Back in February of last year, I wrote a little love letter professing my adoration for cream cheese, cheese cheese in sushi, and the gorgeous red tea cups at Ginza. I also gushed about how their giant Moscow rolls with the cream cheese, three types of sashimi, and crunchy, savoury exteriors were like little blinking sushi beacons of love. I also promised to try out more maki rolls and to report back. It’s January 2012 and to say that I am fashionably late with my follow-up post is an understatement. But I am here, like I promised, with more food photos and yummy sushi stories to share from Ginza! I really love Ginza and feel the quality of their food is spot on (at the Yorkville location at least since I haven’t been to any of the other ones in the city) and I couldn’t have picked a better time to go back for another round of delicious sushi because they’ve recently revamped their menu!
If you haven’t been to Ginza for awhile (or at all) and if you’ve been relying on their online menu to tide you over until your next visit (or first visit), you’re in for a very pleasant surprise. I don’t know when they made tweaks to their menu, but Ginza has made some fabulous changes and additions that I am so incredibly excited about! Ginza is always one of the top four sushi places I consider every time I want to gorge on some (not including all-you-can-eat spots) but with their new menu items and changes, I’m not going to want to eat at any other sushi bar for a long time!
Most of the maki rolls and mains are still the same, but if you love dessert and love finding unique sweets to enjoy at different sushi bars, you are going to be head over heels for their new dessert menu! They’ve added sesame ice cream, they now have FIVE flavours of tempura ice cream (I have date with the tempura mango), tempura cheesecake (well, now they’re just dangling a carrot in my face), and – get this – TROPICAL ICE CREAM IN A HOLLOWED PINEAPPLE AND COCONUT! OH.MY.GOD. The pineapple one I might not be able to eat because of my allergy, but the coconut?! I will hug and kiss it because it will be that fabulous.
I cannot wait to try this the next time I go and the only reason why I didn’t order it during this meal is because I was taken aback by their new menu and incredible dessert selection and had no intentions of budgeting a dessert into the mix. So with an aching heart, I let it go this time. But next time? Oh, I’m going to stuff my face in it and enjoy it!
Aside from the revamped dessert menu, the other very noticable, positive change to the menu are the prices. Yes, you read right, the prices. They’ve been lowered! I KNOW! I can’t believe it either! We deal with rising prices, every month it seems, for the most mundane things: transit, food, gas, housing, services, you name it. I sigh every time I learn that my bus ride is going to cost more, that a loaf of bread just ain’t what it used to be, and that we’ll have to dig deeper into our pockets just to sit in our own house. Knowing that prices for certain things are staying constant is a relief. Learning that prices for particular things have lowered is a godsend! Prices for numerous menu items have been dropped by $1-$2 and that makes a huge difference when you factor in taxes, tip, and/or ordering more than one dish. I know for a fact that the rice dishes are $2 less, the sushi pizzas are $1 less, and the prices of many of the maki rolls have also been dropped by a $1.
You can see why I’ve fallen even more in love with Ginza and why I had to tell you all the great news! Even though I couldn’t have possibly ordered and ate everything I wanted on the menu right then and there, I kept my promise and tried out some other maki rolls and they were splendid! I had an order of the smoked salmon mango rolls (6 pcs) and the Fire Cracker Dream rolls (6 pcs) which were comprised of scallops, crunchy tempura bits, and spicy mayo sauce.
The smoked salmon and mango had such contrasting flavours with the savoury, cured saltiness of the smoked salmon and the sweet, fresh juiciness of the julienned mango mingling together. I love mango and smoked salmon, but I didn’t know how they would work out in the same roll and I found that I really liked it. The smoked salmon was sliced filet-style (2 slices in each roll) and you feel like you’re eating it with juicy salsa with the mango. The sesame seeds the rolls are rolled in lends a crunchy nuttiness to it that is so delicious, so you get a little bit of everything in terms of flavour and texture. It’s a savoury-sweet combination that works and you get the best of both flavours without either of them being lost or compromised.
After having amazing spicy scallop rolls from Tokyo Sushi at Bay and St. Joseph St., I became obsessed with finding other scrumptious scallop roll varieties and Ginza has a great one: the Fire Cracker Dream roll. These rolls have huge chunks of scallop, crunchy tempura bits, green onions, and some spicy mayo sauce mixed into the crunchy tempura and green onions. The spiciness is nothing to be afraid it; it’s not super hot. You’ll get a yummy kick of heat, but nothing that will make you want to douse your mouth in milk or water. Even though the spicy scallop rolls from Tokyo Sushi are still my ultimate favourite, the Fire Cracker Dreams are SO yummy. The scallops chunks are fresh and meaty, I love the green onions in it, and the spicy mayo sauce mixed into the tempura tastes exactly like sweet chili sauce which I love to death.
Edamame beans are still complementary with your meal (I ate almost the entire bowl all on my own!) and with all the great additions and changes to the menu, I feel even more compelled to squeeze in more sushi meals here. I absolutely can’t wait to show you all some of the new stuff and I promise you, it won’t take me a year to report back!
Ginza is located at the following 4 locations:
7330 Yonge St. (at the intersection of Clark Ave. and Yonge St. in Thornhill)
652 Finch Ave. East (located between Leslie St. and Bayview Ave. in North York)
1255 Bay St. (north of Bloor St. W just off of Yorkville Ave.)
9960 Dufferin St. (right at the intersection of Major Mackenzie Dr. W. in Maple)
Ginza also offers a 10% student discount at certain locations, so call ahead and ask if you want to take advantage.