Showing posts with label ice cream. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ice cream. Show all posts

David Rocco Bar Aperitivo (Toronto)

Before going to David Rocco’s Bar Aperitivo, I prepared myself for a casual restaurant that’s meant for a quick bite, so I didn’t expect any posh seating or an extensive menu. As anticipated, their tables were set-up largely as communal shared space with a less than ideal table-to-chair height. In the end, we felt it was best to forgo any dishes requiring a fork and knife that could potentially make a mess.

Instead, we stuck to a hand-held sandwich with salad – easy peasy eats to munch on while we enjoyed a bottle of prosecco. Little did I know that for a restaurant who dedicates half of their menu to sandwiches and salad, the dishes would be executed so poorly. After biting into both, I started comparing the experience to the Druxy lunches that was catered through work and marvelled how they could have been interchangeable.

In the next menu update, I highly recommend Bar Aperitivo clarify that their paninis are cold. Unless you’re deeply steeped in the Italian culture, most people may not realize that panini simply means “bread roll” since the North American interpretation is generally a sandwich that’s been pressed, grilled, and served hot.

Hence, when the frittata panini ($13) arrived cold it was a disappointment – does anyone like cold frittatas?  Perhaps the temperature could have been overlooked if the frittata was really good and incorporated more flavours than the sprinkling of herbs or if their house-made brioche bun was uber fresh rather than hard and cold. At least the salsa verde was tasty and the caramelized onions were nicely stewed and sweet. In hindsight, I should have gone with a crostino, while it seemed like it’d be messier to eat, they looked tastier than the cold egg sandwich we received.

For a dish that's been so overdone, there are over a dozen that David Rocco could have gained inspiration from, Bar Aperitivo’s kale salad ($16) was one of the worst I’ve ever eaten. The kale was simply ripped into large pieces and tossed with a very lightly applied mint pesto and lemon juice dressing so the almost metallic flavour of the kale leaches through, unless you can mask it with one of the orange segments, apples, cranberry, or almonds that’s tossed with everything. Nor were the greens massaged with the dressing, so it made for a fibrous salad.  

The crocchette di cavolfiore ($7) was also cold and not made to order. Temperature aside, the dish could really use some textural contrast as the cauliflower and potato mash is soft and the fine bread crumb coating wasn’t crispy either. Perhaps adding some panko to the coating or some micro-diced vegetables into the mixture would have allowed for some extra colours and crunch.

At least Bar Aperitivo’s gelato was tasty. With about half a dozen flavours to choose from, the tried-and-true hazelnut was calling my name. The gelato was served really cold, so it resisted melting, and the texture was silky and creamy. The hazelnut flavours were pronounced and the sweetness a nice balance. Yet, for $13 for a cup, it really commands a premium over the many other wonderful ice cream shops in Yorkville. While Bar Aperitivo’s gelato was good, I still find Summer’s Ice Cream to be better.

I should have learnt my lesson from the less-than-ideal “celebrity chef” dining experiences at Jamie Kennedy and Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants. Both instances were a lot of hype but the food fairly subpar. The same goes for David Rocco's Aperitivo Bar… let’s just say it does not have me feeling I'm living la dolce vita.

Overall mark - 4 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 95 Cumberland 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!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Planta Yorkville (Toronto)


Planta’s meatless burger was once the talk of the town, admired for its “likeness” to the beef version, thanks to the tinge of pink in its patty. Chef David Lee was ahead of his time, creating a string of plant-based restaurants at a time when Meatless Mondays was a stretch for most people.

Oh, how times have changed. Vegetarian burgers are now a dime-a-dozen with fast food chains joining the party. Even the patties have been upgraded – having a hint of pink is now the norm. Which is why my first experience with the Planta burger, prominently featured on their Winterlicious menu ($33), was such a bust.

After hearing about how great it was - so much so that burger-only restaurants were spun off - one bite into the mushy patty left much to be desired. There were some good qualities: it was hearty with the thick queso and truffle mushroom sauce; and generally, it tasted nice. But it lacked texture… everything was so soft that my 90-year old grandmothers would have no trouble biting through these babies.


The soft bun and delicate lettuce didn’t make it any better – maybe if either an element of crunch it would help the main. At least the fries were amazing: hot from the fryer, crispy as ever, and tossed with just enough salt. We hungrily devoured these.

Overall, it just wasn’t an impressive meal. While the warm rapini salad tastes better than it looked, when the plate of butter lettuce topped with chopped wilted rapini arrived, I was momentarily taken aback that a restaurant would be okay with serving a dish that looks like one I’d make at home. Looks aside, it was an okay salad, the warm rapini enhanced with olive and sun-dried tomatoes so the greens were actually flavourful. I just wished there was more of it to go around.


The only dish I’d get again is the young Thai coconut dessert. The passionfruit sorbet was a great balance of tart and sweetness and the coconut &chia seed pudding added a lovely creaminess. Although it appears fairly simple, the tropical flavours were such a blessing during the dead of winter.


If you’re going to visit any restaurant in the Planta chain, the Asian menu of the Queen location is much better, in my opinion. Maybe it’s time for David Lee to reinvent the menu again. Burgers are so overdone… and being done so much better than Planta.

Overall mark - 6 out of 10
Is Winterlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Winterlicious - $33
Regular menu - $50 - salad ($18.25), burger ($19.75) and young Thai coconut ($11.95)
Savings - $17 or 34% 
How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 1221 Bay Street

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!


Is That It? I Want More!

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CLOSED: Virtuous Pie (Toronto)


Vegan pizzas don't typically excite me - the dough is hard and the cheese too gooey. Yet, Virtuous Pie had my friend raving about how good they were … and she has had A LOT of vegan products. So, if I was going to tuck into a completely plant-based pizza, it might as well be at one of the best.

Unlike some other establishments, Virtuous Pie isn’t trying to remake a traditional pepperoni pie in a cheese-free and meatless form. Instead, they reinvent pizzas with flavourful vegetarian ingredients and get rid of the vegan cheese all together using a creamy cashew “mozzarella” that’s drizzled on like sauce.

Take the Stranger Wings ($15), where the chicken is not the mock version but rather deep fried cauliflower nuggets tossed in a slightly sweet and fairly spicy Buffalo sauce. Scallions and a “blue cheese” dressing , which tastes uncannily like ranch, is sprinkled on top so that you get a hit of spice and creaminess. Fried shallots and scallions sprinkled over everything for a fresh oniony finish. Of all the pizzas, it was the most flavourful.


Their Superfunghi ($14) uses a base of wild mushrooms that when toasted creates a meaty quality. There’s a light drizzle of cashew mozzarella, herbed potato cream, and a truffle ricotta, leaving the peppery arugula to become another prominent flavour. This pizza was a favourite of the table and adding a few drops of their chili oil (warning, use sparingly) elevates the pie to a whole new level.




Sadly, the Street Corn ($14), a version that seems tasty on paper, was the most disappointing of the bunch. The menu simply makes it sound so tempting: garlic paprika butter, feta, cashew mozzarella, and charred corn? Sign me up! But, the corn is so chewy and gummy that they actually sticks to your teeth, not unlike those dreaded caramel squares from Halloween.


While I don’t know why the corn’s texture is so sticky, my hypothesis is that Virtuous Pie uses frozen corn and the garlic butter, when baking, starts to semi fry and dry the kernels. I’d suggest switching to a canned variety and sprinkling the corn onto the pizza after it’s cooked, like arugula. The pizza is also nothing like the punchy Mexican street corn, it’s in desperate need of seasoning – even if it’s just more salt, or better yet, a smoky Cajun dressing.

In the end, their pizzas may be better described as flatbread topped with flavourful toppings. Crusts come in regular or gluten free form and surprisingly the later form is what impressed the table.



While the gluten free version does look like a crispy cracker, behind the crunch there’s also a bit of chewiness.  Meanwhile, the regular crust’s air pockets makes it look fluffy, but bite through the dough and you’re met with a dense hard crust that’s oddly similar to the gluten-free varieties of delivery pizza.

Virtuous Pie offers a seasonally changing variety of vegan ice cream, so a flight of three scoops ($8) finished the meal. Although the saffron rose water sounded exotic, the saffron was so overpowering that there’s no rosewater essence and it’s like eating a savoury ice cream with whole pistachios thrown in. It’s definitely an acquired taste, one that no one in our table of five enjoyed… my friend described it best when she noted it tastes like chlorine.



Of the three scoops, I enjoyed the Thai tea the most. While there was a bit of grittiness in texture, it’s at least more accurately described and tastes delicious. The bourbon vanilla was the creamiest of the bunch, but alas lacked any bourbon flavours. All in all, Virtuous Pie’s ice cream needs an overhaul and like the pizza, show me the flavours!

For an after work bite, order before 5:30pm and they offer great happy hour specials with $2 off many pizzas, house wine, and their ice cream flights. Everyone is oh so friendly and accommodating, even suggesting we put in the dessert orders ahead of time to secure the deal.

I’d be lying if I said Virtuous Pie is one of the better pizzas I’ve had – there are ton that stand above it. But, for the vegan variety, I haven’t tasted anything better.


Overall mark - 7 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 611 College Street
 

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!


Is That It? I Want More!

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Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ (Toronto)


With so many Japanese restaurants with a rendition of Gyu or Guu in their name, keeping them separate can be confusing. At the corner of Church and Jarvis, sits Gyu-Kaku that’s more barbeque house than izakaya… it also has nothing to do with the popular Vancouver chain. Instead, Gyu-Kaku is part of a 650-restaurant worldwide franchise (though none located in Japan), started in LA.

Although their menu focuses heavily on barbequed proteins, there are also a number of izakaya-like dishes on their a la carte menu. If you’re indecisive, choose from the “BBQ course” meals available - we went with the meat lovers for two ($60). With “meat lovers” in the title, you’d expect there to be tons of protein. Served in two stages, based on cooking time, it’s a smart way to avoid overcooking the meat. The first round included yaki-shabu beef, toro beef, and kalbi chuck short rib. With these thinner cuts, we were advised to cook them 30-60 seconds per side.


Since the yaki-shabu is the thinnest, these were done in no time. Depending on the slice, they were a bit chewy, given the brisket is also rather lean. Despite the thick layer of fat on the toro, it was also a tougher cut of beef, but as you chew through it, the melted fat covers the tongue mixing with the sweet caramelized glaze to create a lovely sauce. Meanwhile, the kalbi is a combination of the two, my favourite of the bunch.

All the meat arrives marinated and flavourful. However, if it’s not strong enough or you want to change the flavour profile, bottles of sweet, spicy (really sweet and spicy), and ponzu (slightly sour) dipping sauces are also available at every table.


As we reach the finishing point, a second helping of meat arrives including bistro-hanger steak, New York steak, and spicy pork. These thicker cuts require up to two minutes per side – since we’re getting full, waiting longer is a welcomed break. Taking the longest to cook, the thick slices of New York steak are good, but should have a peppery coating instead to give it that charbroiled taste. Meanwhile, the spicy pork definitely had a kick, which sort of sneaks up on you and gets you at the back of the throat before you realize what’s happening.


By far, our favourite protein was the bistro-hanger steak. It’s tender, juicy, and has a real full-bodied flavour. While good on its own or with a bite of over-watered sticky rice, I particularly enjoyed the hanger steak tucked into a piece of lettuce salvaged from the salad.

There were a few vegetable dishes included in the meal, but it’s not a lot. To start, a bowl of Gyu-Kaku salad - leafy green lettuce topped with shredded daikon and a creamy miso dressing. During the meal came a bowl of hot salty edamame and a foil packet of corn that’s re-heated on the grill. We also added on an order of kim chee ($4) to the dinner, since the crunchy spicy cabbage goes so well with barbequed meat.



As if there wasn’t already enough protein, an order of chicken karaage accompanies the meal; the deep fried nuggets of chicken really juicy and not too heavy given they’re only dusted with a light coating of flour.


To end, a scoop of ice cream (green tea, vanilla, or black sesame) - the coldness a welcomed respite after the hot barbeque meal.

The restaurant is a little warm, but thankfully not smoky. Gyu-Kaku uses a special grill that sucks the smoke into the bottom of the table and out through a vent; even with over a dozen of them in use, the restaurant was relatively smoke-free and I left not reeking of cooked meat. Staff are also regularly replace the metal grill plate (ours was changed three times), which also cuts down on the smoke and ensures the later slices of meat don’t have burnt pieces of sauce on them.

Compared to traditional Korean barbeque restaurant, Gyu-Kaku’s service is impeccable; staff checked in at regular intervals, we never had to ask someone to re-fill our water or bring more sauce. Gyu’s yakiniku dining is quite enjoyable. Thanks to the comfortable spacious tables and ingenious smoke sucking equipment, I can get my fill of grilled meats without smelling like it.     

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 81 Church Street

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:


Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Azure (Toronto)


Torontonians sometimes forget about the restaurants that populates their hotels, with the exception of those manned by celebrity chef imports. Perhaps it’s the sentiment that the restaurants are for tourists and travelers, those where expense isn’t an issue, surely not for you and I that inhabit the city daily?

It’s nice to be reminded that there are benefits to visiting these establishments: there’s generally tables available for walk-ins (after all, it’d be in poor taste to have to turn down hotel guests), the menus tend to be varied (allowing groups to accommodate tastes and dietary restrictions), and their dining rooms are oh so comfortable.

At Azure, the flagship restaurant in the Intercontinental Toronto Centre, their window canopy opens up the space and offers a great people-watching vantage point. The dark wood and plush velvet furnishings helps keep the dining room cozy and comfortable – you can sit at the table for hours. Unlike the current trend of cramming small tables (sometimes communal *shudder*) together making for a horribly loud atmosphere, Azure gives you space to converse and a sense of privacy that I often crave. Ah… tranquility.

Their service is impeccably polished and efficient, common traits of the hotel industry, yet still down-to-earth and approachable. Even before asking what we wanted to drink, our server Coco chatted care freely with us, giving us time to settle down and build a rapport. In quick succession, a basket of warm rolls were presented and a generous glass of red wine to fully take the winter chills out of my bones.

In no time, the first Winterlicious ($48) course was served. Similar to a ceviche, the escabeche marinates the octopus and scallop in an acidic solution. However, in this case, the seafood is poached first before the marinade so the texture remains tender and the tartness is mellow and manageable. I did find it a tad under seasoned (a sprinkle of salt from the table helped rectify this), given the citrus vinaigrette is light.


Amongst the meaty octopus and delicate scallop were crunchy shaved fennel and endives, juicy orange and lime segments, and creamy avocado. A delicate and surprisingly bright start – a glimpse into the warmer spring months ahead of us.

Despite being cooked through (my first instinct is to look for the slightly translucent rose centre), the grainy mustard coated salmon was still moist. The sear from a high heat helped develop a lovely golden crunchy crust and locked in its fatty juices. It sat on top of a bed of crunchy shaved fennel and radicchio that just ever so slightly wilts from the salmon’s heat. All the juices and flavours meld into the fluffy savoury citrusy couscous on the bottom.

Azure certainly doesn’t skimp on portions. A huge port and black cherry osso bucco arrives with an equally sizeable marscarpone crispy risotto cake. The veal shank was braised just long enough to make the meat tender, but not overly done so that the bone marrow disintegrated (save a piece of bread to scoop the gelee marrow onto).

Although I found the centre of the risotto cake too mushy, it was my husband’s favourite part of the dish. Mine, aside from the osso bucco, was the wilted arugula that had a lemony gremolata mixed into it. After a heavy meal, it was exactly the last savoury bite I needed.


If only the tiramisu parfait had more espresso (or in this case the boozy Kahlúa liqueur) and less of the powdery cocoa on top the dessert would have been lovely. The mascarpone mousse was creamy and luxurious, the savoiardi cookies adding a bit of cake to the tiramisu.


A perfect sphere of ice cold honeycomb ice cream sat atop the slightly warm apple tart. The pastry was good – the shortbread crust not overly buttery, large chunks of apples and a sweet enough crumble. I felt bad leaving some unfinished, but what a huge portion after the substantial mains.


Even if the comfortable atmosphere doesn’t convince you that hotel dining isn’t just for tourists, the generously proportioned dishes could – mains are pricier but you won’t leave hungry. Of course, you can always visit them during special occasions when they have prix fixe deals: aside from Winter/Summerlicious there’s also drink and menu specials on key dates (this Valentine’s Azure is offering a $70 menu with $14 cocktails).

Torontonians, next time you’re looking for a comfortable dining experience, consider a hotel. After all, why would you only treat yourself while travelling?

Overall mark - 7 out of 10
Disclaimer: The above meal was complimentary. Rest assured, as noted in my mission statement, I will always provide an honest opinion.
Is Winterlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Winterlicious - $48
Regular menu - $63 - octopus ($18), salmon ($31) and dessert ($14)
Savings - $15 or 24%
How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 225 Front Street West (in the Intercontinental Hotel)

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!
Azure - InterContinental Toronto Centre Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Shoushin (Toronto)



Take it from a person who hated sushi as a teenager: quality ingredients and eating from the hands of a well-trained chef makes a HUGE difference. Having been introduced to “Japanese” cuisine in places like Memories of Japan or AYCE restaurants, I couldn’t understand why people enjoyed the spongy fleshy fish. But, it’s similar to expecting someone to like Mexican food after feeding them Taco Bell (no offense, the fries supreme is great, but the tacos? Not so much.)

Hence, when a Chef names a restaurant after the pursuit of craft, Shoushin translates to a Chinese phase signifying ‘a craftsman’s heart’, you know to expect a high caliber. Undeniably, my new found appreciation for the raw dishes have been cultivated after eating the real thing. Dining from the hands of a craftsman isn’t cheap, but just like having a fantastic steak, a good sushi meal should be reserved for special occasions.

Like other high-end sushi restaurants, Shoushin’s offers only omakase menus that changes based on ingredient availability and the chef’s whim. As a diner, you simply pick a price point ($80, $130, $160 or $250) and inform them about food allergies.

Wanting to try their sashimi, we opted for the Yuri ($130) menu. Consisting of two appetizers, sashimi, soup, sushi and dessert, it allowed us to sample a bit of everything.

The first appetizer, a tomato pod, showcased the artful plating that synonymous with Japanese cuisine. After the tomato’s juicy pulp is hollowed out, it’s used to make chilled agar-gar jelly noodles (a gelatin derived from algae). Topping the slick noodles were succulent pieces of East Coast Canadian crab; a dollop of tomalley added an extra richness. Completing the dish were cold asparagus and ponzu jelly, which made it a refreshing summer starter.

As the grating board was revealed and the wasabi root prepared, the anticipation started to build. We’re warned that the prized condiment shouldn’t be mixed into the soy sauce, instead you add a bit to the fish and then dip into the soy separately.


The sashimi was equally beautifully plated and with two slices of everything (except for the octopus), could be shared (Shoushin allows diners to choose different menus). Luckily, everything tasted as great as it looked (from left to right):

  • With bits of a chopped herb (could be shiso) topping the fluke (hirame) it was light and refreshing, slowly easing my taste buds into the meal.
  • The amberjack (kanpachi), while still delicate, had an almost creamy finish that’s really different from past experiences.
  • Although I couldn’t catch the Japanese name of the smaller fish, I could have sworn it was described as “chicken fish” in English. If it were, I could see how the name was derived as the fish’s skin had the chewy springy texture of a cold boiled chicken.
  • What a shame that there was such a small cube of the octopus. The tentacle was so flavourful and tender that I immediately wanted another taste.

Following the sashimi was a hot appetizer: a lovely sesame encrusted miso marinated black cod – just as flavorful and moist as the typical grilled version, but with a nutty crunch from the sesame coating. On the side, a pyramid of crown daisy vegetables, shredded carrots, and shiitake slivers mixed with tofu paste. I could have done without the side of vegetables as there’s a unique taste to the chrysanthemum greens that I’ve never acquired (also known as tung ho, it’s also frequently found in hot pot restaurants).


Before the sushi, a rich bowl of hot miso soup was presented. Earthier than the typical salty broth, it went nicely with Shoushin’s take on agedashi, which was was mixed with a glutinous flour so that the tofu had a chewy nutty bite.


Lastly, ten pieces of individually prepared sushi to finish off the meal – you will not leave hungry. Before getting into the heavenly ending, I must commend Shoushin on their overall client experience: their service attentive and friendly, but also incorporating small touches to ensure everyone is comfortable. For example, diners are presented with a thick wet napkin to wipe their fingers on after picking up the sushi, if they feel uneasy using their chopsticks to get the sushi from the counter (even I had to resort to picking up the red snapper).

The first bite of the intertwined slices of Japanese seabass (Suzuki) showcases Shoushin’s rice at its finest – warm, vinegary and a creamy consistency.


Although still good, the golden eye snapper (kinmedai) marinated in kelp would be even better if the skin was removed as I found it made the sushi chewy.


Chef Lin was quick to clarify that the next piece, butterfish (ibodai), was the real deal and not the manufactured escolar found in budget restaurants. Intrigued to try the real thing, I forgot to take a picture, but found that it was not buttery, rather having a light mellow finish. If anything, the striped jack (shima aji) should be renamed butterfish as it simply melted and was absolutely delicious for such an unassuming looking fish.


Shoushin’s tunas are out of this world in terms of creaminess: the lean cut (akami maguro) was velvety and flavourful; the medium (chutoro maguro) was equally luscious.


By the time the fatty tuna (otoro maguro) arrived, I was expecting butter heaven. Interestingly, the otoro was scraped into a paste and topped with sesame seeds, but was served a tad too cold so the fish’s oiliness and rich taste was rather muted.


The most surprising piece had to be the mackerel (aji). Despite not having a single green onion adorning the normally fishy sushi, Shoushin’s aji was clean and mild tasting, while still incorporating the meaty texture. It’s easy to make tuna taste good, but to heighten the mackerel to that level was astounding. Like his mentor, Chef Seiichi Kashiwabara from Zen, Chef Jackie Lin keeps his sushi simple and instead relies on the quality of the ingredients to shine through.


After having the Argentina shrimp (ebi), it seemed the sushi’s natural sweetness would have been a nice transition into dessert. So, it was a bit unexpected that the following hand roll would incorporate such a strong smoked tuna. Yet, it all worked and Lin’s perfectionist side was highlighted again as he encouraged us to eat it right away before the ultra-crispy nori became tough.


The customary sweet omelette (tamago) signaled the end of the sushi. Dense and incorporating a strong eggy aroma, I loved that you could see the layers of egg white and yolk to give it interest.


Normally, the desserts at upscale sushi restaurants are forgettable … assuming anything is even served. At Shoushin they have the customary ice cream – a house made roasted green tea version that’s okay but too icy. The matcha pudding, on the other hand, is fantastic with the smooth crème caramel like base, topped with sweet red bean paste, a chewy glutinous rice ball, apricot and an extremely strong matcha sauce. The dessert was delicious and different, a very satisfying end to the meal.


Although each menu can be accompanied with sake pairings, we found it’d be too much. Instead, the sake flight ($18) was the perfect amount – just enough to sip and try with the different foods.  


Overall, the dinner at Shoushin was impressive. Having already accomplished so much for a young chef, Chef Lin continues to strive to for perfection. When my husband commented on how delicious the rice was, our waitress passed along the compliment to Lin. His immediate reaction, without a smile, “It could be better” and went on to explain how the rice in Japan is aged for a year.


Make sure to get a seat at the sushi bar, it’s a wonderful opportunity to see the chefs at work and speak to Lin who divides his attention amongst everyone. Despite his serious nature, he even cracks jokes - after I commended the clean tasting aji, he kidded that he cleans it more than himself … immediately the entire bar erupts with laughter. What a surprising delight: having started as a stern fancy meal, it leaves me with a homey feeling and a full belly.

Overall mark - 9 out of 10 


How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 3328 Yonge Street

Follow me on twitter to chat, be notified about new posts and more - https://twitter.com/GastroWorldBlog
____________________________
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!


Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:



Shoushin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato