All You Can Eat Sushi in Markham – Introducing Yellowtail and Its Amazing Dragon Rolls!

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For all the sushi I love and eat in the city, it’ll probably come as a surprise to most that I’ve actually never done an all you can eat dinner in Toronto!  I did an all you can eat sushi lunch once with an old friend, at Echo Sushi on Yonge St. south of Eglinton, over a year and a half ago, but no dinner with family or friends.  Nope, my track record shows that I’ve saved my all you can eat sushi fests for places a little closer to home. 

One of my favourite foodie things about Markham is the selection of all you can eat sushi places!  Over the years, my family and I have tried a number of different places all over Markham, some which have been top-of-the-line stellar and others that have just been mediocre.  Throughout this sushi feasting process, we’ve lost a favourite (Sushi Tomato at Metro Square by Warden and Steeles) and gained a new one (Asia Feast off Hwy. 7 and Langstaff), all the way scoping out new and unchartered sushi territories.

Not too long ago, we received a flyer in our mail with a menu advertising a brand spankin’ new AYCE place called Yellowtail within the plaza at the corner of 16th and Woodbine Ave.  Remember my post on the delicious Greek food at Loui’s Kouzina?  Same plaza!  This plaza and I go waaaaay back.  When I moved to Markham from Scarborough about 13 years ago, I attended Buttonville Public School for my 8th grade year and this plaza was just one major street away and gosh have things ever changed in this plaza over the years.  Gone is the Loeb and No Frills supermarket, and in comes stores like One’s Better Living, the soon-to-be T&T supermarket, and of course AYCE Yellowtail.  One thing has remained constant though: the food scene here is pretty darn good!  Loui’s Kouzina, All Star Wings & Ribs, a Chinese and HK restaurant I actually tried out last week (the name escapes me right now, sorry, I suck), and the awesome Yellowtail.

Asia Feast still holds #1 spot in my heart for AYCE sushi in Markham, but Yellowtail is REALLY amazing and I would recommend it to anyone who loves to AYCE.  I don’t know how everyone feels about restaurant seating, but I’m a fan of booths and Yellowtail has a LOT of them, which makes for nice roomy seating.  The prices are very standard and average for AYCE ($21.99 for weekend dinner and $19.99 for weekday dinner) and the service is excellent here.  The girls who were taking down our orders and delivering our food to our table were super sweet and really nice.  And now, for the food.  Wow.  Really, WOW.  We ordered a bunch of different things including salmon sashimi, white butter fish, red snapper, chicken teriyaki and squid skewers, scallops, tofu, and white tuna sushi pizza.

Everything was incredibly fresh, of great quality, and I enjoyed all of it.  If I had to pick out the standouts though, they were the roll sets and the selection of ice cream for dessert.  The rolls are fan-freakin’-tastic, OHMYGOD.  I’m biased towards anything with cream cheese and spicy sauce, so of course I loved the Philadelphia rolls (salmon with cream cheese) and the spicy crunch rolls (tempura crunchies with dollops of spicy sauce), but the honest-to-god knockouts?  The 8-roll sets and the dragons.  I swear, if you all take my recommendation and go to Yellowtail, ORDER THE DRAGONS!  I have NEVER in all my years of eating sushi seen dragon roll sets as big as these.  They are amazing, delicious, beautiful, and they will render you speechless. 

We ordered the mango 8-roll set (which was served in the dragon style, rolls upright) and the rolls were draped in avocado slices, sprinkled with orange masago, and dripping with mango puree sauce with more chunks of avocado and mango inside the rolls.  If you want a tropical party in your mouth, do yourself a favour and eat this.  It will make you so happy.  In addition to the mango roll set, we had the green dragon roll and THIS made all of our mouths gap open when our waitress brought it to our table.  Giant rolls covered in thick avocado slices with tempura shrimp, shredded cucumber, tempura crunchies, and sushi mayo, with plenty of shredded cucumber garnish on the side.  Yellowtail, hands down, does the best sushi dragons imaginable and they blow the sushi places in the city out of the water.

Oh, and the ice cream selection for dessert!  6 choices!  Sure, they have the usual vanilla, green tea, and mango, but do you know what else they have that nobody else has?  Cookies n’ cream and cappuccino!  And they do have red bean ice cream as well.  We ordered bowls and bowls of the stuff and had ourselves a jolly good time 😀  I am so happy that Yellowtail worked out for us and now that I know that their sushi dragons are the best ever, I’ll slowly eat my way through them.  Close to home, close to the tummy!

*****

Yellowtail is located at 9255 Woodbine Ave. Unit #B14.  It is located beside One’s Better Living within the plaza at the intersection of Woodbine and 16th Ave. in Markham.

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This Is How I Celebrate! All You Can Eat and Rolling Down the Street at Sushi on 7

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So how does a little lady go about celebrating and whooping after she has finished her Master’s degree?  She goes out for all you can eat sushi 😀  After years and months of researching, writing, rewriting, reading, creating mountains of paper that rival Mount Everest, more rewriting, and tears and frustration, school is over my lovelies and I finished my degree last week!  As a pre-celebration, my sweetie and I went out for all you can eat sushi several weeks ago and tried out Sushi on 7 in Markham, a place that I had been meaning to try for awhile now.  After also celebrating my dad’s birthday here this past weekend, I can most certainly give this sushi AYCE a happy thumbs up!  I enjoyed myself the first time just fine, but it never hurts to have your opinion solidifed the second time around.  Mmmm.

Now, if you’re unfamiliar with sushi all you can eats, here’s the deal: it’s not like self-serve buffets where you heap food onto your own plates.  Although some Asian-sushi fusion places have a self-serve component to them (for example, Wasabi Japanese Buffet in Markham), the sushi parts are always through order placing.  A lot of sushi AYCEs will have pads of paper with a complete listing of all the menu items available for you to choose.  You go through the menu, decide which items you want to gorge on, write down how many of each item you want (for items that come in multiples, you can double check with restaurant staff to make sure how many are included in each set.  For example, things like maki rolls, scallops, chicken or fish skewers, things like that) and hand the paper over to a waiter or waitress who will then deliver your order to the kitchen staff. 

Rinse and repeat!  😀  You can order as many rounds as you want, till you’re so full you roll down the street, ha.  Don’t leave leftovers though.  Sushi AYCEs charge per piece for anything that isn’t eaten, so take your time and order little bits at a time if you need to.  There’s no limit to the number of rounds you can do!  I loooove sushi AYCEs because it’s great for big appetites and you get bang for you buck.  Going to a sit-down sushi bar where you order individual items is fine when you only want 1 or 2 things, but if you want things like sashimi which are more expensive, AYCE is the route to go. 

Out of what we ordered, appetizers include soups, chicken and beef skewers, fried scallops (these are large and so yummy!), squid skewers, popcorn chicken, shrimp, vegetable, and crab tempura, beef tenderloin, tofu, salads, and plenty of others.  There are non-sushi mains such as rice and udon, and plenty of sushi, hand rolls, and maki, as well as other special items like sushi pizza, dragon rolls, and desserts (I heart the coconut jello so bad!).

Sushi on 7 is totally on par with average AYCE dinner prices: $18.99 for weekdays, $20.99 for Fridays and weekends.  The quality was great (the sashimi slices are awesomely thick and they’re not served icy or lukewarm) and the selection, although not the most expansive I’ve seen, is still very decent.  There was plenty to choose from, but if you’re a huge tuna (maguro) fan, I’d caution you just because it doesn’t make much of an appearance in the menu, they have more much items featuring salmon and salmon sashimi.  Twas a fun meal both times, and I happily rolled myself back home 😀

*****

Sushi on 7 is located at 4568 Hwy 7., just west of Kennedy Rd. in Markham on the north side of Hwy 7.  They offer 10% discount coupons that can be used for meals paid in cash and these coupons are availabe online.  As soon as I get the link, I’ll post it here!

Mangia, Mangia! An All-You-Can-Eat Italian Feast at Frankie Tomatto’s

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I’m so excited to finally post pictures from Frankie Tomatto’s!  Not only is this my first AYCE post for the blog, but it’s also a post that’s very near and dear to my heart.  My family and I went out to Frankie’s a little over a week ago to celebrate my brother’s birthday and this outing was just one out of the many we’ve had as a family over the last decade.  Me and Frankie Tomatto’s go waaaaayyyy back.  I feel like I’ve grown up with this place because, just think, I’ve been going here to celebrate birthdays (mine, my brother’s, my mom’s, and my grandpa’s) on and off since I was 13.  I’m 25.  Do the math!  Even though my dad isn’t the biggest fan of pasta or Italian food, the rest of my family and I looooove Frankie’s and we always enjoy our time and meals here (dad just humours us.  It’s 3 against 1.  If he wants to eat, he’s going to have to, ha).  It’s one of the few places that’s been a part of my family’s foodie history for years and it’s a happy celebration staple for us.  They have hilarious birthday packages and I remember they sang to me on my 14th birthday! 😀

Taking and posting these pictures has been a process in the making.  Taking pictures at an all-you-can-eat buffet is extremely difficult.  Think about it: for one, you’re concentrating on visiting station after station of delicious food and bringing your plate back to the table and devouring it because, hey, the rest of your family ain’t going to wait around for you.  Second, it’s a self-serve buffet so there are people milling around EVERYWHERE.  You try to take a picture and you end up with someone’s arm in the shot.  You’re scared that if you’re not careful, your hand will slip and your camera will fall into a dish of spaghetti and meatballs.  And then there are the blurry pictures of eggplant parmesan and bruschetta because you were trying to be discreet and you took the pictures too fast.  It takes patience, my lovelies, so congratulate me on getting one decent shot for every five bad ones!  I couldn’t get any decent ones of the dessert bars though.  There were lineups up the wazoo at the icecream and sprinkles station!

Frankie Tomatto’s is an all-you-can-eat Italian feast located near the intersection of Woodbine and Steeles Ave. West in Markham, and if you’re a sucker for themed restaurants like me, you’ll love it here.  The decor is adorable (think faux wine cellars and Roman architecture) and the selection of food is just fantastic with the multiple stations of Italian fare and good old fashioned comfort food.  Antipasto, seafood, pizza and bruschetta (a section that is referred to as “Al Forno” meaning “from the oven”), vegetarian, and yes, plenty of pastas and desserts! 😀  Some notables and favourites: eggplant parmesan, grilled salmon, veal with lemon butter, spaghetti, tomato tortellini, Italian rice balls, cheese gnocchi, fettuccine, roast beef, salmon wellington, Italian potato pancakes, rice pilaf, chicken tetrazzini, steamed vegetable medley, and lots of salads, pizzas, and bruschetta and crunchy breads!

Frankie’s also has really great price promotions and deals throughout the week.  My family and I took advantage of the Friday early bird dinner special the week before: from 5pm-5:30pm, dinner is only $13.99 which is insanely cheap for a Friday evening all-you-can-eat!  I mean, I know I’m accustomed to eating earlier because, well, I eat at all points in the day and I know others aren’t really used to that, but seriously, take advantage of the deal if you can because it is so worth it.  And maybe next time I can get those pictures of dessert for you all.  Mangia, mangia!

*****

Frankie Tomatto’s is located at 7225 Woodbine Ave., 2 blocks north of Steeles Ave. West on the east side of Woodbine.  It’s also easily accessible from Highway 401, 404, and 407.  Click here for information on prices, hours, birthday packages, and specials.