Showing posts with label spicy tuna. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spicy tuna. Show all posts

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!

Is That It? I Want More!

Other Gastro World posts similar to this:

Blowfish (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 333 Bay Street
Type of Meal: Dinner

Blowfish’s roasted miso-marinated black cod with sautéed seasonal greens ($28) is certainly why I keep going back.  It’s simply one of the tastiest miso black cods I've had in Toronto. Cooked perfectly that it flakes apart with the slight touch and yet still soft and moist. Undeniably, what I love most is the sweet caramel consistency miso sauce smeared on the plate beside the cod.  It’s so flavourful and acts as a dip for the patron to add as much or as little as they feel appropriate. If you’d like to try this without the $28 price tag, go at lunch – you’ll receive the same dish but with one piece instead of two while the price decreases to $14.

Roasted miso-marinated black cod (1)

Off of the seasonal menu we ordered the binnaga-maguro ceviche.  Diced pieces of albacore tuna, avocado, veggies and pine nuts are marinated with a jalapeño yuzu sauce then served on a Tostito sized crispy taro chip ($18).  I didn’t hate it, but it wouldn’t be something I’d order again.  The tuna was marinated for so long that the texture was sort of chewy.  Additionally, something about the marinade made it taste with salted dried cod fish, not exactly what you look for in a ceviche.

Binnaga-maguro ceviche (2)

Another highlight for Blowfish is their interesting non-traditional makimono rolls.  The brown-eyed pea ($9) is one of my favourites.  It’s pretty simple - crispy thin spears of asparagus and thinly sliced snow peas all wrapped in dark brown rice rolled in sesame seeds.  The contrast of the chewy rice and crispy asparagus is great.  The brown rice’s texture is also my preferred consistency as I find the white rice rolls can be a little gluey sometimes. Spicy sauce sits on the plate for you to add as you wish.

Brown-eyed pea roll (3)

What we ordered: A simple spicy salmon roll ($10).  Unlike most restaurants the salmon isn’t chopped up into little pieces then mixed with tempura bits and sauce.  I like that each roll incorporates a whole piece of salmon and that the tempura bits aren’t overwhelming.  Nonetheless, the sauce is too mild to truly be considered spicy and would prefer if they kicked it up a bit.

Spicy salmon roll (4)

An alternative I’d recommend from past meals: Spicy tuna on crispy sushi rice ($17).  The soft tuna paired with domino sized crispy rice cakes is a great combination.  Also, they top each piece with a thin slice of jalapeño providing the heat I like when you order a spicy roll.

Spicy tuna on crispy rice cake (5)

What we ordered: Spicy rock shrimp tempura style ($20).  It was disappointing; the shrimp although looking quite large was really a large piece of batter and ends up feeling like you’re eating a chicken ball.  The spicy sauce is essentially the same as all the other dishes so wasn’t flavourful enough.  The only dish we ordered that had leftover pieces.

Spicy rock shrimp (6)

An alternative I’d recommend from past meals: If you really want to try the spicy rock shrimp, order their spicy tuna with rock shrimp roll instead ($18).  It’s essentially a spicy tuna roll with a rock shrimp on top.  Perhaps it’s because they have to make the spicy rock shrimp smaller so that it sits on the roll or maybe it’s due to them not being stacked on each other and getting soggy, but the spicy rock shrimp doesn’t taste as bad. 

Spicy tuna roll with rock shrimp (4)

During dinner, you are also treated with a complimentary dish of edamame for the table which is wonderfully warm and sea salt coated.
I also tried their watermelon mint sake sangria ($16) made with prosecco, watermelon and passion fruit juice and tons of fresh mint.  It was a tasty but mild drink – since you couldn’t taste the alcohol, in the end, the drink tasted like you’re having fruit juice with mint leaves.  With the hefty price tag, I’d rather skip the sangria and stick with wine next time.
Normally, I go to Blowfish for lunch.  This time we went after work and found the service, although friendly and attentive, to be too much.  After all our dishes were served, a waiter would come by every 10 minutes to ask if we were okay.  If that weren’t enough, each time they would try to clear away a plate – most of the time the dish still had a piece of food on it!  This left us either scrambling to take the last piece or just asking them to leave it.  Restaurants should take note, if a table has a dish that still has food on it and looks like they are still eating - don’t clear the plate.  I guess during lunch hours the duration of the meal is limited so we appreciate the fast service, but during dinner I find this element slightly annoying.
Overall mark - 8* out of 10

However, the roasted miso-marinated black cod itself would get a 9!

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!
For further general discussions about this blog please refer to

Photo Sources:
  1. Roasted miso-marinated black cod - Mastercard Fashion Week (
  2. Binnaga-maguro ceviche - (
  3. Brown-eyed pea roll - TorontoLife (
  4. Spicy salmon roll and Spicy tuna with rock shrimp - Cutting dollars and pounds (
  5. Spicy tuna on crispy rice - Foodspotting (
  6. Spicy rock shrimp - Hotchner @ Foodspotting (

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