It’s not customary for me to write about sushi twice in a week. As much as I adore sushi, I normally like to keep sushi posts at one per week so I can blog about other equally amazing foods and places, and to keep things fresh and new. Today is different though. Normally I would be posting about The Grad Lounge for my weekly feature, but I really want to take today to talk about an amazing sushi place that has recently closed down and is no longer in business, and to reminisce about all the wonderful times I had there over the past year. My beloved Haru Zushi is no longer operating at Yonge & Davisville and it breaks my heart. This is my way of saying goodbye and documenting how much this place meant to me when it was around and I hope you all don’t mind that I post some photos from the times I’ve been there.
I first had an inkling that something was wrong when I had plans on taking my mum and brother there over the holidays during the first week of January. I was majorly disappointed when we got off the subway at Davisville, crossed the street, and found out that it was closed down for renovation. I didn’t know whether they closed to spruce the place up (I didn’t think they needed it, but hey, business is business) or because it was gone for good and being replaced by something else. I guess you could say I was in denial as I assumed the former as opposed to the latter and my suspicions were confirmed today when I gave the number a call: Haru Zushi was gone.
I know, I know. “It’s just a sushi restaurant. There are plenty in the city!” True. But not every place holds so many sweet memories and great times and Haru Zushi will forever be remembered fondly by me for that very reason. Like I’ve written in my “For the Love of Food” page, food is much more to me than things that feed me and keep me alive. Every outing creates a memory, and there are both good and sad times connected to everything I – and we – eat. For those who’ve been there with me since I first started the blog back at the end of November, you’ll remember that my first blog post was a Haru Zushi one (pictured up top) and my image header on the blog was, for the first 3 months, a set of sushi rolls from Haru Zushi. The rolls are actually from the photos pictured in the scrapbook layout I posted for today and they were some of my favourites 🙂 I’ve been there a bunch of times with my sweetie, an old friend, and a group of friends an each time was just as fun as the last.
I remember the first time eating at Haru Zushi last April with my boyfriend, Richard, and being so excited to order their Christmas roll: spicy white tuna with avocado slices and red masago draped on top. It drove the photographer and scrapbooker in me crazy happy and I remember snapping so many photos with my old camera at the time. My sweet tiny Nikon, the first digital camera I bought back in 2005, was getting a workout and I was so happy that the pictures were turning out nice. It was my beloved camera at the time, but jeebus did I ever have to work at it to get nice photos without flash and with the macro function on! I was praticing for ages and was finally being rewarded with pretty pictures and I was ecstatic to start building my portfolio with these.
Sadly, I don’t have those photos as my camera was stolen last April (with 300 pictures on it no less!) before I could transfer and develop them and I cried for days, weeks even, when that happened. Haru Zushi was that place for me that really allowed me to experiment with the beginnings of a portfolio and because the food and prices were so fabulous, that first time led to many more for the rest of the year.
The sushi chef was so nice and so were the waitresses who served me. One waitress was so sweet and would say hello to me and ask me how I was doing every time I came and I remember giving her a cupcake from The Cupcake Shoppe even. I didn’t just go there to eat delicious food; I went there for the comfort and the relationships I had built. I gained so much more than a place to put in my top 3 list of sushi bars. I gained a greater appreciation for the food and a connection in the community. It was a truly fantastic place with fresh, quality food at great prices, served by great people and I will miss it dearly. Haru Zushi, you made this one girl very, very happy while you were around ❤
Have you ever had one of your favourite places close down? Share! We can whimper together.