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Good omakase for dinner in GTA excluding kaji

FireEscape12 Dec 11, 2009 01:50 AM

Hey guys. I've never had a omakase before and I have been wanting to try one for a while. I'm looking for a omakase with cooked and raw food so I guess that rules out Zen. I'm not a picky eater so I'm willing to try it all. Anyone have any suggestions. All the posts about omakase's seem out of date and I was wondering if anyone has been to any recently and what their opinions were.

I have a car so all restaurants are accessible.

Has anyone been to any of these restaurants recently and had their omakase?

Solo Sushi Ya/Bekkan
Cafe Michi

If there are anymore please share XD

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  1. Notorious P.I.G. RE: FireEscape12 Dec 11, 2009 02:40 AM

    I would go to Zen, get the Sushi Omakase and order some cooked side dishes along with it. I've never been to Solo Sushi but the quality at Zen is superior to the others on your list. I had the Omakase at Cafe Michi a little while back and it was alright. Nice little assortment of small apps, followed by a snow crab karokke, some pedestrian sushi, and a nice whole Hamachi Collar. Decent but I would still go to Zen over Michi.

    Haven't been to Aoyama in awhile so can't really comment on it. Last time I was there it was good but I've heard it's gone downhill a bit. Just hearsay though, I would return based on my last visit.

    Never done the Omakase at Ematei, I always go a la carte there.

    Question, why rule Kaji out?

    19 Replies
    1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
      Charles Yu RE: Notorious P.I.G. Dec 11, 2009 03:15 AM

      Zen has the best quality and selection of fish and seafood. The shari ( rice ) of the sushi is amongst the best in Toronto in terms of texture and seasoning.
      For the same money, Solo and Aoyama's Omakase compare pretty close with Solo's presentation a bit more artistic. However, if you are willing to spend say about $20 more. Aoyama will provide you with better fish and seafood selection for your sushi/sashimi as well as may be throw in a piece of Wagyu beef or two. The sauteed lobster tail of Aoyama's with its addictive aroma is worth the visit.
      However, the new Japanese restaurant Inatei that just opened up on the east side of Leslie north of Hwy#7 has the most adventurous menu and varied and rare fish selection. ( That was over a month ago, haven't been back since ). Again, depending on the amount of money you are willing to spend, they will provide you with quality of food that matches the $$ accordingly, say live Uni in the shell or Wagyu beef etc. Better to call ahead a check about availability.
      However, none of the above have cooked food that matches Kaji. But then Kaji is about $50 more expensive!
      Good Luck!

      1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
        FireEscape12 RE: Notorious P.I.G. Dec 11, 2009 04:50 AM

        Heh just that when I go to kaji I want to get the 120$ omakase... which is something I can't quite afford yet. Haha soon soon!

        1. re: FireEscape12
          Notorious P.I.G. RE: FireEscape12 Dec 11, 2009 04:54 AM

          Yeah, you can't just go in there and get the $80 can you...

          1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
            1sweetpea RE: Notorious P.I.G. Dec 11, 2009 04:58 AM

            Both Hiro Sushi and Omi offer omakase, as does Ame. I believe all three will do a mix of cooked and raw dishes, especially if you specify that it's what you want.

            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
              FireEscape12 RE: Notorious P.I.G. Dec 11, 2009 05:04 AM

              haha doesn't seem like it. For the first time I think.. go big or go home sounds about right. I want the full experience the first time.

              Regarding Zen.. any recommendations on the cooked dishes? Is the sashimi beef worth having there?

              1. re: FireEscape12
                Notorious P.I.G. RE: FireEscape12 Dec 11, 2009 05:19 AM

                That's the spirit.

                I usually go with the Anago Tempura as a staple among other things, most all of the cooked dishes are good there. I have never had the beef sashimi so I can't vouch for it but I would imagine that it's at the same level as the rest of the food.

                1. re: FireEscape12
                  Notorious P.I.G. RE: FireEscape12 Dec 11, 2009 05:22 AM

                  Oh, also, if you do end up going to Zen I would be sure to make a reservation a couple days in advance at least. They fill up very quickly. More so on weekends.

                  1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                    aser RE: Notorious P.I.G. Apr 6, 2010 09:51 PM

                    Reservation is recommended if you want to sit at the bar, and if you want to be served nigiri one at a time. The majority of the times they'll do that for you if you're at the bar. Also makes it easier to ask for additional pieces after the omakase's been finished. I haven't been charged when asking for more, but I've never pushed it beyond 1 or 2.

                    I really like the cooked food at Solo, it rivals Kaji sometimes imo, w/o the fusion elements found at Kaji. His chawanmushi is the best I've had in Toronto. I have no idea which days he spends uptown vs downtown.

                    Ematei is strictly cooked food for me, I had ankimo there last weekend and it was pretty good. It's listed as a special on the place card.

                    My fav dish at Ematei is their enrigi/king musrhooms in butter. So simple but executed perfectly.

                    Cafe Michi is predictable, their fish selection never really changes much. I never do omakase there anymore, the chirashi is a better deal for the same fish selection.

                    30 Saint Patrick St, Toronto, ON M5T3A3, CA

                    1. re: aser
                      Notorious P.I.G. RE: aser Apr 7, 2010 12:50 AM

                      I have to try Solo out. I've never been and hear good things.

                      Ematei is getting the Ankimo in pretty regularly now and it is good. I like all Ankimo though, it's probably one of my favorite things.

                      30 Saint Patrick St, Toronto, ON M5T3A3, CA

                  2. re: FireEscape12
                    Googs RE: FireEscape12 Dec 11, 2009 06:42 AM

                    Never met a dish at Zen I didn't like. Go nuts.

                    1. re: Googs
                      jennjen18 RE: Googs Apr 6, 2010 06:49 PM

                      Zen's omikase - it's all fish? Just wanted to make sure - it's not a mixture of cooked and raw?

                      What about Cafe Michi? They're both around the same price point, ...

                      I'm just learning about Aoyama.. how much do they charge? I see that they do both cooked and raw...

                      The choices!!!

                      1. re: jennjen18
                        Notorious P.I.G. RE: jennjen18 Apr 6, 2010 07:10 PM

                        Zen = All Fish.

                        Michi/Aoyama = Cooked/Raw

                        I went to Aoyama last night and got my usual all sushi Omakase. I usually tell them $50 just for Nigiri Sushi and leave the selection up to them. Had a nice King Crab Nigiri and some nice Fluke Fin.

                        Aoyama's Cooked/Raw Omakase is $40 and $60 dollars I think. Can't be 100% sure though.

                        2766 Victoria Park Ave, Toronto, ON M2J4A8, CA

                        1. re: jennjen18
                          Notorious P.I.G. RE: jennjen18 Apr 6, 2010 07:11 PM

                          Also, as a side note, I really love the Cafe Au Lait Chirashi at Michi. I think it is their strongest dish.

                          1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                            skylineR33 RE: Notorious P.I.G. Apr 6, 2010 07:19 PM

                            Haha, 9 times out of 10 I order Cafe Au Lait when I visited Michi ! It is the dish I like the most there too.

                            I had the Engawa, the part near the fluke fin at Aoyama before as well, it is not bad !

                            So you like the sushi at Aoyama ? I have not visited it for a while because the last couple of time I was there, their food is really not that great.

                            1. re: skylineR33
                              Charles Yu RE: skylineR33 Apr 6, 2010 08:41 PM

                              How is Inatei these days? Still got a good selection of 'special fresh' fish from Japan? Their $70 Omakase was not bad!

                              1. re: Charles Yu
                                skylineR33 RE: Charles Yu Apr 7, 2010 07:50 AM

                                I was there a couple of weeks ago, still see a good variety of "Daily Fresh", but not sure how many of them are actually from Japan. Great quality botan shrimp and fresh sea urchin sashimi. However, nigiri sushi has been going downhill there on my visits.

                              2. re: skylineR33
                                graydyn RE: skylineR33 Apr 6, 2010 10:44 PM

                                Could you guys stop teasing us and please tell us what the hell a Cafe Au Lait Chirashi is?

                                Cafe Au Lait
                                3466 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6S2S1, CA

                                1. re: graydyn
                                  Notorious P.I.G. RE: graydyn Apr 7, 2010 12:27 AM

                                  It's Le Cafe Michi's version of Chirashi Don which is essentially raw fish and other toppings on top of a bed of vinegared Rice. The rice is similar to Sushi rice but can vary in technique and ingredients, and is also, often stronger in taste using less sugar and more vinegar.

                                  Regarding Le Cafe Michi's Chirashi Don particularly, I like it because the top layer is done Kanto style with around 9 different varieties of fish while the rice is actually almost similar to the beginning layers of a bowl of Bara Chirashi which is a different kind of Donburi from the Kansai region. The Chirashi Don at Michi is similar to Bara Chirashi because they slice Tamago and Unagi and add it to the rice at the bottom with a bit of sesame seeds.

                                  It's a bit expensive at around $32 I believe, but I always end up full after it and they put a lot of care into the preparation.

                                  Le Cafe Michi
                                  1802 Pharmacy Ave, Toronto, ON M1T1H6, CA

                                2. re: skylineR33
                                  Notorious P.I.G. RE: skylineR33 Apr 7, 2010 12:45 AM

                                  Yeah, it's great. I don't like the rice in their Nigiri there (too much/packed too hard) but their ChirashiZushi is well done.

                                  I find that Aoyama surprises me a fair amount of the time. I've had great sushi there and I've had just average sushi there. I think that they are just inconsistent. My cousin went there a little while back and he said that his meal wasn't very good compared to his previous meal which was nicely done.

                                  I do get a couple pieces of interesting Nigiri every time I go. I find that I get the best performance from Endo San when the restaurant is not busy and he can devote his time to his preparation. In the past I have had Ankimo Gunkan Maki, Kani Miso Gunkan Maki, and like yourself Engawa. Which are nice surprises for me.

                                  The rice at Aoyama was a little better than usual a couple days ago but still a bit hard, and a bit sticky. I think it sits there all night uncovered or something. They could definitely store it a bit better.

                                  I visit Aoyama when Michi or Zen is closed, usually a Monday, and have been nicely surprised in the past. That said, it is a second string choice for me.

                                  2766 Victoria Park Ave, Toronto, ON M2J4A8, CA

                  3. j
                    jenCH RE: FireEscape12 Apr 7, 2010 12:56 PM

                    Kaiseki Sakura! http://kaisekisakura.com/
                    I dream about their food!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: jenCH
                      Notorious P.I.G. RE: jenCH Apr 7, 2010 02:00 PM

                      Anyone else been there lately? The last time I went their food was going down hill really fast but a friend of mine went recently and his meal looked good. (in pictures)

                      1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                        aser RE: Notorious P.I.G. Apr 7, 2010 08:54 PM

                        They've been trying to sell their restaurant a few months ago, I saw a listing. Not sure if they're still for sale.

                        1. re: aser
                          Notorious P.I.G. RE: aser Apr 7, 2010 09:02 PM


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