Showing posts with label Sushi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sushi. Show all posts
Every Thursday until the end of the year, join Blowfish Restaurant for after work cocktails at their #ThirteenThursdays event from 5 pm to 7 pm.  Experience product launches and sampling as well as cocktail flights & featured food from a special menu.

What is #ThirteenThursdays? It's a program that was started on October 13th, 2016, and will last for 13 weeks every Thursday (hence its name). Every Thursday, guests are able to enjoy an array of cocktails and order from their snack menu. It's a great spot if you're looking for a place to unwind after a long day of work. Blowfish Restaurant is conveniently located in the bustling Financial District, and a walk away from the subway station.

A few friends and I had the pleasure of checking out Blowfish's #ThirteenThursdays, and was able to sample a couple of items. We were seated in the modern cocktail bar lounge (BarFish); a narrow space lit with bright neon lights adjacent to the dining room.

We started the evening off with their featured cocktail ($15), the Autumn Fantasia - tito's vodka, cointreau, cinnamon syrup, lime juice. The drink was a delightfully light cocktail, and a favorite among the four of us.

Battera (box sushi) - masago, salmon, tabasco, negi, sesame, and tempura bits 

Edamame - with sea salt

Mochiko Crusted Chicken - with spicy daikon ponzu

Lotus-Steamed Lobster + Shrimp Dumpling - with spicy tobanjan sauce

Spicy Rock Shrimp - tempura style shrimp tossed in a hot garlic kewpie sauce

Spicy Tuna On A Crispy Sushi Rectangle - topped with jalapeno

Crispy Crab, Shrimp, and Scallop Spring Roll - with lemon and tamari kewpie dips

Wagyu Gyoza - pan-seared dumpling stuffed with wagyu, black fungus, ginger, preserved spicy vegetables


Blowfish Restaurant has an extensive bar menu concocted by award-winning mixologist and head bartender, Nishan Nepulangoda.

The chefs at Blowfish Restaurant have created a delightful palette of Japanese fusion dishes. I have dined here before, and I do find the prices to be quite up there in terms of fine dining. However, #ThirteenThursdays allow diners to sample some items from their menu for a fraction of the price, while enjoying some after-work cocktails.

Address: 668 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1M7

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

There has been an influx of west coast imports as of late to Toronto, including Miku, Shameful Tiki Room, and Cactus Club. Another one joining the ranks is popular Vancouver sushi chain/lounge, Ebisu. They will be opening sometime this month (date is TBA) with a similar concept as their Vancouver locations in downtown Toronto. Ebisu on Queen will be taking over the former Sushi Queen space located at 204 Queen St. West. Ebisu on Queen aims to offer an extensive menu of delicious food and drinks set in a lively sushi bar lounge.
Ebisu Japanese Restaurant originated from Vancouver, as its first location opened in December 2006. There are currently two locations in Vancouver and one in Richmond, along with two restaurants under the Kamei names. What is Ebisu? Ebisu translates as "Yebisu" - meaning the fisherman's god of fortune and good luck. Ebisu is the only one out of the Seven Gods of Fortune to originate from Japan.

Photo Credit: @EbisuonQueen
Upstairs of Ebisu on Queen will be a hair salon called Muse Salon, also from Vancouver. Muse Salmon is an all-in-one beauty shop designed for your styling needs. They use the best products and equipment in the industry to provide a great hair experience. In addition, they also carry Japanese straightening and perm solutions available exclusively at MUSE. Ebisu on Queen was still under construction during my last visit, so I had the opportunity to get my hair done. So instead of tasting the menu, I got to fully experience what Muse Salon was all about.

Bye bye long hair!
I met my hair stylist who trained and worked in Tokyo for several years, so she had years of experience. We started the appointment off by discussing what style I wanted, and then it was off to wash my hair.

The chair was comfortable, so it made the hair washing and head massage much more relaxing. I was a little hesitant at first, as it has been years since I had short hair. However, I decided to let it be, and just went along with a bob haircut. Overall, I had a really good experience at Muse Salon, and was happy with my haircut.  

My bob hair cut =)

Disclaimer: The service provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a media tasting at JaBistro. I have been here on three occasions, and it has remained one of my favorite sushi spots in Toronto. JaBistro is a modern Japanese restaurant known for their beautifully presented sashimi platters, and blowtorched sushi. Established in November 2012, JaBistro has remained a popular choice for many when it comes to choosing a premier sushi restaurant to dine at. Additionally, the restaurant is part of the Kinka Family, who also owns other establishments in the city, including Kinton Ramen, Yakitori Kintori, and Kinka Izakaya.  

Both of my previous dinners took place during the winter time (third experience was lunch), so I was not aware that JaBistro had a rooftop patio. The patio is open every summer until it gets too cold, as they don't have any overhead heat system. JaBistro's Rooftop Patio was tastefully designed with its sleek use of wood, and string lights. It provided a more zen ambiance compared to their dining space downstairs. The patio seats 40 guests, with the possibility of using the eastern (direction) side of 20 seats for private functions.

JaBistro offers a more elevated dining experience by offering both classic and contemporary dishes that are sourced using the finest, and freshest dish from coastal waters around the world. We started off our menu tasting with the first course, a beautifully plated sashimi platter accompanied with a glass of wine. JaBistro did not disappoint me with their selection, and the sashimi platter was a great indication of the rest of the meal. The sashimi was silky, buttery, and fresh.

Course 1 - Sashimi Platter + Cava Sampling

Akami - blue fin tuna loin (Japan), Tai - sea bream (Japan), Wagyu Beef (US), and Salmon (Canada)

Course 2 - Appetizer Platter

Kanpachi Kama (fish collar), Ebi Nanban (battered tiger shrimp), Ika (calamari), and lobster miso soup

The kanpachi kama (fish collar) was a great introductory course, and we both enjoyed the fish head very much. To be honest, we didn't expect the head to contain so much meat, so it was a welcomed surprise.

The platter also came with 2 jumbo pieces of ebi nanban (battered tiger shrimp), which I quickly ate. I liked that the tartar sauce was available on the side instead of glazed on the shrimp as they were on my previous visit, as the shrimps are already sweet in flavor. You can order the ebi nanban from the bistro menu for $14, and it comes with 6 pieces.

Course 3 - Nigiri & Aburi (blowtorced)

Hamachi (yellowtail) from Japan, Chu Toro (medium fatty tuna belly) from Japan, Lobster from Halifax, Salmon Oshizushi, Saba Oshizushi (mackerel), Ebi (tiger shrimp), and JaBistroll (salmon, snow crab, uni, cucumber, tobiko).

Up next was a platter containing chef’s choice of 3 nigiri, and 4 oshizushi, including one of my favorites, the JaBistro Roll. The JaBistro Roll is a signature roll filled with salmon, snow crab, uni, cucumber, tobiko, mayo, and then lightly torched. Additionally, the uni provided a nice creamy texture to the roll, which I really enjoyed.

Oshizushi is pressed sushi, and is made by pressing sushi rice and fish into a mould to create a rectangular shape, and then lightly seared with a blowtorch. The oshizushi sushi are topped off with different toppings to give each one a distinct taste. For example, the salmon was topped off with thin slices of jalapeño, while the mackerel was topped with scallion and daikon radish. Additionally, all the aburi are already seasoned with their in-house soy sauce, and wasabi. My favorite was the salmon oshizushi, and it is one of my must-have dishes.

Course 4 - Dessert

Mousse cake with vanilla ice-cream

We ended the night off with dessert; a delectable green tea flavored mousse cake with vanilla ice-cream. The chocolate sponge cake was layered with creamy and light green tea mousse, and topped off with strawberries. This combination created a very airy cake with subtle sweetness. Perfect for those who aren't into super sweet desserts. If you like sweets, then the accompanied ice-cream should satisfied that craving.

JaBistro is a great place for business meals, dates, or special occasions. Overall, JaBistro is a great place to dine for its quality food, attentive service, and we had an enjoyable dining experience up on their rooftop patio. They are open for lunch Monday-Fri from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, and dinner from Sun-Thurs (5 pm to 11 pm), and Fri-Sat (5 pm to 12 am).

Address: 222 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1W4

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

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

Dinner @ JaBistro's Rooftop Patio

by on Thursday, August 04, 2016
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a media tasting at  JaBistro . I have been here on three occasions, and it has remai...
Sakura Japanese Cuisine is a Japanese restaurant located in the Annex; they offer both AYCE and a la carte options. This short review will be on my first visit to Sakura Japanese Cuisine where we opted for their a la carte menu for lunch. We were short on time as we had a meeting to attend, so we only had less than an hour that Saturday for lunch. However, we enjoyed our visit, and return soon after for their AYCE. That is going to be a separate review on its own.

I opted for the beef short ribs bento box ($10.99). Please note that the following bento box that I ordered was not part of their lunch specials and part of the dinner. They had a beef short ribs lunch special for a mere $6.99 but it didn't come with any sashimi or sushi. Normally, most places would give you tempura but in lieu of that, Sakura Japanese Cuisine gives you three pieces of salmon sashimi. It's a welcome alternative for those who like sashimi much more than tempura. Granted this was still an AYCE, so the sushi and sashimi aren't on par with high end places, but the quality was still pretty good. I'd say that Sakura Japanese Cuisine had a constant flow of customers during their lunch hour, so there was definitely a steady movement of fish. I also can appreciate the fact that there were more than 7 pieces of meaty ribs; the norm is usually four at other places.

J ended up getting the tempura udon ($8.95) which arrived out pretty quickly. He liked the fact that the tempura wasn't in the soup and on its own.

Sakura Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Sakura Japanese Cuisine

by on Friday, November 21, 2014
Sakura Japanese Cuisine is a Japanese restaurant located in the Annex; they offer both AYCE and a la carte options. This short review will ...
What I love about downtown is the plethora of sushi restaurants. There aren't that many sushi establishments in my area when I'm back uptown with my family. I was craving for some sushi one night and decided to order delivery. Based on Google maps; one of the nearest sushi restaurants in the area was Sake Sushi. There weren't that many reviews online but most were positive so I went ahead and ordered with them. Sake Sushi also offers an AYCE option for $13.99 (lunch) and $20.99 (dinner); it's $1-2 more on the weekends/holidays. 

Based on past experiences; ordering a la carte from AYCE can be a hit or a miss. Most of the time, the quality isn't very high compared to non-AYCE establishments but the price ranges are similar. 

The salmon pizza (sushi pizza) ($6.95) tasted a lot better than it looked. The crispy patty wasn't overly fried and it was topped with the right amount of roe. Although, the salmon was sliced extremely thin. 

I opted for the beef short ribs (bento box) ($11.75) which came with ribs, stir-fried vegetables, two fried dumplings, steamed rice, green salad and miso soup. The ribs were marinated well and the flavor of the veggies was good. Unfortunately, it only came with four thin slices of ribs but at least there was a helping hand of greens. Surprisingly, the bento boxes also came with five nigiri (shrimp and salmon) and spicy salmon roll; they were not listed on the menu. 

The chicken teriyaki (bento box) ($10.75) came with chicken, steamed rice, two beef dumplings, green salad and miso soup.

The shrimp tempura roll (6 pieces) ($5.95) was a good choice. The batter that they used to coat the shrimp was light and crispy. 

They offer free delivery over $30 (before tax). This was easily achieved for two people. Overall, the quality of the food was good but they really do skimp out by cutting up their meat and fish so thinly.  With that being said, I am still interested in trying out their AYCE when I'm up in the area one day. Their dinner menu seems extensive and their price is on par with other AYCE uptown.

Address: 5875 Hwy 7 W Vaughan, ON

Sake Sushi on Urbanspoon

Sake Sushi

by on Sunday, July 20, 2014
What I love about downtown is the plethora of sushi restaurants. There aren't that many sushi establishments in my area when I'm b...
Koganei is nestled in a rather unsuspecting strip plaza up in Vaughan. There was ongoing construction in the area at the time of our dinner, so we had to drive around it. I am not too sure if the construction has been completed in the area. Like many other sushi restaurants, Koganei offers a large assortment of sushi/sashimi and has an extensive menu. The place was relatively mid-sized with ample seating (booths-styled) and a sushi bar.

 Deep Fried Oyster ($5.95) - Khaki Fry 6-deep fried breaded fresh oysters w/tonkatsu sauce. This dish came with 6 pieces of deep fried oysters, and it was rather dry to me. Honestly, I think after spending time in Miyajima, Japan (the land of oysters); the cooked ones in Toronto don't do anything for me.

I opted for their beef teriyaki bento box ($15.95) as my main dish. The bento box arrived in two individual rectangular pieces. The first box contained steamed rice, stir-fry veggies, and the beef teriyaki. While, the second box contained orange slices, 3 California rolls and shrimp/veggie tempura. Additionally, each bento box came with miso soup and green salad. The sizzling beef was excellent as it was tender and flavorful.

My brother got the chicken teriyaki bento box (served with miso soup, 3 California rolls, assorted tempura, stir fried vegetables, steamed rice and fruit) ($12.95).

I have mentioned this in several of my sushi posts, but I absolutely love sushi pizza. As an additional dish, I got their salmon pizza ($6.99) to share - diced fish with green onion, topped with tobiko and spicy mayonnaise on crispy rice cake. The sushi pizza was 5 inches in diameter and 6 slices in total. The sushi pizza was of a good size, and divided into 6 equal pieces with abundance of salmon chunks on top. The deep fried patty was crispy and the salmon was flavored well. It wasn't the best sushi pizza I have ever had, but it was rather good.

Lastly, we also got a plate of salmon sashimi (3 pcs) ($4.25). The sashimi was largely sliced and had a nice buttery texture.

Service was good as our waitress was friendly, attentive, and quick to assist us. She also made the effort to check upon us a few times, and refilled our cups of green tea. Dinner was $67 for two (drinks + taxes + tip included). Koganei is not the most affordable places for sushi in the area, but the quality was good, and both of us left full.


Quality of Food: 3.9/5
Service: 4/5
Overall Dining Experience: 3.9/5
Price: $$$

Address:  3901 Hwy 7, Woodbridge, ON L4L 8L5

Koganei Japanese on Urbanspoon


by on Friday, June 13, 2014
Koganei is nestled in a rather unsuspecting strip plaza up in Vaughan. There was ongoing construction in the area at the time of our dinner...