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Jun 12, 2014 06:14 AM

Seriously Curious about Sushi Yasu. Any reports?

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  1. no...but it's on my radar now. thanks.

    1. A friend who went there recently rated it as the best in GTA and that person is a Sushi Kaji fan. I am looking forward to dinning there soon.

      1 Reply
      1. Very reasonably-priced omakase. $80. Lots of fish flown in from Tsukiji. Quality was rather good; shari was just okay. Well-cut fish. Hotaru-ika was the best bite, but they should have just served it as is, minus the shari (which detracted from it). Ikura temaki was boring. Most of the other dishes were pretty good (scallop, fukko, uni, hamachi, saba...), but again, I didn't find the shari to be that great. Toro wasn't great, neither were the two varieties of eel served (unagi and anago). Tamago was barely passable.

        Small, sterile venue. Most of the other people at the bar seemed, well, you won't come here for the atmosphere. A lot of Chinese food bloggers and whiteys who have no clue what they're eating.

        They've been open for about a month.

        Overall, it's definitely worth going. Better meal than say, Sushi Couture (recommended recently in another thread, though I'm not sure why). Don't expect perfection or anything mind-blowing, but it was a good meal.

        5 Replies
          1. re: shekamoo

            I like Zen. The omakase at Zen is cheaper than at Yasu. That being said, I can almost fly to New York in the same time it takes me to get to Zen...

            I've also been to Zen probably 20 or so times, and I've only been to Yasu twice. Zen is very consistent. Yasu? In two visits, less so. Then again, they haven't been open long. Zen consistently has really decent shari, will produce real wasabi (unless they have none), and has very good quality neta. The cuts are overall well-done. Offerings are generally quite good.

            Yasu is a 10-15 minute walk. Price is higher, shari not as good, fish quality is quite good overall, knife work good to okay, not necessarily as consistent course-by-course.

            That being said: they should probably hit their stride before it's critiqued too heavily.

            1. re: yakionigiri

              Ok thanks. I would now like to hear more about it as it keeps developing.

          2. re: yakionigiri

            I'd echo all of yakionigiri's comments. Shari was average which is unfortunate for the decent neta they've sourced (actually fell apart a couple of times). That said, I would have preferred a bit more non-fish variety (hotate, tobiko and anago were the 3 exceptions - was craving any kind of shrimp or ika etc). We actually got shima-aji twice. Tamago was dry, bland and unimpressive. Standouts were the hotate (fat medallion that was lightly torched but still permitted a bit of sweetness) and what I believe was marinated akami that had a nice dense, fulsome flavour. Curiously, the chef only mentioned the names of the neta in halting English. We had to clarify what part of tuna in one instance.

            I don't want to sound overly negative. It was quite good value for the amount of food you got (about 20 "courses") but it's not the reverent temple of sushi I was hoping for. Zen is still tops in my books but it's indeed quite a drive for downtowners or west-enders.

            A quick comment on service: there was only one host/server who was very sweet but very scattered. While she was unfailingly polite and gracious, she rarely refilled our sake, didn't offer more water, and forgot my tea. She seemed a bit frazzled to deal with only 10 diners, or 4 groups. That said, there was a rowdy group of 4 at one end who seemed fairly demanding. They provided much of the volume in the room which is otherwise small and intimate. I think they gave license to the rest of us to talk louder than we otherwise might in the gallery-like space (which frankly I was ok with - I prefer buzzy spots which is why I'm partly nervous about a Hashimoto outing).

            I'll go back but with my expectations in check.

            1. re: vidkid

              Your details were very well put and aligned with my experience... except that I would rate the Shari below average quite bland + it feel apart for me too. I also enjoyed the non-fish varieties more and I did receive the ebi and ika during my visit.

              Overall, a couple standout flavour combinations but overall it was underwhelming. I would not be in a rush to go back nor would I recommend to friends as a must-have sushi experience.

          3. I was there yesterday. 16 pieces of sushi, a negi toro hand roll, egg, and dessert. Overall the quality was good, ingredients quite fresh. The uni came out of the shell instead of the usual plastic tray.

            Would have preferred several of the dishes sashimi-only, so we wouldn't be so full by the end. They used the torch for maybe too many of the items. The fish selection was good but not really any varieties that I haven't seen elsewhere.

            Seems like a good competitor to this meal is the kyukyoku at Ja Bistro, not sure if this is better or not. Definitely a quieter environment and the fewer seats could mean more attentive service.

            1 Reply
            1. re: nogoro

              I prefer JaBistro's Kyukyoku set served piece-by-piece by Koji. Yasu was good, the fish was very fresh but the rice was overcooked, too much wasabi was used and the soy brushed on was too salty. My favourite piece was the Bonito. Terrific piece of fish. Also they served Shirako (cod sperm) I found it very mild but probably wouldn't eat it again.

            2. Globe and Mail review:

              It appears the writer (Chris Nuttall-Smith) knows more about sushi than the average Toronto food critic. He likes the sushi-focus setting, as compared to Kaji where you can smell your neighbours' food while eating your sushi. No walk-ins allowed as fishes are brought in just enough for the reservations.