Who knew a simple lunch special of salmon, avocado, and white tuna sushi rolls could breathe new life into my love of sushi? Much like the cupcake funk and rut I was in wallowing in over the holidays, I wanted to approach my sushi story-telling from a different angle, a different standpoint. Even after my giddiness over Ginza’s menu changes, I still felt like I needed a little more “umph” to really get my inspiration fired up again. After over a year of posting about some of my favourite sushi bars, rolls, and dishes, I was totally reinspired this past weekend and it feels great!
My lunch at Sushi Sky started off like any other sushi lunch. At least, I thought it would be like every other sushi lunch – but it wasn’t. In hindsight, everything about this meal was different from what I was accustomed to (albeit unintentionally) and that’s part of the reason why it ended up being so great. For starters, I was with my family. Let it be known that aside from all-you-can-eat sushi places, I never go out for sit-down sushi with my entire family. Ever. With my mum and brother, occasionally, yes, but not with my dad in tow. Long story short, he’s not a fan of sushi rolls so my family and I just haven’t bothered going that route. Second, I almost always dive for the book menu and start paging through it vigorously, excitedly scoping out the different types of rolls, sets, and appetizers. This time though, I flipped through the menu half-heartedly, almost as if there was something else seeking my attention. And there was: Sushi Sky’s lunch specials menu.
I know, I know. The lunch specials menu at sushi restaurants often have the best deals, price-wise, so it’s odd how I don’t lunge for those menus first, yes? Well, I have a confession to make. Many lunch special menus have a combination of teriyaki meat items, teriyaki bento boxes, cucumber rolls, and california rolls with a few other dishes here and there and truth be told, I have avoided many lunch special menus because of that. I dislike teriyaki, cucumber rolls, and california rolls. I KNOW. There are things Deb actually doesn’t like! You can all collectively gasp now. I’m aware that I gush on and on about the things I love on Ate by Ate, giving the impression that I simply love everything and have no dislikes. I may embrace many foods and I may be open to trying many things I haven’t tried before, but in all honesty, these are three things I just don’t touch.
How, then, did Sushi Sky’s lunch special menu capture my attention? It captivated me with the help of my family, that’s how. Everyone was gazing so intently at the double-sided menu that I became curious and thought, “what is all the fuss about?” So I looked and almost gasped when I realized what I had been missing out on during my first visit last month. Split into two pricing categories ($4.99 specials and $6.99 specials), there were the standard teriyaki items and california rolls, yes, but it was the other menu options that had completely bypassed me the previous time.
And my meal? Utterly delicious. Although the rolls weren’t the “be-all, end-all” softest I’ve ever eaten (that award goes to Tokyo Sushi by Bay and Wellesley), they were great and I especially love the nutty flavour from the sesame seeds the rolls were rolled in. I’ve had many sushi rolls with sesame seeds on the outside but for whatever reason, these rolls just had more of that roasted, aromatic flavour to it that made it that much more enjoyable. The salmon and white tuna in the rolls were moist and soft and there were big chunks of both in all the rolls.
The winner though, aside from the number of rolls and the the ridiculously good price? The salmon cakes! The meal came with 2 salmon cakes and they were domes of sushi rice wrapped in thick slices of salmon sashimi, covered in salmon roe and dollops of sushi mayo. They were so unbelievably delicious! The sashimi was perfect, the rice was soft, and the mayo was delightful. They were incredible. Out of curiousity, I looked up the salmon cakes on the regular menu to see how much they were and for 4 pieces, they were priced at $6.99. Based on that price, my 2 pieces were $3.50, meaning that the rest of my lunch special (12 rolls, soup, and salad) came to a total of $3.50! Hands down, this has to be the BEST sushi lunch special in town!
Thanks to my family, and especially my brother (who I now nickname Bento Box Boy), I was able to see Sushi Sky with fresh eyes and to appreciate it so much more. I feel so inspired. Inspired to give all lunch special menus another shot, inspired to be more open to bento boxes (I am totally ordering his sweet and sour chicken meal in the future. My brother says it’s awesome!), and inspired to start a new sushi subseries entirely devoted to lunch specials around the city!
Sushi Sky is located at 478 Yonge Street in downtown Toroto, just north of College Street on the west side of Yonge. They are open 7 days a week for both lunch and dinner from 11:30am-11pm Monday-Saturday and from 12pm noon-11pm on Sundays.