Ask any sushi lover what their favourite kind is and they’ll tell you in an instant. While it’s always fun to see how many spicy tuna rolls you can indulge in at an all-you-can-eat sushi joint, sushi is traditionally meant to be enjoyed à la carte. Whether you enjoy a mix of sushi and sashimi, are loyal to the specialty maki rolls, or love sampling different nigiri, here are five of Toronto’s best sushi restaurants to check out when the craving hits.
A venture by the owners of Miku Toronto and TORA, Aburi Hana offers a full-blown sensory experience to diners who enter this upscale Yorkville sushi spot. Aburi Hana specializes in modern Kyō-Kaiseki techniques, which means that the sushi gets its flavour from the freshness of the ingredients used, and doesn’t rely on heavy seasonings, like soy sauce or other additives and mayonnaise-based sauces. This spot offers a $380 tasting menu based on the Kyōto-style Kaiseki concept that offers highly curated and seasonal dishes. Aburi Hana’s takeout menu, Aburi at Home, features a selection of Oju platters, which feed between two and four people and feature bespoke tiers with seasonal sashimi or protein offerings, including Wagyu roast beef, Atlantic Canadian lobster, foie gras and more.
Flame-seared sushi is the star of the menu at Miku, where elements of French and Italian cuisine also complement Japanese cuisine. Miku has an extensive menu to choose from. Bespoke tiers piled with hot appetizers, sushi, sashimi, or maki rolls range from $50 to $85, while sushi platters, which include anywhere from 14 to 52 pieces range in price from $26 to $77. Additionally, Miku offers its signature bento boxes and bowls which are both served with miso soup, as well as popular sushi plates. An extensive selection of sushi, specialty rolls, nigiri, and apps like spicy sesame edamame and aburi chicken wings are all available, along with a few entrees, such as the Kyoto saikyo miso sablefish and butter poached lobster.
Project: Fish is the new North York restaurant specializing in classic, aburi (flame-seared), & oshi hand-pressed) sushi styles with elevated plating in a contemporary setting. What sets this spot in northern Toronto apart from the myriad other sushi spots across the city? They offer their dine-in omakase tasting menus to go, so you can enjoy a curated chef’s selection of the freshest, seasonal sushi they have to offer in the comfort of your home.
If you’re looking for a chic date spot or somewhere to celebrate a special occasion with a larger group, dinner at Project: Fish will not disappoint. The menu is expansive, with tons of sashimi and specialty roll options you’ve never had before like the 10-piece Sesame Bomb roll, which has a unique mix of crabmeat, shrimp, cucumber, black tobiko and avocado. Sweeten your visit with a scoop of ice cream with flavour options that include green tea, black sesame, mango or strawberry mocha.
Yasu’s claim to fame is that it is Canada’s very first omakase sushi bar. Omakase is a Japanese phrase which, quite literally, means “I’ll leave it up to you.” At Yasu, only one menu exists. Head chef and founder of Yasu, Yasuhisa Ouchi, trusts his instincts and creates a new daily menu which incorporates only the freshest seafood and ingredients from all over the world. You’ll have to make a reservation and see for yourself instead of checking out the menu first, but it’ll be worth it!
The word shoushin means “craftsman’s heart” and both the food and the design at Shoushin reflect this. The establishment is home to an imported 200-year-old hinoki wood counter that releases natural aromas, where chef Jackie Lin gets to work crafting intricate pieces of sushi made with wild-caught seafood imported from Japan. Shoushin specializes in making edomae-style sushi, which means the fish is marinated for several days, instead of served fresh. Eating at Shoushin is a special experience — the omakase menu, which is a menu that the chef creates for the customer, is set at a prix-fixe of $250. Shoushin also offers a chef’s specialty called the Obsession Perfection Omakase which starts at $400.