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May 4, 2011 02:32 PM

Ematei - Any recent visits?

It's been a few years since I last visited Ematei, and I'm planning to take a group there for a birthday dinner next month. Going to reserve the tatami room.

Any recent experiences that folks could share? And what to order?

30 Saint Patrick St, Toronto, ON M5T3A3, CA

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  1. go there regularly. it is not really a sushi/sashimi place.

    things that we regularly eat are the drinking snack sort of stuff (gizzards, hearts, chicken skin, etc.). also usually order items like smelts, grilled fish, fried oysters... last time we were there they had silverfish which was very good.

    whenever we see large groups there they usually have a big Japanese-style hotpot going.

    much of the food is similar to things from my childhood and is good - but i have noticed a bit of a heavyhand with saltiness levels lately.

    1. their nabeyaki udon is the best in the city imo.

      Their chanko nabe is quite good too, it says it feeds 2 but can easily feed 3-4, but it's probably just getting too warm to have nabe right now.

      Order from the plastic island card stand menu, lots of goodies there. The king mushroom dish is excellent.

      Ematei is ol'reliable for me, fits the craving when I want good quality homey Japanese. Don't go for sushi, it's not their strength.

      30 Saint Patrick St, Toronto, ON M5T3A3, CA

      1. I'll drop by once in a while for lunch and would agree that I don't go for the sushi or sashimi.

        I really enjoy the donburi bowls - it's pure comfort food and they're very generous with the portions.

        1. The last time I went there was this february. I would say it is better than your standard sushi fare on queen street. The snacks are the best items on the menu in my opinion but I haven't tried the other items like the nabe or the udon. Since you are in the area then you can try Yuzu for sushi also. Yuzu has a more contemporary take on sushi like torching squid instead of the traditional style like Ematei. Their black sesame ice cream tastes much richer and darker than the Hime brand you buy at the supermarkets.

          30 Saint Patrick St, Toronto, ON M5T3A3, CA

          236 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5H1W7, CA

          1. I go every week, and it IS a good sushi place as well as tons of cooked items, great for large groups, food is consistently good.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bobby Wham

              I know you feel the urge to defend them. There's actually nothing wrong w/ their sushi, it's automatically better than anything on the queen st strip because there's actually an effort to be authentic. It's just that they are really good at homey cooked food compared to the rest of the city's JP restaurants. Whereas they're not sonning anybody at their middle tier sushi bracket (sushi couture, japango, yuzu, takezushi, etc etc....), they're right in the middle of that pack.

              1. re: aser

                Ya, i mean the nigiri is not outstanding, but it's above average and consistent, and I love those guys!