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Omakase at Omi?

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  • PhilH Mar 14, 2010 09:25 PM
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Has anyone been recently?

I was planning on going for either the omakase at Zen or Omi sometime next month. Wanted some more information to help me decide. Specifically, what's the average price of the omakase like at Omi and what can I expect out of it (raw to cooked dishes ratio, quality of the sushi, etc.) I know they're not really comparable beasts at all but that's kind of why I have a hard time picking one out of the two.

I'm willing to entertain other suggestions as well but fyi I've already read that other recent thread on omakase suggestions http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/680846 which helped me narrow down my options but other relevant data not addressed in it is always welcome (knowledge is power and all that).

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  1. Zen has some of the best traditional sushi you can get in Toronto area. It's sushi omakase only has nigiri sushi and it's sashimi omakase only has sashimi. Make sure you are eating at the bar if going there. It is about $50 for each kind of omakase at Zen.

    Omi, not too sure, after trying their sushi one time (which I have written a report on it earlier), I have stayed away from it and never returned.

    11 Replies
    1. re: skylineR33

      I tried the omakese at Omi at the new location last year & haven't returned since then. My current favorite resto in downtown for sushi & sashimi is Yuzu on Adelaide W.

       
       
      1. re: ace123

        Looks good, how does the omakase work there and how much is it ? Thanks.

        1. re: skylineR33

          The omakase is $75 for 7 - 8 courses. Haven't tried it yet. I usually order a la carte for sushi & sashimi. The varieties & quality of fish there is better than Takesushi (my previous downtown favorite)

          1. re: ace123

            when i went a few times in the fall the rice was a bit mushy and the fish a bit bland and lacking flavour, has this improved? over the past couple years or less there was a marked quality difference from what bruce was putting out at japango and yuzu appeared to be continuing in this direction. i'd be glad to know if it was back up again.

            from what i had seen on the menu previously there was a $50 omakase that was about 5-6 courses, has this also changed?

            as for omi, my experience was maybe about 12 courses.. perhaps up to 13 one time and 6 or 7 another time with just over half cooked and the other half a bit repetitve in the types of fish used. the cooked dishes were among the standouts though we had a lovely albacore tuna there.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              The omakase has been changed to $75. I did not enjoy Japango that much as the seats were too close together.
              You may noticed the presentation at Yuzu has improved a lot when compared with last fall.
              I ordered mostly sashimi. As for the rice, I found it acceptable.

              1. re: ace123

                i'm not very concerned with presentation as long as the ingredients stand up for themselves, well unless it looks mangled. the photos you've taken don't look very different from what i saw come out for omakases in the fall. one of my concerns with his presentation was the overwhelming flavours of some of his garnishes.

                i am pleasantly surprised by the wasabi root in your photo. is this generally available or inconsistent or a treat for regulars as bruce is prone to do?

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  The pictures were for a la carte at Yuzu. They used to present them in traditional way, which I had no problem with it at all.
                  I found the selection/quality of fish there quite good for downtown.
                  As for presentation, it's a bonus. Those garnishes provide more choices to the entire experience.
                  The wasabi is not generally available & it was offered by Bruce.

                   
                   
                   
                   
                  1. re: ace123

                    ah, he has anago! that's reason enough to go. sounds like things may be improving, i'll be sure to stop by.

                    1. re: ace123

                      Those pictures look great! Can you comment on the cooked dishes in the omakase at both places (quality/variety, what is typically served)?

                      1. re: Underdog Rally

                        Zen's sushi omakase & sashimi omakase are strictly raw items, no cooked food.
                        I haven't tried the omakase at Yuzu yet.

          2. re: ace123

            I have to agree that I do like the sushi & sashimi at Yuzu for downtown (Zen when I'm not). I too have yet to try the omakase though. Yuzu has some fun sake cocktails too.

        2. Ahh. This pretty much cinched it for Zen then. My friend and I were planning on hitting up Inatei sometime before as well. And now I've got Yuzu on my target sights. I kind of discounted Yuzu from the original equation due to the reports I kept hearing of Japango losing a bit of its touch over the last couple of months. Glad to hear that's not really the case for Yuzu. Somewhere in all this, I want to visit Mikado and Solo Sushi Gekkan just to get a more complete picture.

          Oh, my wallet is not going to enjoy this. Not one bit at all.

          4 Replies
          1. re: PhilH

            for what it's worth, bekkan was not a very good experience for me. it was only one time but the mushy shari was bundled tightly and in large amounts and was unpleasant to eat. the selection of fish was limited and the flavour was fair at best. it would have had to have been a VERY off day to convince me to try it again. we were able to get a reasonable sampling of the raw side of the menu for $30pp.

            i really really enjoy mikado.

            1. re: PhilH

              The first & only time I went to Bekkan, I ordered Chirashi. The tobiko was off & I had to return it.
              Here's a picture of sashima omakase at Zen. Enjoy!

               
              1. re: PhilH

                Scratch Bekkan off that list then.

                Is Bruce strictly at Yuzu these days or does he move back and forth between it and Japango?

                -----
                Japango
                122 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G1P5, CA

                1. re: PhilH

                  Bruce hasn't been at Japango afaik since Yuzu opened.

                  -----
                  Japango
                  122 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G1P5, CA

              2. I've been to both fairly recently. Omi and Zen are both great choices. I'm a regular at Omi, so I'm not quite certain how the one-timers on the board can judge and I'm fairly certain it isn't his food they're judging.

                Omi is spectacularly creative and non-traditional. The omakase runs several courses, some cooked some raw all good to great. Giving ratios would be near-impossible because John Lee switches it up so often. While his greatest hits are usually present I always expect the unexpected. Oh and to be knocked out. Good, but small wine and sake selections.

                Zen is tightly traditional and allows the quality of the ingredients to speak for themselves. They don't do what I consider to be omakase, but rather a single chef's plate. If you sit at the bar, you'll be served each item one-at-a-time. If you take a booth across from the bar you receive everything at once.

                Really it comes down to mood. If you'd like a quiet, traditional night then it's Zen. If you want a lively and surprising night then it's Omi.

                -----
                Omi
                243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                26 Replies
                1. re: Googs

                  It is the food at Omi that I am judging, it is pretty bad, the rice, fish and knife work are all wrong. There is not one single sushi on my plate that is done right and this is what makes me stay away from it.

                  I have eaten sushi omakase all over Japan and the format of Zen's sushi omakase is the closest to those in Japan.

                  1. re: skylineR33

                    Yes, but you've only eaten one $13 lunch at Omi and that was over a year ago. That isn't enough experience to judge any restaurant, whether it's right here in Toronto or all over Japan.

                    -----
                    Omi
                    243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                    1. re: Googs

                      If a sushi restaurant cannot make even one piece of sushi right on my $13 lunch and do all the basic wrong, it is bad listed from me. I have a minimum requirement that I expect to see when I go to a sushi restaurant. If Omi is good enough for you, fine, but one time is enough for me, I won't spend anymore money on it. My experience at Omi is they don't even know how to cut a piece of fish properly...etc.

                      1. re: skylineR33

                        I dine there every month or so. I always go omakase. I always sit within viewing range of the sushi bar. I'm always astounded at the knife skills of the young man cutting and of course of Johnny's. The young, ball-capped man has learned much in his time there. Johnny was quite right to choose him. He has a knack for spotting future talent. You should try to have a current experience. If you still feel the same, fine. I sincerely and deeply feel that you would not.

                        1. re: Googs

                          Googs, your back and forth with SkylineR33 has convinced me personally to give OMI a try

                          1. re: Googs

                            Yeah, seems like we have different standard on sushi or maybe things has changed at Omi. Hard to imagine there is any spotting future talent there with great knife work which sounds like joke to me. Let's see if it gets more positive report first, then I may consider a trip to visit Omi again. Otherwise, I just waste money on another AYCE quality food.

                            1. re: Googs

                              I tried 7 different dishes on the regular menu last night, most of which were good to great.

                              I won't comment on the knife work, since I admit I don't know much about that. The fish quality (taste-wise and appearance-wise) was much, much higher than any AYCE-quality fish I have encountered, although my AYCE experience is limited to a few meals at Sushi on Bloor, Katsui Sushi and Sushi Island, and it's been at least 3 years since I've had any AYCE sushi. I'm sensitive to off-tasting fish and seafood, and have been increasingly selective about where I eat cooked or raw seafood in Toronto.

                              The slices of fish on the nigiri sushi and sashimi were thinner than some more traditional places I like to visit, but I didn't hold this against Omi because I figure there's variation from one chef to another and from one restaurant to another. At the fairly reasonable prices they were charging (for a nice restaurant), and taking the ambiance and style of restaurant into consideration, I wasn't expecting generous slices of fish.

                              This place is not charging Kaji prices, so I'm not expecting Kaji skill or Kaji sophistication. I haven't been to Zen so I can't compare Omi to Zen, but I would think comparing a creative/contemporary Korean influenced non-Japanese omakase to a traditional Japanese omakase would be comparing apples to oranges.

                              Would some/most of items that form the omakase be on the regular menu/list on monthly specials? Or are they for the most part, completely different dishes than those that are offered on the menu? Are the dishes served as part of the omakase tastier or equally tasty to the dishes on the regular menu?

                              I liked the spicy tuna maki (I know, I know, inauthentic, but I like it) and unagi/avocado maki, the galbi, the sashimi with spicy noodles. The spicy chicken (with asparagus and sweet potato)and the sushi plate were quite good considering the price point, but the fried calamari with mango wasn't great (tough squid, undercooked mushy batter).

                              Three of us shared 7 dishes, 1 pop and 2 gratis teas, which at $86 inc, tax. I thought it was reasonably priced, and I'd definitely return, hopefully for the omakase next time. I can't think of any other place besides Omi where I'd be able to get a creative and tasty dinner for $35-$40, including tax and tip.

                              1. re: phoenikia

                                phoenika, you receive some items from the regular menu and some surprises. I also note that the nigiri is markedly better, that is to say more creative and diverse, than ordering a fixed sushi dinner. The omakase is also available, and from my experience very enjoyable, in a sustainable version. You would need to give at least a week's notice if you wanted to go that route.

                                Agreed on the calamari. That dish doesn't work for me either. It's progressed, but not nearly enough. Perhaps time to drop the idea.

                                skylineR33, I have watched who he's hired over the years. It's clear he's given many a young person, new to the country a break. Good on him. More employers should be like that. Plus he's kind to them.

                                I pondered the progression of Omi and found something that I find telling though not definitive. The following is a collection of reviews in chronological order. You can see the progress as each month passes.

                                http://www.nowtoronto.com/food/recent...

                                http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/...

                                http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/f...

                                http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/f...

                                http://www.torontolife.com/features/s...

                                http://www.nowtoronto.com/bestof/best...

                                -----
                                Omi
                                243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                1. re: Googs

                                  Thanks for your comments & links, Googs. How much does the sustainable sushi omakase usually cost?

                                  1. re: Googs

                                    Chalk another one up for Omi. Another "best of" list.
                                    http://www.nowtoronto.com/food/restau...

                                    http://www.nowtoronto.com/food/venue....

                                    -----
                                    Omi
                                    243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                    1. re: Googs

                                      Hmmm, looks interesting! How's the shari at Omi. That's make or break for me...bland shari even with the freshest fish is just...so-so. Good shari, on the other hand, I could probably eat on its own! :-)

                                      -----
                                      Omi
                                      243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                      1. re: Googs

                                        What a list, Zen and Kaji are not there and China House is the best chinese restaurant ?! haha.

                                        1. re: skylineR33

                                          yeah, the list is kinda ridiculous. But the opening section talks about 'downtown dining', so I am thinking maybe they have a geographically limited sense of Toronto that doesnt go beyond, say, Eglinton and Bathurst...which is by its own of course kinda ridiculous

                                          1. re: shekamoo

                                            Yeah, it's limited to downtown Toronto. No best of Etobicoke, Scarborough, or Markham there.

                                            1. re: Googs

                                              Sarcasm appreciated, but a list limited to downtown Toronto that includes places on Eglinton?! I don't know.

                                              1. re: shekamoo

                                                China House is picked as the best or one of the Chinese restaurant to dine in Toronto (whether it downtown or the whole GTA.....), no wonder Omi is on the list as well. They are kind of similar and I can see why some people enjoys this kind of things and think they are the best, fusion kind of stuffs... but once people get out of that boundaries, there are a lots more things much better.

                                    2. re: phoenikia

                                      I saw you mention this on your tweet last night. I'm glad you had a good meal. We haven't been back since it basically opened (lazy), but in the past, I've always enjoyed OMI very much.

                                      We had a very memorable Bim bim bap: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/2... that I recall had some phenomenally tasty rice.

                                      I also love that in this incarnation, that he's gone and pulled more Korean influences than in his previous space.

                                      ... I really should go back. It's been a while!

                                      1. re: phoenikia

                                        Thank you for your report. Yes, Omi and Zen are two different kinds of restaurant, eventhough I think the quality of food is much higher at Zen. Next time if I am in a mood for some Korean influenced food, spicy tuna maki, unagi with avocado maki and sashimi with spicy noodles or a nice Bim bim bap, I may consider Omi again.

                                        1. re: skylineR33

                                          He can and does do clean lines (read: no avocado). His Uni is positively sublime. But, yes, he mixes it up quite a bit. It's fun!

                                          1. re: Googs

                                            He does clean lines good?! Not from my experience and most of the report says Korean influenced fusion kind of food are better there. What kind of uni does he use there ?

                                            1. re: skylineR33

                                              IIRC it was Alaskan. He doesn't serve it all the time, only seasonally. He lets me pets its waving spines before I eat it so I'm thinkin' pretty fresh. Let me know if you want more info. I don't want to bore anyone who isn't a sushi nerd.

                                              1. re: Googs

                                                I see, tried this kind of spine fresh uni before, comparable to BC's but kind of mild in taste compared to ezo bafun sea urchin.

                                                1. re: skylineR33

                                                  Which is probably why I love it so much. Subtlety is not lost on me. It's a 'When Harry Met Sally, I'll have what she's having' moment.

                                                  1. re: Googs

                                                    If you want that type of sea urchin, Inatei also get it seasonally, same quality. What I mean is Alaskan red sea urchin is not on the same level of sweetness of Ezo Bafun sea urchin, give it a try if you have a chance.

                                                    1. re: skylineR33

                                                      As I said, IIRC it was Alaskan. It may not have been. Wherever it was from it was AH-mazing. Omi's uni surpassed every other uni I've had in this city and you know that includes ALL of the heavy hitters. Don't talk to me about Japan. We ain't there baby.

                                                      -----
                                                      Omi
                                                      243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                                      1. re: Googs

                                                        No, I am not talking about Japan here.

                            2. I was there recently to check out the omakase. We had seven courses (they did not have the ice cream for the 8th course, so they gave us plum sake but I took just one sip as I was driving), and I totally enjoyed the experience. It is truly an adventure trying their dishes. One point I noted is that the chef seems to have a liking to garlic oil, which I thought I detected in a number of dishes.
                              On the whole, I liked the experience. This is my first omakase experience, so I will definitely try out other restaurants too.
                              eatdrinklovelife.blogspot.com

                              -----
                              Omi
                              243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                               
                              5 Replies
                              1. re: eatdrinklovelife

                                In the catfish course, you mentioned there are different types of wasabi used. However, there is only one wasabi which can come from different region or country, and whether it is real or not. Wasabi is always green in color and those that is white in your picture probably is horseradish, not wasabi. Wasabi used at Omi is probably fake, I doubt they use any real one.

                                I found the use of garlic oil at the level of Omi masks any real taste from the fish, whether the fish is fresh or not. And I am not sure why Omi thinks garlic oil goes well with so many fish as he applies it all the time.

                                1. re: skylineR33

                                  The wasabi in the picture is green.

                                  1. re: Googs

                                    Of course the wasabi is green in color in that Catfish course, but OP said there are different kinds of wasabi in that picture, and I am saying that white stuff which is applied on the same level of position in that course is not wasabi because there is only one wasabi and the real one has only one kind of grean, if you know what wasabi is.

                                    1. re: skylineR33

                                      My understanding, and I stand to be corrected, is that the real wasabi is very rarely used because it is very expensive and is perishable. Most of the restaurants use horseradish, food colouring etc.
                                      Again, this is what I have read but I might be wrong.

                                      1. re: eatdrinklovelife

                                        Yes, real wasabi is rarely used in Toronto's Japanese restaurant. You can still find it in some restaurant in Toronto.

                                        But whether the wasabi is faked or real, whether it is made from horseradish with a litte bit or some wasabi, or pure chemical powder with colouring...etc, it is green in color, it is always coloured to green at the end for the faked one. If it is not green, it cannot be even called wasabi, whether it is faked or real.

                                        When you said different kind of wasabi in your Omi omakase (inside your review), what exactly are you referring to then ? Are you saying that white stuffs on top on the catfish is also wasabi ?

                              2. I just went to Omi a couple of weeks ago with my SO and I have to say, the overall experience was TERRIBLE. First, the service was slow (although there were only 2 tables there for most of the time we were there). The waitress kept forgetting my drink orders and I had to ask her three times for a hot tea. IMO this is unacceptable at a high end restaurant like Omi.

                                Also, the other table there was a table of 3 businessmen. The owner was VERY friendly to that table, chatted with them, brough out extra Jack Daniels shots and drank with them. The whole time, my SO and I were completely ignored by the staff and we could not even get their attention until near the end of the meal, when my SO couldn't stand it anymore, and started to speak to them in Korean. They then apologized to her in Korean, but were still slow with our orders. At the end, when we left the restaurant, I turned around to say bye/thank you to the staff/owner and they were all at a table, speaking obnoxiously loud in Korean, and didn't even look up at us at all. Needless to say, after experiencing that type of service, we're never going back.

                                Now on to the food. We ordered the torched scallop pizza, some sushi, omakase, and another order of noodles (which I specifically asked them to bring for us at the end of the meal, which they then brought to us first). To be honest, none of the dishes impressed us much. We've had much better omakase elsewhere at Ematei, Mikado, etc. The sushi was good, but there are definitely other restaurants in Toronto with similar quality sushi at a similar price...and much better service. Overall, I just found the food to be above average but nothing spectacular, and I feel like I can get a much better bang for my bucks elsewhere for either sushi or cooked foods.

                                -----
                                Ematei
                                30 Saint Patrick St, Toronto, ON M5T3A3, CA

                                Omi
                                243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Piggy Smalls

                                  Thank you for your review. I am getting more and more the sense that OMI is the type of place where people get either special or subpar treatment.

                                  1. re: shekamoo

                                    Chalk me up as a person who has visited Omi multiple times and never experienced the extremes of service you refer to. At busy times it has been a little scattered, but the food makes up for that in spades.

                                    -----
                                    Omi
                                    243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                    1. re: dxs

                                      glad to be mistaken on this, just the sense I am getting from the posts overall

                                  2. re: Piggy Smalls

                                    That's odd. I never knew there was any Jack Daniels at Omi. It's certainly not on the menu. Also strange, I've never, in all my years of dining there, ever seen John Lee drink either.

                                    Piggy, you were at the Omi on Carlton and not O Mi on Church St, yes? I'm not doubting the veracity of your claim, but find the whole thing odd.

                                    -----
                                    Omi
                                    243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                    1. re: Googs

                                      hey there. haven't checked this post in a while, but yeah it was Omi on carlton/parliament not O Mi on church.

                                      i think it was just near the end of the night so they took some time to relax with the business men next table? who knows.

                                      at the end of the day, for the price i can get sushi elsewhere in the city. Hiro, Mikado, Japango, etc. etc. all have great sushi and the chefs are all super friendly to chat with at the sushi bar.

                                      -----
                                      Japango
                                      122 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G1P5, CA

                                      Omi
                                      243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                  3. I guess the two most obvious criticisms I had of it when I dined there where that all except one of my Nigiri had garlic oil on it. The fish was fresh but the variety of fish was pedestrian as was the Shari, and for the price I thought I could have spent my money better somewhere else. That said, I didn't try their Omakase.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                                      Your views on Omi are pretty close to my own. I have, however, tried their omakase, which included some pretty good Korean cooked dishes.

                                      -----
                                      Omi
                                      243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                    2. What is the address for Zen?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: bunnybunny

                                        zenjapaneserestaurant.com/

                                      2. I tried the Omakase. the cooked items were generally good, if not special. the raw fish ranged from an acceptable but limited selection of sashimi, to mediocre rolls which sounded more exciting on paper, to surprisingly low quality nigiri with shari about the quality of AYCE places. service was very good, the place was almost packed when we left. all in all it was ok, but at this price range, I wont be back. No 'real' wasabi was used as far as I could tell

                                        17 Replies
                                        1. re: shekamoo

                                          That's why Toronto Life has been gradually downgrading it to a now mediocre and pathetic one star!!!

                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                            Toronto Life...that's where they rate no Chinese restaurant in the Toronto area higher than 2 and half stars...and only a place called Dun Huang???? and Lai Toh Heen are getting even that lofty ranking. Lai Wah Heen gets 2 stars! Don't think I'll be using Toronto Life very much as a guide to any Toronto restaurant....

                                            1. re: T Long

                                              Irrespective, their gradual downgrading is a sign of a restaurant going downhill

                                              As for LWH, their dinner is 'inconsistent' due to coming and going of executive/guest chefs. Thus possible non-stellar rating.

                                              Agree with you that overall, TL has lots of debatable reviews and rating. Most questionable was the 4.5 stars they gave to the Eigensinn Farm! I wasn't impressed with their food at all! To call the food 'near perfection' is a joke!! Even when Robuchon was manning his restaurant Jamin's kitchen in Paris, there were flaws in some of the dishes!!

                                              But then, if not TL, which??!! Zagat?! Even our Chowhound has its flaws with sometimes totally diverse viewpoints! Our 'Susur' was a fine example!!!

                                              1. re: Charles Yu

                                                For me the only thing that is valid is to form my own opinion by trying something firsthand...(and even that has variables like maybe I ordered the wrong dish, or the kitchen has had an off night, or I haven't been there for several months). Other's opinions such as TL's and Chowhound posters' can be a guide, but I think they should be tested against one's own taste. For example, I might notice that another poster will often mirror my own opinion...so for their posts I will take more notice. For a publication like TL whose ratings seems so contrary to my own, I will only use with caution (and a chuckle). There are no absolutes and viewpoints no matter how diverse are still valid if given firsthand and honestly....one does not have to agree with other's viewpoints....how boring that would be. My own view of Omi will wait until I've actually dined there...until then, I've have enjoyed reading the diverse opinions here. As an aside, I noted that many of my favorite restaurants are rated rather low by TL....places like the Gallery Grill, Osgoode Hall Restaurant and Bistro Camino all have ratings similar to LWH (2 stars) or lower. I'm chuckling now (with respect).

                                                -----
                                                Gallery Grill
                                                7 Hart House Cir, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

                                                Bistro Camino
                                                2750 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4C1L7, CA

                                                Osgoode Hall
                                                130 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N6, CA

                                                1. re: T Long

                                                  T Long, I think Charles mainly use the "star" to indicate Omi is going down in quality. You are right though, I would not trust Toronto Life too much. How can they give Omi one star, it should be no star. With what you are saying, how long ago have you been trying LWH that you think it has to be higher than 2 stars in your reference ?

                                                  1. re: skylineR33

                                                    Do you think it only deserves the 2 stars?.....interesting. I've read your recent comments about LWH. Yes, its been a few years actually since I've tried LWH. Protecting my pocketbook is the main reason for that. Back then, it was by far the best Chinese restaurant in the Toronto area. Nothing I've tried in the TO area since has surpassed those experiences. I'm just surprised LWH would not still be considered the best of the breed. Btw, which establishment is your nomination? And what rating should this best Cantonese restaurant in Toronto deserve? For eg. if Sam Woo BBQ (where I've gone more recently) gets 1 and half stars, I would have thought LWH deserved more than a half star better. Now, If it has changed since I last went, it must have changed dramatically. Btw, what do you think of Dun Huang? (I've never been there).

                                                  2. re: T Long

                                                    With respect T Long, You make it sound as if this is all a matter of subjective opinion. well, I say this: if someone is of the opinion that the quality of nigiri in Omi is equal to Zen their opinion is objectively false. Now, they could go on and still maintain that they like Omi nigiri more than Zen. That enters the realm of purely subjective opinion, but at that point, who cares what someone else likes to eat anyways.

                                                    1. re: shekamoo

                                                      We can agree to disagree. For me, the bottom line is discovering places I would like to eat at which of course is based on my subjective opinion. I do enjoy reading all the (subjective) opinions expressed here and hopefully at the same time am expanding my knowledge base of foods and different restaurants.

                                                      1. re: T Long

                                                        Are you saying ALL the opinions on Chowhound here are subjective ? I disagree with this. Using LWH as an example (which you are similar with), if a chowhounder said its dim sum is overall better than any dim sum restaurant in Markham, is it a subjective opinion ? No, I don't think so. Of course, I also agree with shekamoo that Omi's nigiri is not equal to Zen, which is not a subjective opinion.

                                                        Back to your question, if Sam Woo of Scarborough is 1.5 star, I think LWH deserves 3 stars. Dunhuang is a very mediocre restaurant. Best Chinese restaurant in Toronto ? I don't know how to answer this because different restaurant has dishes they are good at. But I like LWH and Omei for Cantonese food.

                                                        1. re: skylineR33

                                                          You guys had me checking the dictionary, but yeah that's what I'm saying...I think all opinions on Chowhound are personal or subjective. Let's not get hung up on this point...just agree to disagree. Skyline: I find your opinions (or what you might call statements of fact) have a lot of substance and currency.... and your knowledge base seems to far exceeds mine. On most occasions when I can compare my own experiences/opinions (or what...) with yours, I find similarity.....just not always (because I'm not you). Cheers.

                                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                                            Charles, I'm having a difficult time convincing hubby the looooong trip to Kaji is worth it. I mean, we like it, but did I mention it's a looooooong trip? Have you been lately and, if so, is there anything really astounding going on?

                                                            1. re: Googs

                                                              Agree with you that the trip is a looooong one! For me from Richmond Hill, its like half way to Buffalo!
                                                              Last time I went was at least six months ago! SkylineR33 might provide better input since I think he went quite recently?

                                                              1. re: Googs

                                                                It's not that far if you drive. It's definitely worth going, and, considering you enjoy Omi, you'd probably also enjoy Kaji (raw dishes can be less traditional, cooked dishes, etc.). The food is quite good, but if you have an issue with spending that much money on dinner, don't bother. I haven't been in about a year (my last meal there was before I left for Paris), but the food was as good as always. I'm a regular, though, like you are at Omi.

                                                                People travel around the world for good food. I don't see why one wouldn't bother traveling within the same city for food (even if the state of the GTA's transit system is dire).

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                                                                Omi
                                                                243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                                                                1. re: tjr

                                                                  When it comes to sushi in general and specifically Japanese cuisine, money's no object. I happily pay for creations I wouldn't even think of let alone be capable of making.

                                                                  The distance issue is largely that, living downtown, we don't need nor own a car. That means a rental. That adds a, "Boy this better be worth it" that can't be replicated any other way element. Mainly for me, though, a long drive is the last thing I want after a satisfying meal. It can really take the glow off the night. I'd have to be saying something more than "we liked it".

                                                                  If there's something currently happening at Kaji that would cause hubby's eyes to light up, I'd give it a whirl.

                                                                  1. re: Googs

                                                                    If money's no object, take a cab. Or, you know, rent a limo or something.

                                                                    1. re: tjr

                                                                      Oops. Allow me to clarify. I'll spend what it takes for food and wine, not livery services. That'd just be crazy. Has anyone been to Kaji lately?

                                                    2. re: Charles Yu

                                                      >>"Even our Chowhound has its flaws with sometimes totally diverse viewpoints!"<<

                                                      Charles, I would have to respectfully disagree. Diverse viewpoints/experiences are hardly a flaw; one possible explanation for this range of opinions may be that it is indicative of the inconsistencies of the restaurant.

                                                      With that said, I have never dined at Omi so I cannot offer an opinion...

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                                                      Omi
                                                      243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA