Since December 2018, J and I have made it a mission to visit JaBistro at least once a month, as we love their food. It's probably one of my favorite restaurants in Toronto, and the quality is consistent. JaBistro is a modern Japanese restaurant known for its 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, which also owns other establishments in the city, including Kinton Ramen, Yakitori Kintori, and Kinka Izakaya.
The restaurant is easily recognizable for its logo of the fish with the luminescence in front of its face. Walking into the establishment, you'd be greeted by a hostess, and most likely be asked to sit at the bar while you wait for your table. The interior was tastefully designed with its sleek use of wood, and it's also windowless. Due to the nature of having no windows; there is no natural lighting (even during lunchtime). Please note that this blog post is a combination of multiple visits throughout the 2019 year. 

JaBistro offers a more elevated dining experience by offering both classic and contemporary dishes that are sourced using the finest, and freshest fish from coastal waters around the world. We always start our meal off with two bowls of hot Miso Soup ($5). The soup here is made out of lobster broth and comes with a small piece of lobster claw.

The salad ($9) - cucumber, greens, is another regular order that we often get. A light start to a pretty filling meal.

Besides fresh sushi and sashimi, JaBistro also offers a bistro menu consisting of a variety of cooked items. My favorite bistro item is the Ika ($11) - calamari, tosazu vinegar. I order this dish every single visit, as I love it that much! Perfectly deep-fried, and the calamari isn't super chewy.

Ebi Nanban ($15) - battered tiger shrimp, tartar sauce

Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the Agedashi ($13) - deep-fried b.c. oysters, seasonal veggies, kombu dashi. I found the oyster too soggy and a little too battered.

Another popular bistro item is the Tori Nanban ($17). It's basically chicken marinated in rice vinegar, soy sauce, and chili and then deep fried in batter. It comes with tartar sauce on the sauce.

If you want sushi, then definitely get the Kyukyoku ($55). It's 12 pieces of market-fresh sushi and it's all comes down to the Chef's choice. So the pieces do vary depending on what's available that day. Each piece of sushi is already brushed with soy sauce and includes a small dab of wasabi.

Most of the time, service has been consistently great. The servers would explain each piece for the Kyukyoku platter. However, on our recent visits (November 14, 2019), one of the female servers just dropped the platter down and ran off quickly. I thought it was weird! Luckily, that lady wasn't our main server for the night, as ours was friendlier.

At times, they don't have enough fish for the Kyukyoku, so it's replaced by the Chef's Choice ($45). Instead of up to 12 pieces, you get a platter consisted of nine pieces of nigiri.

If you want to try a variety of their aburi, then I highly recommend getting the Aburicious ($22). The platter comes with 2 ebi, 2 saba, 2 salmon, and 2 JaBistroll. JaBistro's specialty lies in their aburi sushi. It is made by pressing sushi rice and fish into a mold to get that rectangular shape and then blowtorched. Blow-torching the top of the aburi creates a wonderful smoky flavor.

I have only tried the Wagyu Oshizushi ($25) once, and it was pretty decent. However, it's pricier than the other oshizushi options, and the rice to wagyu ratio was a little off.

Ebi Oshizushi ($15) - pressed tiger shrimp sushi. Another popular option for pressed sushi.

The Salmon Oshizushi ($17) - pressed Atlantic salmon sushi, was the perfect balance between sauce and fish. By torching the top of the sushi, it provided a nice smokey flavor as mentioned above. My second favorite after their signature roll, the Jabistroll.

Out of their entire menu, my favorite item is their signature roll called the JaBistroll ($22) - salmon, snow crab, uni, cucumber, tobiko. So creamy and melts in your mouth.

Fatty Bluefin Tuna Hand Roll ($10) 

JaBistro is a great mix of traditional sushi with modern approaches. One of its downsides is definitely the price as it's not wallet-friendly for everyday occasions. However, it's a nice place for business dinners, special occasions, and social gatherings. I highly recommend this place if you love sushi.

Address: 222 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1V6

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