Shinobu (Toronto) for takeout

After having mediocre sushi in the spring and not seeing many better options on Uber, I bit the bullet and went to Shinobu for takeout. A delicious gem in the Yonge Lawrence neighbourhood, it’s a restaurant my husband and I frequented bi-monthly, pre-COVID. We agreed to suppress our expectations - takeout wouldn’t be the same as dining in the small intimate establishment – but we were craving fresh fish and expertly prepared sushi, only Shinobu would satisfy.   

To get the stuffed lotus root ($9.50) or not? These deep-fried pieces of earthy lotus root sandwiching a savoury pork paste are heavenly straight from the fryer. But would they be nearly as good after sitting in a box for 15 minutes? While the crunchiness was stunted, the texture was still there, and the starter was just as juicy as having at the restaurant. So much so, that I forgot to take a picture before we dove in… you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

Similarly, the tempura in the double shrimp cannon roll ($13.50) held up very well and the lettuce didn’t wilt terribly while sitting covered. The maki still delivered that lovely bomb of flavours and textures (is that why it’s called a cannon roll?), no regular dynamite roll can compare.

A safe choice is the spicy tuna roll ($8.50), which resembles what we’d have at the restaurant. And unlike our previous delivery experience from Kibo Sushi House, there wasn’t a crumb of tempura batter. At Shinobu, their spicy tuna roll actually incorporates fish… what a novel thought.

The one dish that wasn’t as impressive was the pressed salmon sushi ($17.50). The kewpie and jalapeno paste (?) topping the fish was just too much; perhaps it really sinks into the salmon on the ride home. Luckily, it’s an easy problem to solve – we remove half of it – and we continued our merry way.

Having a hankering for fresh fish but not wanting sashimi, we ordered the seafood donburi ($24). It was exactly what we needed incorporating so many different slices of fish, octopus, eel, two thick pieces of tamago (egg omelette) and even a spoon of spicy salmon.  If you need a variety, donburi bowls are the way to go! Why did it take me so long to try one of these?

If anyone ever finds a good sushi place that delivers to the North York/Midtown area let me know. Until then, I’ll have to be my own driver and will continue to head back to Shinobu for our sushi fix. 

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3403 Yonge Street

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never order again
  • 6 - decent for delivery and takeout, but there's better
  • 7 - this is good, for delivery and takeout
  • 8 - great for delivery and takeout, it's almost like you're in a restaurant
  • 9 -  wow, it's like I'm eating at a restaurant
  • 10 - I'd happily order this for delivery or takeout instead of dining in any day!

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