Sushi Tasting @ Skippa

Two of my friends and I recently tried out Skippa, a relatively new Japanese restaurant on Harbord Street. Skippa’s specialty is a shorter omakase ($47) where you can taste all 9 pieces of specialty sushi.

It’s not enough food to make you full on its own, so we also ordered some other things from the menu. I can never resist oysters, and these ones from PEI were presented beautifully on a bed of marbles.

I also saw this Pikachu looking character on sake on their Instagram, so I couldn’t resist. 

Their black maitake mushroom salad with radish and miso was delicious.

We also got the black garlic mackerel.

All the sushi was presented beautifully and simply. With each one, there were instructions to dip or not dip in soy sauce.  

Botan Chi: Shrimp from B.C.

Madai: seabream

Hirame: fluke

Kinmedai: Golden eye seabream

Kanpachi: Japanese amberjack

Maguro: big eye tuna

Tako: Octopus

Mcbachi handroll: big eye tuna, chili koji

Tomago: Sweet egg roll

I thought the fish in the sushi was very fresh. However, I felt a few of the sushi had too much wasabi that it overpowered the flavour of the fish. Otherwise, it’s beautifully simple.

Sushi Couture

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My friend and I went on a Tuesday night to Sushi Couture in the Annex. I had dined at all the surrounding Japanese restaurants but had not come in here because I heard the prices were a little high in comparison. While this is true, the quality of the sushi here is much higher. For instance, you can’t order a fish carpaccio in a citrus glaze at New Generation. This was a delicately prepared item.

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The sashimi here is what shows the restaurants quality. Everything is fresh. Look at that red tuna belly! It did not taste frozen. The octopus and the salmon were also delicious. Just eating sashimi can be quiet heavy on the wallet though.

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The tempura was batter well and came with a variety of vegetables: okra (personally not a fan), green beans, cucumbers, sweet potato, broccoli.

While the food was awesome (albeit a bit pricey), I found the shortfall here was the service. It took us over 30 minutes to receive the first dish, with no real explanation as to why it was taking so long. It wasn’t a particularly busy night. I’ll admit that I had somewhere to be but we went to the restaurant an hour and a half before we needed to be anywhere else!

Sushi Couture Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sushi Inn

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I recently went for dinner with my friend in Yorkville at Sushi Inn. Though it is the prime location for pricey restaurants, this place is very affordable. I ordered a plate of sashimi of all types: salmon, hokkagai, scallop, octopus, tuna, shrimp and more for around $20.

The quality of the sushi wasn’t bad and mostly fresh though the shrimp was a bit limp. I’m not entirely sure why they have to lump a bunch of carrot shavings there. It seems like a waste of carrots to me!

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The meal came with classic staples of miso soup and salad. Those things are very hard to get wrong!

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My friend and I also split the Beef Sashimi which was served with green onions and ponzu sauce. Look, there are damn carrot shavings again! I think the beef might have been sitting on top of ice for a little too long because it was the tiniest bit frozen but still tasty with the sauce.

We were very full by the end of the meal (she ordered a sushi set) and the bill didn’t break the bank. Sushi Inn is a good place to go if you’re looking for affordable sushi in the middle of Yorkville and the quality and selection is more than you would expect for the price.

 

Sushi Inn Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beautiful and Delicious Sushi @ Jabistro

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I finally had the chance to go to JaBistro, deemed one of the best sushi restaurants in Toronto. I’d been following them on Twitter since their inception and their photos were always so beautiful. Their sushi was just as much as delight to look at as it was to eat!

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I wanted to try a little bit of everything so I had the Sashimi Sampler. It is a mixture of chef’s choice sashimi. I added Toro (fat tuna belly) which was not a guaranteed item on the sampler. The sampler had scallop, salmon, octopus, makarel, fried fish bone, fish eggs, and more. Everything was fresh and melted in my mouth. The fish bones were crunchy and salty to add variation in the palate.

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I also ordered the Aburicious set of blowtorched sushi. It contained 2 salmon, 2 makerel, 2 tiger prawn and 2 Jabistro roll sushi pieces. Blowtorched sushi seriously will change your life. The best ones were the salmon and tiger prawn as they just melded in your mouth in perfect harmony. It had a lovely butteriness in a way that makes you forget that it’s rice at the bottom. At other sushi places the rice is always hard to get through after a while but I probably could’ve eaten 10,000 pieces of blowtorched sushi and not realized it.

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My friends also ordered the Sea Bream Collar and Pork Belly which were also very tasty (I stole some bites).

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Throughout the meal I sipped a Shiso Smash which was a mixture of bourbon, simple syrup, lemon and shiso (a type of Asian spice). It was kind of a play on alcoholic lemonade.
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The three of us split two desserts afterwards. The first was the Matcha Parfait which was matcha spongecake, mascarpone cream, matcha chocolate sauce. I’m not always a fan of green tea flavoured things but this was very good! There were also berries and crunchy corn flakes which added a nice touch of texture

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The other item was the Genmai Pudding which was a brown rice pudding, coconut milk, nigori (unfiltered) sake, maple syrup, cranberries, pumpkin seeds and almonds. It was like a rice pudding with an interesting crunch provided by the almonds.

My bill ended up being quite pricey, but my friends told me that the first time people go, they always go a bit overboard. It was totally worth it though and one of the best meals I have eaten in a while! In a matter of fact, I had to write this blog post right away. I think I will be craving blow torched sushi until the next time I set foot in these doors.
JaBistro on Urbanspoon

iPad Ordering @ Heart Sushi

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Mississauga’s sushi landscape is quite competitive. In fact, I’ve noticed that on Urbanspoon, competitors even leave negative comments on each others pages. Heart Sushi only opened a few months ago in Heartland and has already gained buzz and popularity. We decided to try the buffet dinner recently for Dad’s birthday.

sushi10The restaurant was big and spacious. Compared to 168 Sushi’s iPad ordering system this one was quick and efficient. We didn’t need to call someone over to confirm the order on the iPad. In fact, at Heart Sushi the system worked so fast that in minutes after hitting send we would see new food on the table.

The sashimi was very fresh and served beautifully on ice. There was a wide selection of items on the menu that had Korean and Thai items in addition to Japanese. The portions were a bit smaller than other places but this allowed us to try more menu items, so I was happy with that! Here are photos of some of the food:

Heart Sushi is definitely one of the best AYCE sushi places I’ve tried so far in Mississauga.

Heart Sushi on Urbanspoon

iPad Menus @ 168 Sushi Buffet

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Mom’s favourite thing is AYCE sushi so for her birthday we took her to 168 Sushi Buffet where they took on the new trend of iPad menus. We went for lunch and I don’t think they took reservations so we waited over 20 minutes for a table. It was one of those cold Polar Vortex days but people kept coming in and were all eager for a table at this relatively small restaurant.

Lunches at the restaurant are cheaper but do not have sashimi, so if you want the raw fish without all the rice than dinner would be preferred. They did have a large assortment of non-japanese items. There was Thai, Korean and Chinese dim sum dishes that were available in addition to the Sushi and included in the lunch price ($14.99 – I think).

This was my first experience ordering off an iPad menu. It had this large case screwed on it to prevent the user from pressing the home button and going outside the menu. I felt it accommodated the large food selection well and had lovely photos that made all the food look very appetizing. The annoying part was that sometimes we would order something and it wouldn’t come. I enjoyed this salmon salad a lot and ordered more but it didn’t appear. I tried an additional time and the screen told me it was coming, but never did.

In my opinion the iPad was a tool that enabled the workers to be lazy. They could blame complicated orders not coming on technology. Waitresses only came when you confirmed an order on the iPad or when they were delivering food. There was often many empty plates waiting on our table to be taken away. I eventually figured out how to call a person by confirming an empty order.I curiously wonder what it must be like to work in the kitchen that deals with the receiving end of these iPad orders. I feel like the whole idea is a bit of a marketing gimmick.

The food was decent and there was a large selection of it, but it was not particularly memorable. Soups were a bit cold for my liking. However, the fried pudding dessert is recommended.

168 Sushi Buffet on Urbanspoon

Candy Sushi By Poppin’ Cookin’

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One of my Christmas goodies from my sister Livia and her boyfriend Paul was this Poppin’ Cookin’ candy sushi kit. I’ve posted about a few of these kits previously but this is the first I’ve bought that is supposed to resemble real food. There’s another one out there that looks like ramen but I haven’t been able to find it ever again.

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Inside the box there are various powders in coloured packaging and a plastic dish to mix all the ingredients. The instructions on the back are all in Japanese so if it weren’t for the colour coding, I would have no idea what I was supposed to be doing. Luckily the pictures were clear enough. The plastic wrap for the container also had molding guides for shaping the “seaweed” and “rice” elements.

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My sushi didn’t look as appetizing as the ones on the box but it was a lot of fun to make. The most interesting part was dropping one liquid into another to create the fishballs. In terms of the taste of the actual candy, it was very sweet.

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Every colour was a different flavour so if you took a full bite of actual sushi it would be like eating a fistfull of different colour gummy bears.  There was even fake soy sauce which I thought was hilarious. The fishballs  resembled those fruit balls you can get at Froyo places.

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These kits are such a fascinating idea. I must hunt down the ramen one and see if there are any others. I’m not a fan of eating them but making them is a lot of fun. I wonder if there are other brands or even the American equivalents.

I Made My Boyfriend Eat Sushi @ Rikishi

photo 2In the years we’ve dated so far, I have never actually eaten sushi with Nash. He had always said he wasn’t a fan or that he didn’t particularly enjoy salmon in general. Anyways, for some reason he changed his mind and we ended up at Rikishi around Ossington Station. We found the menu endearing in the fact that there were many spelling errors including “Riquer” instead of liqueurs. Instead of Bento meals, we took the pricier route and ordered a bunch of small things.

We sampled two sushi rolls, the spicey salmon and spicy scallop (pictured above). Nash said he couldn’t taste the salmon (which I guess is a good thing since he doesn’t normally like it). Even when you dipped them in soy-sauce the scallop and salmon were battered enough that it was still crunchy.

photo 3We also ordered the fried squid which was lightly battered and not heavy at all. There was also a generous portion for the price.

photo 4Out of curiosity I asked for the “Seafood-foil-yaki” (yes the actual name), which was literally a piece of buttered shrimp, scallop, salmon, onions wrapped in foil. It was my least favourite of the dishes but I was curious as to what it was and it was quite literal to its name.

photo 5 I also got this raw octopus salad dish. It came in a sweet and sour dressing, much like the pickled carrots and radish that it included. Raw octopus is actually less fishy as you might expect.

photo 1 I had a mini glass of plum wine. It was sweeter than the ones I have tried in the past.

photoFor dessert, me and Nash had icecream. He had green tea and I opted for pumpkin out of curiosity as to what that would taste like. It was very sweet, a lot like custard but with a pumpkin-like texture. It actually be my new favourite flavour of icecream.

The bill was around $44. Considering we ordered from an A La Carte menu, with alcoholic drinks and dessert this was a fair price for a decent meal.

Rikishi on Urbanspoon