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Sushi Couture for Nice Dinner Out?

a
Arcadiaseeker Oct 26, 2010 05:53 AM

Hi everyone - I want sushi for my birthday dinner with my SO and I want to pick somewhere with great food and a nice, funky ambience. Sushi Couture looks like it's the best sushi - how is the atmosphere? Ideally I'd like to sit, have drinks and eat at a leisurely pace. Will Sushi Couture fit the bill or can you suggest somewhere better?

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Sushi Couture
456 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON M5S 1X8, CA

  1. p
    Pincus Nov 9, 2010 08:27 PM

    Sushi Couture isn't bad for a la carte, but I wouldn't say it has a "funky" ambience. The decor is a step up from surrounding Annex sushi joints, but only one step up.

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    Sushi Couture
    456 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON M5S 1X8, CA

    1. o
      orlenalee Nov 9, 2010 11:59 AM

      Sushi Couture doesn't have a licence for alcohol yet. But the fish is amazing, and a good deal. Do try the Greece Tai that is blowtorched. If you like Japango or Yamato's sashimi, you will love Sushi Couture and its top notch quality. I haven't tried the Omakese.

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      Japango
      122 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G1P5, CA

      Yamato
      18 Bellair, Toronto, ON M5S1M8, CA

      Sushi Couture
      456 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON M5S 1X8, CA

      1. n
        niikky Oct 26, 2010 03:44 PM

        Hey. I've been to Blowfish, Ki, and Nami. Would recommend Blowfish for a birthday, for sure, then Ki, then Nami. Don't think the ambience at Nami is great for a special dinner, but the food is amazing. All 3 will be more pricey than your neighborhood sushi spot, but it's your birthday! Have fun!

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        Nami
        55 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON M5C1K6, CA

        6 Replies
        1. re: niikky
          j
          JennaBean Oct 27, 2010 08:52 AM

          I have been to Blowfish three times and never had anything that I found really worth the price. The room is lovely but the food - meh.

          1. re: JennaBean
            a
            Arcadiaseeker Oct 27, 2010 11:56 AM

            I have been to Blowfish and the food isn't great. I am leaning to Yuzu based on the feedback here.

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            Yuzu
            236 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5H1W7, CA

            1. re: Arcadiaseeker
              y
              Yum2MyTum Nov 9, 2010 12:27 PM

              I really like Yuzu. Taking into consideration price/location/fish quality, I haven't been disappointed. Pretty sterile / corporate room but it's still "nice" (i.e., upscale) and good for groups. Get the Yuzu roll!

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              Yuzu
              236 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5H1W7, CA

              1. re: Arcadiaseeker
                jlunar Nov 9, 2010 02:16 PM

                +1 to Yuzu. I've some really good meals here. Here are the details of my omakase (photos/blog: http://www.foodpr0n.com/2010/05/14/omakase-at-yuzu-toronto/

                )

                We start with the oyster shooter, a staple brought over from Japango. I’d had one during my first visit to Yuzu, but this one was much better. Briny, silky, and rich, with that popping texture of tobiko as you chew. Really great.

                We have a trio of nibbles out next. Fiddleheads in a thick sesame paste is sweet, the shrimp wrapped in shiso and set in agar is refreshing and different, and the mix of kabocha (yum), red beans (bland), and pickled daikon (a bit spicy), round off this offering.

                Cold asparagus chawanmushi
                I’d had a delicious chawanmushi (pictured up top) the week or so before at Yuzu, but this time, we’re given a non-traditional cold asparagus chawanmushi. Not as smooth as the hot version but tasty in a different way. More spongy in texture and a really integrated asparagus flavour. A hit of uni is always welcome (when fresh, as this was). The gold was extraneous bling, but a nice visual touch.

                Seabream, amaebi, and tuna
                We have some seabream, amaebi, and tuna next. The fish was fresh but the nice touch was the fried shrimp head. Crunchy and tasty and extra shrimpy.

                Cod glazed with saikyo miso
                The cod glazed with saikyo miso was especially nice with the fragrant magnolia leaf wrapper. The mushroom was done in a dry-roast and quite delicious.

                Saikyo miso encrusted lamb
                This was simply okay – more of a filler dish.

                Green tea crème brûlée
                I generally dislike flavoured brûlées, but this was mildly flavoured and nicely done.

                It was a good meal overall. In general, I’d currently avoid ordering rice dishes, as I found the unagi don and chirashi to have mushy rice. A shame, as the fish is really fresh here. While I wouldn’t go out of my way to get here, it’s a solid neighbourhood choice with some really nice creative twists and lovely plating.

                Here are more photos from yuzu: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=yuzu&...

                I've had a lot of just regular nigiri from here. I find them really good and not too crazy, but still with a twist from the traditional. Always really lovely looking.

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                Japango
                122 Elizabeth St, Toronto, ON M5G1P5, CA

                Yuzu
                236 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5H1W7, CA

                1. re: jlunar
                  Charles Yu Nov 9, 2010 02:45 PM

                  Looks good! How much was the Omakase?

                  1. re: Charles Yu
                    jlunar Nov 9, 2010 03:32 PM

                    $70? $75? Something like that. Though we've had non-omakase meals where we just order nigiri and have them send out whatever and it's much cheaper/funner. I will say that the shari isn't always awesome, but I notice that less these days.

          2. skylineR33 Oct 26, 2010 10:19 AM

            Based on my upgraded Omakase at Sushi Couture a month or so ago, I would suggest it. Value is super, good portion and food is very good. However, seems like they cannot keep up the standard as reported by a number of people going for their "upgraded" omakase recently. Something must go wrong in their kitchen. Service is always an issue there as the food comes out slow eventhough on weekday.

            With what you are looking for, I suggest you go to Yuzu.

            2 Replies
            1. re: skylineR33
              Bobby Wham Oct 26, 2010 01:01 PM

              Nope, value is not super, I've posted in all the Sushi Couture threads warning people about the Value of this omakase, You will be much more satisfied ordering å la carte and rolls there. The amount of food you get for $70 is miniscule, you will not be anywhere near full and the cooked dishes leave a lot to be desired. The sushi is great, so stick with that.

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              Sushi Couture
              456 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON M5S 1X8, CA

              1. re: Bobby Wham
                skylineR33 Oct 26, 2010 01:09 PM

                I am referring to the omakase I had in there. I am sorry that your Omakase has bad value but mine is super. We have different Omakase, mine is $60, dude.

            2. pinstripeprincess Oct 26, 2010 09:59 AM

              i'm on the fence about the quality of yuzu, but they do a great job of presentation, have a reasonably nice space (modern but done kind of cheaply) and offer a decent cocktail list often involving sake and then of course a good sake selection as well. i think it's a good place to relax in but is not lounge-y, which i believe ki and blowfish are more likely to offer.

              3 Replies
              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                t
                themiguel Nov 10, 2010 05:50 AM

                Yuzu on Liberty Village???

                Silly presentation, average fish and middling technique.

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                Yuzu
                236 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5H1W7, CA

                1. re: themiguel
                  y
                  Yum2MyTum Nov 10, 2010 06:07 AM

                  Pretty sure all references here are to Yuzu at 236 Adelaide St. W, at Duncan.

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                  Yuzu
                  236 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5H1W7, CA

                  1. re: Yum2MyTum
                    jlunar Nov 10, 2010 06:11 AM

                    Yes, the Adelaide one is the one I'm referring to!

              2. dlw88 Oct 26, 2010 09:06 AM

                OMI sounds like more of what you're looking for, and the fish is great there too!

                I'm very happy to have rushed to Sushi Couture with my SO for the $40 tasting, when they first opened. Until I hear better things, I'll only be back for sashimi don.

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                Sushi Couture
                456 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON M5S 1X8, CA

                1. Bobby Wham Oct 26, 2010 08:14 AM

                  a sushi restaurant with a "funky" ambience? I don' t know if this exists

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bobby Wham
                    j
                    JennaBean Oct 26, 2010 08:23 AM

                    Ame has a really funky ambiance and offers more than just sushi.

                  2. Charles Yu Oct 26, 2010 06:34 AM

                    All you need to know about Sushi Couture is herehttp://chowhound.chow.com/topics/735907?tag=main_body;topic-735907
                    Apparent;y it has gone down-hill fast!!

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                    Sushi Couture
                    456 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON M5S 1X8, CA

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Charles Yu
                      a
                      Arcadiaseeker Oct 26, 2010 06:40 AM

                      Oh really?? Thanks Charles - we are parents of two kids under 3 and get out rarely so I am glad to avoid this on my one night out!!! Any other suggestions? How is Nami these days?

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                      Nami
                      55 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON M5C1K6, CA

                      1. re: Charles Yu
                        pinstripeprincess Oct 26, 2010 09:56 AM

                        charles, how many times have you been to sushi couture?

                        1. re: pinstripeprincess
                          Charles Yu Oct 26, 2010 03:25 PM

                          After the first Omakase experience, which was great, I was planning to go back. However, after reading all the recent negative postings, I am having second thoughts!!

                          1. re: Charles Yu
                            pinstripeprincess Oct 26, 2010 08:56 PM

                            i suspect your omakase experience was an anomaly. the meal that you got was more classic and restrained whereas many others before and since had more fusion involved.

                            i've been prior and after your experience and it remains the same... better than average but still not great rice and ok fish. really disappointed they served me mexican uni, it was awful.

                            1. re: pinstripeprincess
                              skylineR33 Oct 26, 2010 09:13 PM

                              I was served Mexican uni at Zen too. You have to know this is Toronto.

                              1. re: skylineR33
                                pinstripeprincess Oct 27, 2010 03:53 AM

                                i do know it's toronto, but with charles' report he mentioned how inferior they knew it to be. i think it says a lot about what they want to be, which is something just somewhat better than everything else along the strip.

                      2. s
                        sake Oct 26, 2010 06:26 AM

                        No. Sushi Couture is a neighborhood sushi restaurant that's better food-wise than the other places on Bloor, but is nothing atmosphere wise. There is no bar, the decor (which I don't believe they really changed from the "dim-sum" place that used to be in the space), is cheap looking, IMO.

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                        Sushi Couture
                        456 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON M5S 1X8, CA

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sake
                          sweetie Oct 26, 2010 08:31 AM

                          Not strictly a sushi restaurant and I know some people are going to say it is not a foodie kind of place, but maybe you should check out Blowfish or Ki. Both of these places are kind of bordering on more sizzle then steak, but fit your funky ambience request. They are not budget choices to be sure, but the food is good (for the most part) and not your typical sushi.

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