Nozomi Fusion Kitchen (Toronto) for takeout

There’s no shortage of fried chicken sandwiches and smashed burgers in Toronto. Over the pandemic, people seemed to be craving handheld comfort food that’s also easy to takeout… oh how the business community responded. In fact, it was during the pandemic that Nozomi Fusion Kitchen opened and soon became a well kept secret in the Bathurst and Lawrence neighbourhood.

The hot honey inferno chicken sandwich ($11.95) was delicious: a thick piece of tender chicken breast covered with a batter that stayed crispy through a car ride home. Just get a bunch of napkins as there’s a plethora of sauces – herbed mayonnaise, chili oil, and hot honey – that gives the sandwich such a flavourful, but messy, bite. And depending on where you’re biting, the taste changes as I found it much spicier at the sandwich’s centre while the sweetness was stronger along the edges.

Instead of a brioche bun, the chicken sandwich would be better paired with something denser as the soft bun couldn’t hold up against all the sauces. Be forewarned: your fingers will be saturated with grease as the bun disintegrates. And while the sandwich incorporates pickled jalapenos, I’d recommend adding chopped onion, which provides a fresh crunchiness to help counteract the heaviness of the fried chicken.

I loved the caramelized crust of the O.G. smashed burger ($9.95) and wish I had thought to take a bite when it was freshly made as once the thin patty cools it doesn’t do the burger justice. Still, it was flavourful without being overly salty despite the liberal smear of Nozomi’s special sauce.

Aside from the sandwiches, Nozomi also offers poke bowls featuring a variety of proteins served over rice, salad, or soba noodles ranging from $10.95 for the crispy tofu to $16.95 for tuna. In fact, the salmon poke with soba is the owner’s favourite things to eat as she finds it refreshing but still substantial enough to satisfy.

Being a mom-and-pop shop, their food is made-to-order and something like a thick chicken breast can take time to prepare. Luckily, you can pre-order to pick-up for a specific time through their website; the system was a breeze to use, and my order was ready by the reserved time. The perfect balance of supporting a small business while enjoying the efficiency of fast food. So, next time you’re craving a chicken sandwich, skip the chains and go small and local instead. 

Overall mark - 7 out of 10
Disclaimer: The above meal was complimentary. Rest assured, as noted in the mission statement, I will always provide my honest opinion. 

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3415 Bathurst Street
 Delivery: Uber and Doordash
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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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