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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. Globe and Mail review: http://bit.ly/1sAKfzg

              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.

              1. We went last night and loved it. Great vibe - except for the 2 obnoxious diners sitting beside us - and atmosphere. Sushi was amazing and I can't wait to return!

                1 Reply
                1. re: millygirl

                  Really? It was very sterile the times I've been. What was served? What were the origins? How was the shari? Was too much torched/oversauced?

                  I'm interested in how it's evolving, despite being overseas.

                2. I agree with CNS' assessment. Laser like focus on all the necessary small details (except perhaps the tamago). Toro was not the best, every other piece was a pleasurable piece of art. Once word gets around, it wouldn't surprise me that this place would have Kaji-like waiting lists.
                  It was one hell of a birthday meal, even my well-behaved 2 year old had a great time! (only 2 other diners were there)
                  One weird thing was they wouldn't let us in even 5 minutes before our 8:30 reservation time, they kept the door locked and just smiled at us.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: doctorandchef

                    I like that. Times are given for a reason! Every last minute counts when getting ready for service.

                  2. Wow everyone is pretty harsh on Chowhound about Yasu. I just went there this week and I loved it. Perhaps they have improved since everyone's first visits but it was full on the Wednesday night I went, there were three servers for the 12 patrons and personally enjoyed that not each piece was served plain and had some creative elements to it.

                    Admittedly, I haven't had the omakase set at Zen (just a meal and it was average) or had a chance to visit Sushi Kaji. But, have tried out many other places in Toronto and Jiro in Japan.

                    For $80 I thought the quality and taste was more than satisfactory. The variety of tastes was great - there were pieces that were subtle, refreshing, creamy, rich and strong.

                    Perhaps give it another chance because they may have just improved.

                    If you care to see what I ate in detail and my thoughts you can refer to http://gastroworldblog.blogspot.ca/20...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Gastroworld

                      Great review of Yasu. I will try to give it a try soon. I recently had a lunch omakase at Zen and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It consisted of 12 pieces and had a few of the same varieties at Yasu. I believe it was $52.50 plus tax/tip. Similar value when you factor in the additional pieces and dessert.