushroom and sea food. Perfectly steamed and texture smooth as silk!

The cooked fish course was a piece of grilled Butterfish on a bed of light sweet, ginger/seasame/miso sauce. Again a BC spotted prawn was used as an accompaniment., this time fried. Fish was very moist with a chewy texture. Interesting sauce that goes well with the fish.

Lastly, the Nigiri sushi course comprised of Uni, Saba, Sake, Maguro, Hamachi and Tai ( NOT Tilapia!! ). Though the fish was fresh, however, the 'shari' was a 'BIG DISAPPOINTMENT' The rice, though seasoned well was soooo mushy! Zen's version was much better!

Dessert was an interesting green tea/ black seasame custard. Looked funny but tasted pretty good!

Overall, for $55, the meal was worth the money. Unfortunately, the mushy texture of the shari put a damper on the meal. Side by side, I prefer Aoyama's Omakase better!

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  1. Hi Charles, I had almost exactly the same omakase a few weeks ago ! But this time, the rice was really good, compared to my second last visit which was mushy. The seasoning on the rice is a bit too strong to my taste, same with the soy sauce which is a bit sweet. I enjoy the sushi on my last visit, which is way better than before ! I noticed the sushi was prepared by his staff (under his training ?!). And I can see he was very attentive when making the sushi. However, their uni is usually from Chile.

    1. See, that's the thing, the texture of his shari varies. I've gone where the texture was great, and then also when it's mushy as you described. I don't know why it varies so much, but when it's good it's great. The one consistency in his shari is the strong flavour, perhaps a bit too strong, depending on the person.

      His chawanmushi is the best I've had in Toronto, great dashi.

      1. Beware the Price of the "Chef's Choice" Sashimi menu stating it costs $25.00. We were in for a BIG surprise at the end of the meal when the "Chef's Choice" was $65.00!!!! Are you kidding me?! You can't do that to repeat customers if you want them back. There is no excuse for this. Opps! We forgot to change our menu?! This has happened a few times there....the Price of Sake changes from visit to visit........

        1. I tried solo sushi bekkan (the downtown branch) and while the fish was good, the shari was so mushy! Also, the tempura was horrendous. Too bad, I had high hopes for a decent place I could go to for a quick japanese lunch near work. Maybe I'll give them one more chance, it may have been an off-day.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ctl98

            Downtown location is an off-shoot of the Newmarket flag ship. Owner/chef only pays it a visit once or twice a week. As such, I suspect quality is less refined when compared to Newmarket.

            1. re: Charles Yu

              I was there over the winter and the Wife of the owner was running the shop with a junior chef. He put out a great plate of sushi and the rice was being paddled and fanned as we were sitting down which was great to see (rice was being made by the wife).

          2. Sounds great, but what's with serving butterfish? I thought Solo was above that.

            2 Replies
            1. re: graydyn

              Good question! The economy a factor?!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                Butterfish isn't bad...unless it's escolar mislabelled as butterfish. Then again, someone should tell Le Bernardin, because they serve it.