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Stay away from Sakana-Ya @ J-Town !! Unfresh Sashimi

I walked by J-Town recently, went into their fish store "Sakana-Ya" and saw a big selection of Uni "Sea Urchin" in the fish counter. There are selections from Voucouver and Hokkaido Japan. They look ok from the packaging.

The uni from Voucouver are out of season at this moment, so I picked up a tray of the Japanese Uni as I have a strong mood for it at that moment, after tasting some of the super fresh uni just arrived from Boston at Kumai of Mississauga the night before. However, the taste of it is not so fresh, even worst is when we finish the first layer of Uni, those in the second layer does not look right as the colour is uneven and kind of dark with a loose texture, we tried a little and found out they have a smell of chemical with a bitter taste !!

We threw the rest to the garage bin and I swear I will never touch any fish at Sakana-Ya.

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    1. They sold you one product that should have been flagged by appearance or smell. Even by you, as a discerning customer.

      And now you condemn the store.

      Have you contacted them? Maybe they would replace the box.
      There have been good reports about the seafood store that replaced Toro.
      I think they deserve a chance to prove themselves worthy of their location.

      5 Replies
      1. re: jayt90

        What do you mean, have you ever bought a tray of uni ? The uni are stacked up on top of each other in a tray. Please read my report one more time. I said the first layer looks ok, and the bad ones are in the second layer. I returned and showed them the bad uni, they only said 'sorry' but refused to refund/exchange. They have proved to me what kind of customer service they have.

        I am not impressed by the fish at Sakana-Ya but they were ok, as shown in some of my post before, but now, it is done for me. There are also some negative reports on Sakana-Ya and now I can further confirm it.

        1. re: skylineR33

          I understand the second layer problem, and wish that some of these places would not pack this way. But you should have caught a bad scent and returned it right away.
          And they should have better customer service.
          I think they will learn from this experience, but I am not sure that you will have an open mind.

          1. re: jayt90

            With an open mind, I am not sure why I have to return after having enough 'not-so-good' to 'bad' experience with them. I have posted multiple negative post regarding Sakana-Ya in the past and it seems to me it is getting worst there. There are better places out there. The sashimi there is clearly not handled well, maybe I will return if they change management.

            The bottom line is the uni is not good as well as their customer service. I did return it right away after I caught a bad scent that is unbearable.

            1. re: skylineR33

              With an open mind, I am not sure why I have to return after having enough 'not-so-good' to 'bad' experience with them. I have posted multiple negative post regarding Sakana-Ya in the past and it seems to me it is getting worst there. There are better places out there. The sashimi there is clearly not handled well, maybe I will return if they change management.

              The bottom line is the uni is not good as well as their customer service. I did return it right away after I caught a bad scent that is unbearable

              I am confused.You indicated that you threw the rest in the garbage.Then you said that you returned it to the store and recieved terrible customer service.If you returned it to the store immediately and they denied satisfaction I am in agreement with you.But if you removed it from the garbage and took it back I can understand their point.This is where my confusion lies.

              Also,and please take this as a gentle reminder.If you are disatisfied with a food product then you have every right to post about it as a warning to other's.It is appreciated here.Remember this though,posting multiple negative reports about an establishment while continuing to frequent them usually results in the reader not taking your concerns,however valid they may have been,as factual.

              Sincerely,R

              1. re: Robinez

                I returned it but they did not take it back, with the tray of uni on my hand, if I do not throw it into the garbage bin, what should I do ? Have you been to J-Town ? There is some seat for eat-in on the other side of the fish store and I was eating there. When I returned it, I show them the bad uni over the fish counter and they did not take it back. Is it this hard to understand ?

                I have like 3 posting on Sakana-Ya. Two of them are 'not-too-good' but bearable. But this last one is unbearable, you got it ? I did not frequent it, but still go to it for a quite fix once a while because it is close to where I live, dude, but I guess not anymore.

                Also, please take this as a gentle reminder. Do not make any assumption when you are not sure. I did not say I frequent Sakana-Ya.

      2. Hello skylineR33.!

        Thanks for the heads up. The few times I visited S-Y, i was never impressed by their products, be it presentation, freshness or variety. A lot of times I ended up buying nothing, turned around and head down to Taro fish on Sheppard instead!. Prefer paying a bit more for better qualty/products!

        9 Replies
        1. re: Charles Yu

          The one time I bought some sashimi there it was very bland, haven't bothered since.

          1. re: Charles Yu

            No problem !

            That' right, even it is not close, it well worths the drive !

            1. re: Charles Yu

              Hello, where is Taro? Do they sell sashimi ends like at J-Town? Thanks.

              1. re: jtamin

                Its at 800 Sheppard avenue east across from Canadian Tire. They are higher end than Sakana-Ya and sell more superior products. Havn't seen Chirashi from them using sashimi ends like J-town's el-cheapo version..

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  Yes, Taro is much better for sashimi than Sakana-Ya. The blue fin they have is good quality compared to J-Town which is a joke (and they claim it is Hon Maguro !!). The people at Sakana-Ya do not even know what wasabi they are selling when I ask them one time, they told me the mixed wasabi they sell is from 100% real wasabi.

                2. re: jtamin

                  I recall Taro was amazing when they were at their old spot where Sakana-Ya is now. Their sashimi was second to none and I am talking about places where you can spend a lot of $$$. Rolls and sushi were ok. I still remember the hotate and ika sashimi I got from them. Matc it with real wasabi you can get from J-Town and you are in business. I haven;'t been to their new location yet but I am sure they have kept up with good quality.

                  1. re: elvisahmed

                    Taro does have fresh wasabi roots. They are wrapped on little trays, in the fridges, around $10 per. The prices are definitely at the north end of high for the sashimi. Apart from the place on Baldwin, is there any where else in town that you can get good sashimi cuts?

                    1. re: Snarf

                      Jeez I can't think of any. I have read good things about Scallops at McEwans which I am sure they can cut sashimi style but I doubt they are priced lower than Taro. Galleria has good uni once in a while and their Salmon is reasonable. Tuna and other items are no way near Taro's quality. If you factor in what you would pay at High end Place to get the sashimi what you buy at Taro I think its still a good Value.
                      Can I know the name of the place at Baldwin you referred to?

                      1. re: elvisahmed

                        I think the name of the place on Baldwin is Seaway on the south side. You'll know it by the smell (complete lack thereof), and the fridges on the left with the sashimi cuts. They will also cut in front of you, should you wish.

              2. Appreciate the review as I've always been interested but never actually bought anything in there because it's never looked great. I don't understand why these people are saying you have to give them a second chance, especially when you told them about the problem and they did nothing about it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cutehinano

                  I don't understand either? He has a genuine gripe and they're busting his balls about it?

                2. I prefer Taro; last time I was at Sakana-Ya, I bought some fish and it was okay. Post-Taro move, S-Y was awful, but they seemed to be getting better. I don't shop there very often, but it's pretty bad that they won't take it back. Didn't someone mention this uni-packing (darker, lower grade uni on the bottom, where you can't see it), at Diana's as well? It's a shame!

                  Sorry for your bad experience! I don't think I'll buy anything from them in the future, since it's never my first stop for fish anyways. What a shame...