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Mid range real sushi! (my top places all have deteriorated in quality)

g
gastronom Oct 16, 2009 12:08 PM

I hate to start another sushi thread, but after doing a lot of search my finding are in conclusive for finding decent sushi that isn't super expensive.

I think the previous postings make it very clear, top sushi places are:
Hero
Kaji
Zen
etc.

But this list isn't really helpful for the foodie weekly dose of sushi. I am strictly against Sushi on Bloor, New generation, etc (McSushi type places). I'm just not willing to put poor quality raw fish in my mouth.

So then we narrow it down to a few mid range high quality places:
Ematei-Decent for everything but sushi, sushi is just ok.
Japango-Was really good, not the same anymore
Daio-Was really good (my top place), but owner has change and slipped the past 2 times. I'm giving it one more try before giving up.

Any one have recos for mid range, downtown high quality sushi?

Thanks

  1. sloweater Oct 16, 2009 12:20 PM

    These days, my go to place for reasonably priced sushi is Mikado Sushi on Laird. Chef Masuda trained with Chef Kaji years ago. The quality of the fish is quite good and the portion sizes are decent.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sloweater
      Full tummy Oct 16, 2009 04:26 PM

      I've been wanting to try Mikado; the sushi chef at Zen recommended them to me!!

      What are their prices like? How do they compare to Zen?

      1. re: Full tummy
        v
        VC429 Jul 19, 2010 09:02 AM

        I am a big fan of zen~~~nice to meet you =)
        Mikado i been a few times, their price is very very reasonable. When you first look at the menu, u will think its not a real japanese meun, but u will be suprise!!!their sushi are very professional!!!
        PLEASE MAKE RESERVATION IN ADVANCE though!!!! and i will recommend to go on a week night. =) ENJOY~~~

    2. jlunar Oct 16, 2009 12:23 PM

      I don't think I'd term it HQ sushi, but I like Kokyo at Yonge and Alexander. Good fish, generous portions, fairly inexpensive. However, I wouldn't have considered it better than Japango (from a couple years back).

      -----
      Kokyo Japanese Restaurant
      501 A Yonge, Toronto, ON M5G, CA

      1. y
        Yum2MyTum Oct 16, 2009 12:25 PM

        Yuzu at 236 Adelaide West fits the bill. Owned / run by previous Japango owners, I believe.

        http://yuzutoronto.com/

        Super fresh fish, inventive rolls, good service. Try the sushi/sashimi platters and the Yuzu roll!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Yum2MyTum
          pinstripeprincess Oct 16, 2009 01:05 PM

          chefdb still says bruce owns japango, not sure how accurate that is.

          i think it's still a significant notch below what japango was. the last time i was at yuzu it was all fairly bland and mushy rice though the seasoning was much better than most places.

          i sort of make the mini-splurge for sushi930 but it's not eat in and he doesn't seem to know a damn thing about rice. always get the sashimi platters. if you show you know more than weird rolls he'll treat you right.

        2. Notorious P.I.G. Oct 16, 2009 12:46 PM

          Ichiriki should be a good fit for what you're looking for. Just order from their fresh fish of the day board and you should be good.

          1. s
            szw Oct 16, 2009 02:32 PM

            For mid range Sushi Marche (delivery and takeout) is my fav. They will deliver downtown. i find it much better than Ematei, Japango....though not in the same league as Zen or Kaji (but not in the same pricing tier either).

            1 Reply
            1. re: szw
              a
              Atahualpa Oct 17, 2009 07:53 AM

              seconded

            2. c
              cecilia Oct 16, 2009 04:09 PM

              I went to Solo Sushi Bekkan at Yonge and College. This is a downtown outpost of Solo Sushi Ya from Newmarket. I just got a regular lunch special for sushi. But it was fantastic. There are some reviews on Chowhound for both locations.

              http://www.solosushiya.com/

              1. Full tummy Oct 16, 2009 04:24 PM

                Zen isn't super expensive, compared to Kaji. Do you think their prices don't fit in with mid-range (I'm not talking omakase here)?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Full tummy
                  scarberian Jul 19, 2010 11:17 AM

                  I agree, Zen isn't that expensive compared to Kaji. I would say their prices are in the mid-range BUT leaning towards the upper mid-range. I usually go for lunch at Zen and order their bento boxes... mmm ... I can get my sushi fix as well as a delicious entre at a very reasonable price.

                2. shekamoo Oct 17, 2009 07:42 AM

                  my Toronto sushi rotation:

                  Taro's Fish Weekly
                  Zen Monthly
                  Kaji Quarterly

                  1. v
                    VC429 Jul 19, 2010 06:37 AM

                    you are my SOUL MATE!!!! The order i put in will be as follow..........

                    1)ZEN
                    2)HIRO
                    3)KAJI
                    4)Aoyama
                    ***********but HAMA sushi will always be in my heart, the Chef retire and return to japan.

                    23 Replies
                    1. re: VC429
                      Charles Yu Jul 19, 2010 07:05 AM

                      I would add Cafe Michi to the list.

                      1. re: Charles Yu
                        v
                        VC429 Jul 19, 2010 11:41 AM

                        yup ~~~thats a nice cozy place, but varity of fish i can only give "ok" =D

                        1. re: Charles Yu
                          Charles Yu Jul 30, 2010 07:56 PM

                          Got a couple of slices of ' Awabi' sashimi and a Bonton ebi in my Chirashi from Toshi San of Cafe Michi today!! Yuuuummmm!!

                          1. re: Charles Yu
                            Notorious P.I.G. Jul 30, 2010 10:21 PM

                            Got the premium Nigiri sushi last week and had a nice piece of Awabi in it. Also came with Otoro and Botan Ebi. I really like Michi. Been addicted to their English Trifle and the Caramel Pudding as well. So good.

                            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                              Charles Yu Jul 31, 2010 06:24 AM

                              I had their Chocolate Sake cake. Moist and yummy too!

                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                shekamoo Jul 31, 2010 07:29 AM

                                All the Michi praise from you had-sushi-in-Kanesaka-AND-Kyubey-last-week heavy hitters makes me wonder if my memory was playing tricks on me: The omakase I had at Michi had some really medicore pieces of nigiri. maybe it was a one off thing and I should give it another try

                                1. re: shekamoo
                                  Notorious P.I.G. Jul 31, 2010 10:03 AM

                                  Well, you're probably right about the Nigiri, as it can be mediocre at times but what can I say? Sometimes I just need to eat some sushi.

                                  The best thing that they do in my opinion is their Cafe Au Lait Chirashi. That said, the owners are really nice people and for what you get, it's a great deal. If you go back try the Chirashi and finish it off with their English Trifle or the Pudding. They throw both of them out daily if they're not eaten.

                                  1. re: shekamoo
                                    c
                                    ctl98 Jul 31, 2010 01:25 PM

                                    Me too. I'm thinking I should give Michi another try... I wasn't impressed the only time I ate there so it's been Zen for me and perhaps Mikado and Aoyama when Zen is closed. But all these raves are making me want to go again!

                                    -----
                                    Aoyama
                                    2766 Victoria Park Ave, Toronto, ON M2J4A8, CA

                                    1. re: shekamoo
                                      Charles Yu Jul 31, 2010 04:07 PM

                                      I don't think its fair to compare Michi with a Michelin 2 and 3 stars in Tokyo! Furthermore, the chirashi was only $27.50, with hors d'oeuvre and dessert thrown in! To have on it Awabi, Kampachi, tai, icura, botan ebi, ika, salmon, maguro...etc I'm not complaining!
                                      BTW, even the best of NYC like Yasuda or Gari, though great by North American standard, when compared with say a Jiro, Sawada or Saito in Tokyo are still way off!
                                      We should be thankful that at least we have some good, value for money and fresh sushi in town that we can go to for a sushi fix!

                                      1. re: Charles Yu
                                        shekamoo Aug 1, 2010 06:53 AM

                                        I take your point about value. I was not comparing Michi with the Tokyo places, that would be like comparing a French resto here with places in Paris: meaningless.
                                        I was just saying that the praise for Michi by people who have experienced 'true' sushi doesnt really match my one-time experience there and makes me want to give it another shot.
                                        Like ctl98, it has been only Zen for me for a while, with Taro as a closer-to-home back-up. (To improve the quality of the sushi in Taro, we always pick up a wasabi root from their fridge, hand it to the chef and ask him to make our nigiri with it. makes your order $10 more expensive, but totally worth it)
                                        If I go to Michi again, I would order the chirashi

                                        1. re: shekamoo
                                          skylineR33 Aug 1, 2010 07:16 AM

                                          Agree that Cafe Au Lait Chirashi is the way to go at Michi. Nigiri is blah.

                                          1. re: skylineR33
                                            Charles Yu Aug 1, 2010 09:10 AM

                                            I ordered the #2. The one with three separate horizontal compartments?!

                                        2. re: Charles Yu
                                          a
                                          ace123 Aug 1, 2010 07:24 PM

                                          #2 used to be cheaper than $27.50. Has the price been increased?

                                          1. re: ace123
                                            Charles Yu Aug 1, 2010 07:46 PM

                                            Yes! Price increase across the 'sushi' board. But still find them good value for money.

                                            Planning to go to Nigiri-Ya Sushi on Bayview/Millwood next week after reading positive review and impressive credential of Japanese owner chef.

                                            1. re: Charles Yu
                                              c
                                              ctl98 Aug 1, 2010 08:05 PM

                                              I'd be interested to see what you think of Nigiri-Ya, Charles. I went a couple of times and eventually decided not to return. I think you get much better quality, selection and value at Mikado, which is so close to that particular location.

                                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                                a
                                                ace123 Aug 1, 2010 08:08 PM

                                                Sounds like you got a good selection of fish for #2 at Michi.
                                                I went to Kaji last week and did not get awabi or botan ebi.

                                                1. re: ace123
                                                  Charles Yu Aug 2, 2010 06:41 AM

                                                  Kaji will treat you like a king if he recognizes you as a repeating customer. Otherwise, food, though still good could be 'mediocre' in terms of ' exotic value'. We once went with a friend who knew Kaji san for over 20+ years. The '15 course' Omakase was unreal!!

                                                2. re: Charles Yu
                                                  a
                                                  Atahualpa Aug 2, 2010 07:42 AM

                                                  I had an amazing experience at Nigiri-Ya. Highlights were Munk-fish liver gunkanmaki, raw shrimp charred and half-cooked with a blow-torch, and aburi-style toro (with real fresh wasabi – I've got to ask if I can have that for the whole meal, maybe with a surcharge).

                                                  It has a limited menu (very), it was expensive vs. quantity, although quite reasonable vs. quality, and they are lovely nice owners. We were their last order at 7:00pm on a Saturday (sold out – entirely! Case was empty, empty, empty!). I especially liked that although I had called ahead, he waited until I arrived to assemble everything.

                                                  The rice itself could be a little more seasoned for my liking and it was very loosely formed and really dictated eating by hand rather than by chopstick. Still, I'll take loose rather than the too hard versions that plague the city.

                                  2. re: VC429
                                    skylineR33 Jul 19, 2010 12:02 PM

                                    Hiro and Kaji probably won't fit in the mid-range pricing sushi. And what you get at Kaji is omakase with sushi course and other cooked food, etc, can't order only sushi.
                                    I found Hiro way over-rated and too expensive on what it offers. Quality is mediocre. Suggest to stay away from it.

                                    1. re: skylineR33
                                      v
                                      VC429 Jul 19, 2010 08:18 PM

                                      thats why i love chatting here, many comments, what about Zen , have u been ?

                                      1. re: VC429
                                        skylineR33 Jul 19, 2010 09:30 PM

                                        Zen is great. Good value, good sushi. At least they don't tell me they serve Bafun uni when they actually serve me green sea urchin. Probably may be Hiro himself has not tried bafun uni when he told me that.

                                        1. re: VC429
                                          shekamoo Jul 20, 2010 04:52 AM

                                          remember to specifically ask for fresh wasabi if you order omakase at zen. $5 extra, worth it.

                                      2. re: VC429
                                        k
                                        katana750 Aug 1, 2010 05:33 PM

                                        I believe Hamada-san is somewhere around Bayview and Major Mac.

                                      3. j
                                        JennaBean Jul 19, 2010 09:53 AM

                                        My three picks have been noted below:

                                        Solo Sushi Bekkan
                                        Tokyo Sushi on Alexander
                                        Sushi Marche

                                        -----
                                        Sushi Marche
                                        1105 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1K7, CA

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: JennaBean
                                          v
                                          VC429 Jul 19, 2010 11:41 AM

                                          please tell me more about Solo Sushi~~~

                                        2. v
                                          VC429 Jul 19, 2010 11:37 AM

                                          HI gastronom~~
                                          i will recommend Mikado~~if you never been~~

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: VC429
                                            p
                                            Piggy Smalls Jul 20, 2010 07:49 AM

                                            2nd that. Mikado's so good and the price is so reasonable. too bad (for customers) it's getting crowded all the time. the only time to go is a weekday evening.

                                            also whoever thinks yuzu is comparable to japango is crazy. yuzu's overall menu is pretty bland and consists mostly of the same stuff you get at any crappy low end sushi place. they just dress it up nicely.

                                            another decent place that's cheaper than mikado, japango, etc. is il bun ji on bloor between bathurst and christie. i know it's a korean restaurant and all, but their fish is fresh and better than a lot of the random japanese restaurants.

                                            1. re: Piggy Smalls
                                              v
                                              VC429 Jul 20, 2010 11:23 AM

                                              oh thank you for the advice, i will try il bun Ji with my friends soon =D , what do u recommend there??whats their specility?

                                              1. re: VC429
                                                p
                                                Piggy Smalls Jul 20, 2010 01:48 PM

                                                their seafood and bbq are both excellent. i really like the sea bass soup there.

                                                usually we'd go with a bunch of ppl, split a sushi platter and a bbq (the kalbi is really good there, one of the best in the city imo), then i'd get the soup for myself/SO to share.

                                          2. j
                                            jnine Jul 30, 2010 02:01 PM

                                            What about west of Bathurst, south of St. Clair? Any reco's? Can't wait to try Taro's Fish and Sushi Marche and Solo Sushi based on these posts. Is there something closer to downtown or the west end for a weeknight fix?

                                            -----
                                            Sushi Marche
                                            1105 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M1K7, CA

                                            Taro's Fish
                                            800 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M2K, CA

                                            1. w
                                              wano Aug 1, 2010 09:34 AM

                                              Try Nigiri-ya Sushi, it"s not downtown but it is way worth the trip to Leaside.
                                              897 Millwood Road
                                              Toronto, ON
                                              (416) 423-4419

                                              Mikado in Leaside is not even close when it comes to sushi. Would not recommend this place at all. Zen is by far much better.

                                              1. g
                                                greedy_foodie Nov 5, 2010 11:39 AM

                                                I'm happy to see that Mikado has been mentioned on this board! Chef Masuda has been making delcious sushi since 1978! My dining mate and I started with a croquette which was nicely crisp with panko on the outside and tasty potato on the inside. We followed with a nice Chef's sushi dinner each which included a beautiful peice of chu-toro (which we had to have another order of!) and my favorite aji! Interior was a little bit run down but showed character.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: greedy_foodie
                                                  d
                                                  darkly Nov 13, 2010 07:10 PM

                                                  Have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the lunch special at Mazz Sushi at Bloor and Dovercourt. Nicely prepared fresh fish, all served in a six-compartment bento box. Not up to the level of Hero, but by far the best sushi I've had on Bloor.

                                                  -----
                                                  Mazz Restaurant
                                                  993 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6H1M1, CA

                                                2. m
                                                  mayaishi Nov 14, 2010 08:05 AM

                                                  I visited the modest ASA, right across from the Jane St. subway. Sushi was fresh and good value. Sharing with my sister, we were surprised and pleased when the bill was under $20. Very friendly. I can't rate the place as we didn't try anything else from the extensive menu.

                                                  -----
                                                  ASA Sushi
                                                  18 Jane St, Toronto, ON M6S3Y2, CA

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