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Shockingly dissapointed with Sushi Marche

SM used to be my go to take out spot for sushi and I've never been disappointed til last week.
The uni was rank (could smell it before it got anywhere near my mouth), the rolls fell apart as I picked it up and the sashimi just wasn't their usual fresh beautiful self. Ended up throwing quite a bit away.

One off chance or has the owner changed?

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

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  1. Oh my, that's not good. Lately, I have been ordering the vegetarian rolls and sushi combo, so haven't had fish. Haven't had any problem with things falling apart, and the rolls were tasty and fresh.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Full tummy

      Maybe (i hope) it was just an off night. They're usually so damn good!

      1. re: hotsauce28

        i've also experienced a decrease in quality over the past couple of months. most importantly, the fish has not been as fresh as usual. have also found the portions to be not as generous as before. for a $50 order, if you want more than one soup OR salad, there is now a charge of $3 (apparently there was a limited time offer special on complimentary soup and salad which i had gotten used to). i am hoping that this is just a blip and that quality and service both soon return to their previous levels. i used to be a once a week orderer and am now down to ordering very occasionally.

        1. re: amermaid

          The problem is that John and his wife aren't there a lot of the time these days and there are these power-trippers who try to pull that "choose soup or salad" crap - I always tell them forget it, I want both.

          I've had some very good meals from there recently, but I have had a few blips too. My ordering has decreased a tad, gotta be said, and I'm a fan of the place.

      2. re: Full tummy

        I used to go there on a weekly basis when I lived on the Danforth, as there weren't a lot of good take out options in the area. Sadly, the last couple of times I ordered sushi, the fish had obviously been frozen at some point as it had a mushy texture to it. I'm not sure of the status of the restaurant lately as I now go to Mikado for my sushi.

      3. Oh dear, I was hoping it was just me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jane.T

          I never understood the fuss about this place. I tried it several times, for takeout, and was dissapointed by the huge ratio of rice to fish. Once home, I always had to disasemble it - get rid of most of the rice. And the rice didn't even taste the way authentic sushi rice should. there was none of the warmth and sweet vinegar action.
          Loblaws has a Bento Box product that is the same quality. Sorry....

        2. This is most unfortunate news. I very much liked the place, but I haven't had an order since mid-winter so have not experienced any change.

          When they were 'on' they were very good. Certainly better than KitchenVoodoo makes them out to have been.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Atahualpa

            Yes, and my recent experience with vegetarian sushi has no resemblance to KV's description either. In my experience Sushi Marché is nothing like what you can get at Loblaws. And never has been. I have never had any problem with too much rice, or rice that lacked flavour. Can't speak about change in quality & quantity of fish because I haven't ordered fish for a long time...

            1. re: Full tummy

              I have ordered in the $100 range for 2-3 people some dozen or so time since they opened. Always with a full array of sushi/sashimi/maki. I would say the quality/seasoning of the rice and forming of it has been among the better of Toronto's establishments (almost as good as my experiences at Mikado, less good than Zen or Kaji (obviously)).

              I have in those 12 or so orders had one piece of poor/off uni and one poor tako sashimi. Otherwise, I have been happy. I wish their unagi was better and their tamago is kind of lacking too. I also feel their inari is over stuffed. However, all told, I would be happy to patronize them again based upon my previous experiences.

              I do agree with the comments about reductions in quantity. It isn't so much that I am getting less in my order exactly, but when they first opened, I could count on at least 2 or 3 items free of charge and a free fruit plate or extra salad as well.

          2. I agree that the quality has decreased significantly. I picked some up tonight after not ordering for a while.

            First, quantity wise - the amount of food in my "regular" of the vegetarian dinner and an order of inari was about 30 to 40% less than what it has been in the past. Someone mentioned the inari being overstuffed, but mine tonight were very understuffed. And it was sloppily made and the vegetables tasted like they'd been sitting around for a long time. They were not fresh.

            Hopefully things will get better. I'd hate to see them end up serving the equivalent of mall sushi.

            1 Reply
            1. re: TOveggie

              This is horrible news. I have ordered special omakase from them a couple times in the past and they always turned out well. But after these reviews I am not sure if I want to take the risk...

            2. So, I ordered a wide array of sushi from Sushi Marche on Friday.

              One special dinner (the $35 one)
              Nigiri: Uni, Tobiko, Inari, Tamago
              Maki: Negi Hamachi, Kappa, Ebi Ten + Asparagus

              Portions were definitely smaller. Each piece is somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 the size as my last order in mid-winter. The sashimi was more poorly cut. However, the actual quality of the fish (freshness) seemed as good as previously.

              The end result is that Sushi Marche isn't as good as before, but I don't know of anywhere that will do takeout that is better. My mother has poor mobility so take-away is important to me. Any suggestions? Does Mikado accommodate take-away?

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

              9 Replies
              1. re: Atahualpa

                Mikado does takeaway and the quality is excellent.

                1. re: Atahualpa

                  Omi does take-out very well also.

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                  Omi
                  243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                  1. re: Atahualpa

                    The District does take-out. Although I haven't been recently, if Sushi Marche has dropped a notch, they might be pretty on par with one another. Sushi Bar also does take-out, if you can handle cheaper, Bloor and Yonge type sushi.

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

                    1. re: drjolt

                      Sushi Bar, if you can handle seaweed-wrapped cat food.

                      1. re: childofthestorm

                        I think I would stick with Sushi Marché over that!

                          1. re: Googs

                            I do, but she only eats hand diced raw beef and peas. She'll eat lots of other things, just not in her bowl!

                        1. re: childofthestorm

                          Amazingly, it seems to keep a steady stream of customers in there while District is often fairly empty. The quality at District has not been too bad, the times I've gone.

                          1. re: drjolt

                            Well, it is ridiculously cheap, that's for sure. Pretty sure they buy their Friskies in bulk at Costco, helps keep the prices down.

                            District is relatively pricey, I've noticed they've done a few sales coupons on WagJag, TeamBuy, etc.

                    2. I've also been going to SM for a couple of years with no complaints have always loved their food but on Thursday I picked up some of the worst sushi I've ever had. The rice fell apart and the fish was very pungent. I was hoping it was a blip, am STILL hoping it was a blip. They get another chance with me, but as it's sushi, only one more.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: frenched13

                        You got pungent raw fish and you're giving them a pass? You must really be crazy about sushi to risk it!

                        1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                          It's close, affordable and 9 out of 10 times, amazing. My plan is to not call ahead but to walk in and give them the old sniff test before I order.

                      2. Well, this is distressing to read. We used to go at least once a month, but in the last six months or so we just haven't got round to it.

                        Has anyone mentioned the decline in quality/quantity to John? SM was known to be one of the best sushi joints in the city when it opened.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: lproven

                          excellent point. I think John would be really upset if he knew his regulars were balking.

                          1. re: frenched13

                            Drove by Mikado today and saw a sign saying "Sushi Marche II" a couple of buildings down.
                            Do they have or are they opening up a new location? so close to Mikado???

                            1. re: lilith

                              Since my earlier post (last summer), I have had sushi/sashimi from SM a couple more times--once was fantastic, once the food was okay, and the other time the food was just terrible (had to throw away the majority of the fish). i am a fish lover, so always order the SM special dinner plus an assortment of sashimi to split between at least two of us. i inquired the last time i was at SM about any recent (past half year or so) changes that might have led to a decrease in quality (just bc i don't understand how something so consistently fabulous could have changed so drastically). i was told that John is no longer really around (but that he has left the running of SM to someone else in his family) but/and that he was planning on opening up another project in the near future--perhaps SM 2!? if this is indeed the case, i look forward to trying it out!

                              1. re: amermaid

                                Sushi Marche II now open in Leaside. In same building as car wash on Laird! Excellent Maki Lunch B just had. firing on all cylinders. .Nobody knows it's there yet.

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

                                1. re: bruceter

                                  what is the seating situation there? or is it a very high focus on take-out?

                                  between nigiri-ya and mikado, this area is becoming its own little sushi central.

                                  1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                    I thought the original Zen chef was going to end up in that neighbourhood. Did he? That would get me to zig instead of zag out my front door.

                                    BTW "commitment to deliver its finest Japanese cuisine" and delivery sushi are two statements that should never be found together.

                                    This claim that Marche's chef worked for Morimoto has never been verified. Between that and Nigiri-Ya's Nobu claim, I can't tell which one of them is more full of crap.

                                    1. re: Googs

                                      i don't know the original zen chef's name so i'm not sure.... i'm not driving through enough to be on the lookout for new places.

                                      that being said, after a price comparison, i will say that interestingly enough mikado is the most affordable of the bunch. especially if we look at lunch options. i've never been fond of sushi marche, i really wanted to like it.... but no dice. in fact, if the john lee at marche keeps claiming he's worked for morimoto... he's doing the guy a disservice and i don't even think sushi is really morimoto's strength. i'm not gunning to go there anytime soon. i do think though that nigiri-ya offers a very niche sushi product and that is why one would go there.

                                      1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                        Mikado appears to be the most honest of the bunch as well. I'd favour checking it out soon.

                        2. There was a Groupon offered at Sushi Marche a few months ago (I think near the end of last year) and I can say hands down the quality and portions have dropped since then. It's the unfortunate reality of the food market when money-hungry owners start limiting quality for a few extra bucks (look at what has happened to The Butchers) when they become involved in these internet discount deals. Just my speculation. I really hope it doesn't happen at the Gilead......

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

                          1. Sadly I've noticed a drop in quality too... or at least, a drop in consistency. The last time I ordered take-out the fish wasn't as fresh-tasting as I had come to expect. Interestingly, most sushi fish is actually aged for a couple of days after its caught to allow enzymes to tenderize the flesh; it's also flash frozen to kill any parasites, so "fresh" is a bit of a misnomer. That said, good sushi should never smell fishy.