Showing posts with label fish jowl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fish jowl. Show all posts

Yuzuki Japanese Restaurant (Toronto)

I must have walked by Yuzuki Japanese Restaurant hundreds of times given its prominent location on Bloor Street, just steps from the interchange subway. From the outside, the gleaming metallic sign doesn’t even list ‘Yuzuki’ on it, instead it prominently features the name ‘Ichiriki’ so it’s a bit confusing to find. It wasn’t until we opened the doors that a printed paper announced we were in the right place, further confirmed when our reservation was found, and we were brought to one of the many wooden tables.  

One dish that elicits excitement when it’s on a Japanese restaurant’s menu is grilled fish jowl (or neck). I know, it sounds a little strange and the rhyme “fish head, fish head, rolly polly fish heads” probably plays through your mind. But there’s such a wonderful succulence from the jowl that’s only matched by fish cheeks, and these are so small that they hardly come in dish form.

Yuzuki’s hamachi kama shio-yaki ($13.50) was brilliantly done, the skin on the fish grilled until crispy with the meat flaking off and moist. There’s that delicious meatiness on the first bite that you just want to savour. Fish jaws can be delightful.

In quick succession the premium sushi set ($57) arrives with 10 pieces of nigri and a negi-toro roll that’s created from fish flown in from Japan. Each piece was deftly prepared and small enough to be consumed in one-bite or savoured with two smaller nibbles. The lightly warmed rice could have been seasoned more but had a nice consistency - not too densely packed yet compressed enough that it held up being handled.

The pieces of hirame, kanpachi, Hamachi, madai, and jin-kinmedai, were all light on the palette choices. Ideally, with 10 pieces the set could have benefited from including a stronger fish like aji or non-fish protein to create a greater contrast in flavours. There was a trio of tuna (oma akami, chu-toro, and o-toro) that’s typical in a premium sushi set. All were good except the o-toro contained a chewy bit, so I didn’t experience that sought after melt-in-your-mouth effect.

Thankfully, the uni and ikura were both fresh and clean tasting. Although, I can see why these are best served with the soy glaze brushed on top. Unlike fish, it’s difficult to turn the pieces over to dip into soy sauce, so it goes rice-side down and really soaks in condiment so that saltiness masks the creamy uni and briny ikura.

Yuzuki may not have a roof-top patio and the glitzy crowds that flock to Kasa Moto, or the showmanship of the teppanyaki tables of Yomato. Rather, the cozy restaurant offers well-executed dishes at an affordable prize. I’m so glad we stumbled upon this hidden gem in Yorkville, even though they really should get the sign fixed.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 120 Bloor Street East

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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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