Showing posts with label horse mackerel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label horse mackerel. Show all posts

The Sushi Bar (Toronto)


The Sushi Bar’s name isn’t distinctive; in fact, it’s not even accurate, since their menu extends way beyond sushi. They’re actually an izakaya … but I guess The Izakaya Bar would be confusing to those not versed in Japanese cuisine and redundant. So, we’ll go with The Sushi Bar.


While the sushi is decent, it’s not their strongest dish. We tried the special of the day, an aji ($8), and it’s not something I’ll re-order. Having had my fair share of horse mackerel, the fish was cut too large making it impossible to eat in one mouthful, which meant you had to bite through the chewy meat. Moreover, it wasn’t meticulously cleaned so the strong fishy essence remains. There weren’t even enough condiments to cover it up: the dot of green onion was insufficient and the fish could benefit from a swipe of a sweet soy reduction (the regular soy sauce is simply too salty).


Their maki rolls are better, the Red Dragon ($15) was beautifully presented with vibrant salmon slices topped with tempura bits, fish roe, and green onion – although the roll would be more appropriately named as Orange Dragon. Sadly, it looked better than it tasted. It was a bit chewy and seemed like the rice, nori, and shrimp tempura portion was prepared ahead of time and the roll assembled later; or maybe the rice simply lacked rice vinegar and the tempura batter's consistency too thick.


Of all the sushi, the spicy salmon ($6) was a hit: I loved the big chunks of salmon and the spicy mayo seems to be mixed with a tiny bit of cream cheese to give it a thick silky finish.


The tuna tataki ($11) starts off strong with beautifully sliced seared tuna sashimi with grated ginger garnishes on top. The bed of radish and carrot salad was also shredded to a delicate texture. Yet, it was so bland for tataki, merely a bit of citrus and drops of soy. The tuna rub could be more pronounced or at least add more ponzu to everything. The only saving grace was the freshness of the tuna.


Thankfully, the chicken yaki udon ($13.50) was tastier, the thick chewy noodles glistening with sauce and when mixed with the nori simply delicious. The chicken and vegetables could be cut thinner so it combines better with the noodles and eaten together – a small fault I can overlook.   


By far the best dish of the evening was the black cod ($10). It arrives without an ounce of sauce, but the fish is so well marinated that it floods the mouth with a lovely salty sweet essence – sauce be damned! Flaky, moist, and beautifully prepared, on return visits I’m having an order of black cod with a bowl of noodles in soup.


Although they’re no Uncle Tetsu, The Sushi Bar’s Japanese cheese cake ($4.50) was a satisfying finish – not as buttery, but incorporates a stronger cheese taste since it’s denser. Of course, cheese cake is also a dessert that’s often found in izakayas than sushi bars, but we’ve already established – it’s an izakaya.



Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3365 Yonge Street

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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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