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Hashimoto will be moving to the JCCC

  • jlunar Aug 18, 2009 11:08 AM

Whoa. Two posts today.

Anyway, talking to a friend about Hashimoto and was checking the website. New prices posted as of Aug 1, 2009 (dinner is $150 for 6 courses and $200 for 8.

However, the interesting part is that apparently they're moving to the JCCC (at some point). I've been a few times to the JCCC and I'm pondering where they would be putting it! Anyone have any details?

http://www.kaiseki.ca/english/

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  1. $200 for 8 course ? Yeah you save a ticket flying to Japan and Hashimoto is the only kaiseki in Toronto but in my opinion, it does not worth $200. The price is at par with some of the expensive one in Japan but those are at least a few level higher.

    They should update the following sentence in their website :

    "Hashimoto's goal was to let those who enjoy Japanese cuisine also be able to enjoy Kaiseki at a very affordable price"

    1. I've never even heard of the JCCC, interesting info. Thanks.....

      I find it surprising he even does lunch. Who pays those prices for lunch in a location so far away?

      5 Replies
      1. re: aser

        considering he asks for a minimum of a week in advance for reservations, i doubt anyone just drops in there for lunch.

        oddly enough, this makes it much more accessible for me and i might be tempted to go for a lunch one day.

        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          It is a good experience, the one time I've been on a weeknight, my friend and I were the only ones there. It was like having a personal chef.....

          1. re: aser

            Much like Aser, my dining companion and I were the only ones in the restaurant on a Sunday evening. The incredibly personal service made the evening unforgettable. I have no idea what the service is like when the place is full, though. Besides the food and sakes, the service was a highlight of the evening. For us, the night was magical, but I'm not sure if that could possibly have been accomplished had the restaurant been full to capacity (which is currently not more than 12-14 people, I believe). It would be interesting to contrast our experience with someone who has dined on a busy night. I'm not sure I want to volunteer myself though, at $200 a pop for food.

            1. re: 1sweetpea

              They say on the website that it's max 6 per night right now.

              1. re: jlunar

                Really?!? I'm sure there were a dozen chairs in the place on the night I was there. I wonder if they'll only accomodate a dozen if they are in a single party?

      2. What is the JCCC (Japanese Canadian Community Center?) and where is it?

        10 Replies
        1. re: Davedigger

          Close - Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
          It's in North York, just off the DVP @ Wynford. Minimally more accessible...

          http://www.jccc.on.ca/
          6 Garamond Ct.

          1. re: jlunar

            I'm thrilled that it will be in a more accessible location for many people, but very unhappy to hear that the prices will jump so much. I really enjoyed my dinner there in March. At $150/pp, the 8-course dinner was expensive, but worth it. Add in the sakes we enjoyed and our evening for 2 people came to $500, tip included. That's no everyday meal for us. The same meal for $650 (assuming that the sake prices are being upped, along with the tip) is no longer affordable for most and certainly not something I can justify more than once a year, at most. I suppose Hashimoto appeals to expense accounts and people with deep pockets anyway, so this won't deter its regulars, but I'll probably scrap any notion I might have had of a birthday or anniversary dinner there this year. Granted, a 6-course meal can be had for less, but aside from the course which includes rice, none of the other 7 are hugely filling, so I'd be irritated if I spent $150 before drinks taxes and tip and left any less that completely satiated.

            1. re: 1sweetpea

              1sweetpea is bang on re leaving less than satiated. Unless you're a 5'11" 100lb supermodel, you're going to leave there not really full. In fact, a couple of us (there were 5 of us that night) actually went to a fast food restaurant (there was nothing else open at close midnight!) after because they were still hungry!

              The food was pretty good, excellent presentation as to be expected of a Kaiseki dinner, but there was no wow (not even close) factor that you'd expect at these prices. The chef and his wife were very nice and friendly and service was excellent but, again, you'd expect nothing less at these prices.

              We were recently in Japan and Hashimoto's prices would be pretty reasonable there but not in Toronto. The $200 per plate (before wine/sake) for the 8-course makes it the high of the high end restaurants, I think, makes it the most expensive restaurant in Toronto.

              By comparison, you can get a $150 7-course tasting menu dinner at Jean Georges, a top rated Michelin 3-Star restaurant in Manhattan. We recently had an 11-course dinner at Coi, a Michelin 2-star restaurant in San Francisco, for $125. And you're pretty well guaranteed not to leave those 2 places hungry.

              1. re: syoung

                No, it is not the most expensive restaurant. It cannot even match with Lai Wah Heen if you go all in. A good grade dried Japanese abalone at WuYi Villa in Markham costs $280, you can probably finish it like one course.

                I am not sure if it is appropriate to compare Jean George to Hashimoto as they are different cuisine, but I agree there are a whole lots more food you can get at JG's tasting menu compared to the one at Hashimoto.

                1. re: skylineR33

                  We accepted a refill on course #7 (stewed rice with mushrooms, pickles and something else I can't remember). We left quite satisfied, but that was for technically 9 courses and a whole lot of sake. If we'd been sipping green tea and water and had not had seconds of rice, etc., I suspect we'd be looking for slices of pizza at 11:00 pm on that Sunday night.

                  I have nothing but good things to say about the food and service at Hashimoto. I can't even complain about the price, since the evening was paid for with a gift certificate from a deep-pocketed regular at Hashimoto (a.k.a. my co-diner's dad), though we did spend the drive home debating what Hashimoto's profit margin could be after flying in all of those high-end ingredients and labouring over the menu and execution thereof. My problem is that I'd like to return the favour and take his parents (and possibly his sister and SO) to Hashimoto on a future occasion, but the thought of spending nearly $2,000 for 6 of us is kind of mind blowing, especially when we're not ordering $800 bottles of wine to accompany. Our $500 gift certificate that night covered our 8-course dinner for 2, 3 types of sake to accompany the meal, bottled water and wonderful green tea, taxes and tip. I imagine that with the price hike this total would be more like $650, so multplied by 3 ... ouch.

                  But, how do you quantify service of that calibre? We left that evening with a beautiful envelope which encased the beautiful artwork that was our handwritten menu for the evening. On it were Japanese characters, descriptions in Japanese and basic diagrams of the plating of each dish, all in calligraphy. As well, there was a certificate of authenticity for our AAA to AAAA Wagyu beef, a price list and business cards for the green tea importers and info about how to buy the sakes we enjoyed from a private dealer. To me, those items had great value as well.

                  1. re: 1sweetpea

                    Yes, service at Hashimoto is great, but so do every other 'good' Japanese restaurant all over the world. But I really have much more better delicious kaiseki meal elsewhere at this price point or lower. Well, they are the only one doing Kaiseki here, so maybe this is the reason they can do that as there is really no competition here if one wants kaiseki meal in Toronto.

                    Ummm, if one really opens up a great Yakitori bar here, maybe they can charge $10 a skew ??!

                    1. re: skylineR33

                      I think you are correct; Hashimoto's exclusivity is what enables him to charge these prices as well as moving to a more expensive and accessible location. I just wished we had a restaurant with combination of quality and price like Sushi Yasuda. How was Gari?

                      1. re: Apprentice

                        We made a change and skip Gari. If we have that kind of competition here in Toronto, Hashimoto will probably need to lower the price instead of increasing it !

                      2. re: chefsasuke

                        We all know that, we also know there is no other kaiseki restaurant serves "kocho" style cooking at a higher price in Toronto, that's why we say Hashimoto is on it's own in Toronto ! In Japan and elsewhere, of course there are other restaurants that serve way better quality "kocho" style cooking at a lower price point.

                      3. re: 1sweetpea

                        Maybe I'm greedy, but I asked for thirds on the refill course.

                        At that price point, I'm going for mine, hahaha.

            2. Nice as they are, the JCCC's business acumen isn't notable. I've no idea how they think a resto will survive there, much less something as rarefied as Hashimoto. I'd settle for a good yakitori bar!

              9 Replies
              1. re: Kagemusha

                Hey the guy is currently in an industrial park near the airport.. why would Don Mills not be 100 steps up? Plus if like it states above the maximum reservations they will take is 6 people it is not like they have to worry too much about getting hundreds of people there a week... I think it is a great business move as that is the Japanese center of culture and Hashimoto is VERY traditional Japanese food.. any visiting Japanese dignitary will probably eat there by default..

                Look at Mcewan (just down the street) I like others said noone would go there.. it is still early but they are pulling in crowds...

                1. re: Kagemusha

                  I think the JCCC would have to devote a lot more space to a yakitori bar. It would probably be packed most nights, once word got out that an authentic yakitori bar had come to Toronto and was being patronized or at least promoted by the Japanese Canadian community.

                  As for Hashimoto, I think they have a small, but enraptured core group of deep-pocket types and business folk with huge expense accounts. With only a handful of seats available for each meal, it's probably not that difficult for them to fill at least a couple of them most nights. Anyone (with $$$) who wants a taste of Japanese traditional culture combined with a private or semi-private chef wouldn't pass up the opportunity once in a while, especially now that the location is a little less remote for most.

                  1. re: 1sweetpea

                    Now that corp expense accts have shriveled or vanished altogether for this sort of excess--right, great move...There's nothing upscale about the JCCC; in fact, it's pretty down-to-earth, despite their reno. Still think quality, authentic udon, soba, yakitori is more rational than the salmon eggs-on-a pine-needle Kyoto fare. Just doubt there will be that much traffic.

                    1. re: Kagemusha

                      I'm still interested to see what they do with this. If KPMB is involved in the construction of the restaurant it could be interesting. Maybe the increase in price is going to cover an extravagant new reno.

                      1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                        They are already charging the new price now. Do you think they will increase the price again when they open their new location ??

                        1. re: skylineR33

                          I guess it's out of the bag now so I can answer your question.

                          Yes.

                      2. re: Kagemusha

                        "Just doubt there will be that much traffic." THEY SEAT 6 PEOPLE that means they need to attract 36 people a WEEK... they already got people driving to the airport to eat I say waiting lists are going to be long for this place...

                    2. re: Kagemusha

                      SETTLE for a good yakitori bar?! I would kill for a good yakitori bar! I'd trade every fine dining resto in this town for a good yakitori bar! </end rant>

                      1. re: Kagemusha

                        I'd be more likely to go again now that they are moving to the JCCC.

                      2. WHOA the price went up to $200!? I was hoping to eventually try Hashimoto after having a wonderful first visit at Kaji's (thoroughly enjoyed would be an understatement)... I suppose that will not be happening any time soon!

                        What I've been wondering is whether the food/experience even warrants the pricetag? For $200 i could go to Kaji twice. What do you guys think? Don't give me the "they are a different experience from one another"; if you were I would you pay Kaji another visit, or shell out the money for Hashimoto?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: jemmy

                          Well, the kaiseki approach is different and so the Hashimoto experience is quite different than Kaji. We just came back from Kyoto earlier this year so did a bit of reading and kaiseki is more than the food itself, it's kind of a zen experience involving all the senses and your interaction with the surroundings and the whole experience becomes an art form. It's pretty deep stuff, but if all you care about is good food, then you're not likely to find kaiseki appealing in light of the price of admission, and I would go with Kaji instead.

                          1. re: syoung

                            Also of note is that while Hashimoto may be the closest thing to true kaiseki we have in Toronto, it is not the same as kaiseki in Japan, and isn't entirely authentic. This isn't a knock against the restaurant, which I found to be quite good for Toronto, but it is good to know what you're getting into when you're paying $200 a person without alcohol.

                        2. Interesting!