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Aug 2, 2010 12:47 PM

Oishii Village closed, reopening as Sushi Motto (Cgy)

What the tread title says. Signage has changed, big "opening soon" banner up.

I'm ambivalent- I'm happy because this will mean that people will stop mistaking the much better (for sushi) O Shima up the street for Oishii and might help boost Jo and his business at O Shima (and seriously, if you haven't gone to O Shima, GO. Jo does nigiri better than just about any place I've been on this planet and he just made most pieces of nigiri $2). As well, of course, this Motto place might have some good food. Downside is that I was addicted to Oishii's tuna tempura don, something I've never seen on any other menu, and they oyakodon was damn good too.

Anyway, Sushi Motto will replace Oishii at 1604-14 St SW: they have an under-construction website at

O Shima is at 1448 17th Ave SW; no website but you can find them on facebook.

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  1. I noticed this change too yesterday when my husband and I were out walking. Could be a great change, I guess we'll see. I absolutely agree with you, John, about O Shima. We have loved having them in the neighbourhood, and indeed amazing Sashimi and Nigiri for excellent prices. We were only at Oishii a couple times when they first opened and were not very impressed. It will be interesting to see what Sushi Motto does and if they can carve out a unique place in the sushi market.

    1. Sushi Motto opened for business today.

      I wander in and am immediately greeted by a familiar face- Ann, who used to be a server at Midori, owns the place. I was actually going to turn tail when I was informed that today was opening day (worst day to try a new resto, amirite?) but she was eager to seat me so I relented. Nice reno- new darker paint job, all new furniture, new lighting, looks nice, and Ann tells me that next summer that huge patio that was never used by Indonesia or Oishii Village will finally be opened. Anyway, the menu looks fairly typical, with a decent variety of apps, donburi, teriyaki, and sushi-- rolls, "special" rolls, hand rolls, nigiri, nothing earth shattering but comprehensive.

      I got a spinach gomae salad, two pieces of maguro ("tuna" on the menu) nigiri, two unagi nigiri, one yam/avocado roll, one spicy tuna roll.

      Spinach gomae is beautiful! The leaves are sort of arranged vertically, not in an oozy ball of mush as I've had at other places (eg Sushi Time in Toronto, now long gone), Dressing is sweet and thick sesame, turns out it's house-made. Very nice.

      Sushi comes on one plate in a bit- and what a gorgeous plate it is! So pretty! I start with the tuna nigiri, and it's... it's superb. Nice thick (but not too thick), cleanly sliced tuna, not too cold (yay!), and almost-perfect rice (could have been a tiny but firmer a la Jo's at O Shima, but this piece of fish is bigger than O Shima too). Unagi up next- also superb. I am smiling. It's warm, a little crisp around the edges, perfect melting texture, perfect amount of sauce, an absolute treat.

      Rolls are almost too pretty to eat but I press on with the veggie one. A nice big chunk of avocado is enrobed with more, but not too much, of that lovely rice and then topped with a double layer of crispy yam tempura- great composition, and the taste is heavenly. Finally the spicy tuna is almost solid tuna inside (thin strip of cuke, no filler) and on top is a dot of house-made (again, yay!) spicy sauce which has a slightly sweet note to but is like no other spicy sauce I've had- it's not mayo, not sriracha, not Korean pepper, it's unique and a little fruity. Loved it.

      And I loved every morself I had at this place- I am amazed, just stunned, that they could pull off what ended up being one of the best sushi feeds I've ever had (and I've had sushi at four different places this week!), ON OPENING DAY.

      Lunch was about $22, 10% off for the next little while.

      Try it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: John Manzo

        Good news! i noticed the new sign driving past yesterday - I knew you'd soon have a review John! I'll be sure to check it out - the presentation is very inviting1

        1. re: John Manzo

          Thanks for the report! Fantastic news about this place, I look forward to trying it myself.

          1. re: sebell

            FYI- tried it again today and did not have as good an experience- had gyoza which were excellent (absolutely the high point, one of the best gyozas I've had in YYC and they were clearly handmade) but sushi was only so-so. Yam tempura was not the gossamer crispy wafers of Saturday but thicker and greasier- the taste was pretty good but texturally it wasn't there. Unagi looked great but wasn't that nice warm crispiness. Tuna tataki roll is stuffed with lettuce which I don't care for and was sloppy, with tuna falling off the end pieces. Nothing was BAD but I just hope this is them finding their groove. It was pretty busy so maybe it's too much to hope that lightning would strike again (in a good way) but I can't say I was thrilled.

        2. Has anyone visited Sushi Motto lately? Today's Dealfind is $20 for $50 at Sushi Motto. Trying to decide if this is a good deal.

          9 Replies
          1. re: aktivistin

            excellent deal- motto was a little uneven initially but it seems to have hit its stride lately. Very popular, it seems, at least compared to everything else that's been there.

            I should add that my face sushi place, O Shima, has $1 for most nigiri throughout december. $1 fr the gunkan chili goma ebi nigiri, one of the best things I've ever had in my mouth and normally, I believe, $3 is a ridiculous deal.

            1. re: John Manzo

              Thanks for the info about Sushi Motto, and the heads-up on O Shima, John! Buying the voucher now.

              1. re: John Manzo

                Today's Dealfind is $20 for $40 at O Shima. I bought 2 just because it's your fave place :)

                1. re: hsk

                  ...and the offer ended just as I found out about it. Dammit.

                  Please, whatever else you order, get at least two of the Chili Goma Ebi sushi.

              2. re: aktivistin

                Thanks for the heads up. Will try it this weekend with the voucher.

                1. re: aktivistin

                  4112 vouchers sold - that's $205K worth of sushi for less than food cost. I hope they can keep up the quality. I bought 2 (never been there, last time I was there it was the Indonesia), but I'm thinking I'll give it a few weeks - I'm sure it will be a mob scene this weekend.

                  1. re: hsk

                    I bought 10. *Gulp*. Hope they don't shoot themselves on the foot with this deal.

                    1. re: jojok

                      I'd hope the idea is to build buzz and get new (permanent) customers in the door... but yeah, this is looking like a case of "be careful what you wish for."

                      Motto's prices aren't too bad even without the special- so hopefully they put their best food on the plates and get something good out of this. I can actually see a deal like this ruining a new resto.

                      1. re: John Manzo

                        I couldn't make reservation for tonight. The lady said they are fully booked for the rest of the week. And she didn't think it would be these many people buying the coupons.

                        Sounds like they are in trouble.

                2. Anyone make it in to use the coupon this weekend?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Lingcullen

                    Yeah I used a coupon already. Thumbs up for the food and service.

                    And I talked to the owner. She admitted that too many vouchers were sold. They were expecting only about 600-700 vouchers sold. But they will try their best to provide good service and good food just like regular paying customers.

                    Their food is pretty good and the service is friendly. So please tip generously and if you can, please order more than the voucher value so that they can cover for the food and operation costs (I believe they were running on negative cash flow with the voucher).

                  2. Oh dear...I bought one of these coupons for Sushi Motto. I wanted to try it because they had real crab California rolls. I was going to wait for awhile before we used it, because if I remember correctly, there's no expiry date. On one hand, that might help them out because it will spread out the burden a little, but on the other hand, I don't want to not use it and then they close down, you know?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Lainey1978

                      I have been there 3 times already all with the vouchers. And every single time I got a warm welcome. Just go and use it.