Tropical Purple Flowers and Sushi Rolls – The Bright and Punchy Ginza Watermelon Pink Scrapbook Layout

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The bright and punchy watermelon pink scrapbook layout of Ginza’s sushi (smoked salmon and mango rolls and Firecracker rolls with fresh scallops, crunchy tempura, chives, and spicy mayo sweet chili sauce) and new menu to accompany last week’s Ginza sushi post!  The inspiration?  The gorgeous artificial pink and violet tropical flower by our table!  The flower wasn’t there the last time I was at Ginza (in Yorkville) and I thought it was beautiful and wanted to build a scrapbook layout inspired by the colours and the shape, hence the wildly abstract cardstock flowers I made with cardstock.  There wasn’t any rhyme or reason to it – I took my scalloped scissors and went to town on 4 colours of cardstock!  I used the scissors to create abstract floral shapes, using the edges to create petals somewhat.  I stuck with a purple, pink, and yellow palette with a few pops of beige and green to round it out and the rest of the layout just fell into place.  Check out my very first Ginza post and scrapbook layout using a red, white, gray, navy blue, and grass green colour palette inspired by the tea cups, edamame beans, and my outfit! 

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Scrapbook materials used: Watermelon pink, bubblegum pink, buttercup yellow, lime green, lilac purple, violet, and indigo cardstock (Recollections); green and purple “wave” patterned paper (Purple Daze Fan Club, Recollections); olive green and cream floral patterned paper (Dollarama); black and white damask cardstock; cream gold-rimmed alphabet stickers (Recollections); floral gold foil stickers (atd by Momenta); 5-petal flower paper punch (ek success); medium scallop circle paper punch (ek success); scalloped scissors (Provo Craft)

Smoked Salmon & Mango and Scallop With Crunchy Tempura – Rolls, Menu Changes, and the Red Tea Cups at Ginza!

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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!

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Ginza is located at the following 4 locations:

  1. 7330 Yonge St. (at the intersection of Clark Ave. and Yonge St. in Thornhill)
  2. 652 Finch Ave. East (located between Leslie St. and Bayview Ave. in North York)
  3. 1255 Bay St. (north of Bloor St. W just off of Yorkville Ave.)
  4. 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.

I Love Cream Cheese and Sashimi – Crunchy, Sweet n’ Sour Moscow Rolls and Little Red Tea Cups at Ginza Sushi

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I’m so excited to finally share my new scrapbook layouts with you all!  I had a huge backlog of pictures that was taking me forever to get through and even though I still have hundreds to organize, I’m making progress! 😀  I never like to rush through a layout and I take a lot of time and care to draw out layout sketches, figure and write out which pictures I want to scrap and in what sizes, the whole nine yards.  And it’s so exciting to get to a new batch of photos even if the photos themselves aren’t the newest; it’s the inspiration and freshness that makes it fun. 

So this is what I would refer to as my personal love letter to cream cheese.  Oh how I love this stuff.  I eat it on bread, with potato chips, mixed in a little pasta sauce, in sushi…I will even eat it by itself on a spoon.  Tis how much I love it.  It’s any wonder I’m not fat.  So imagine my joy several years ago when I discovered sushi concoctions like Philadelphia rolls with smoked salmon, or Philly rolls with avocado and sashimi.  Cream cheese IN sushi!  It’s like the food angels fluttered down to Earth and bestowed these delightful morsels of heaven just for me.  And you can bet that I’m keeping track of all my favourite maki rolls that include cream cheese and where to get them.  A girl’s gotta be organized when it comes to this stuff!  One of my personal favourites so far?  The Moscow rolls from Ginza.

The first time I went to Ginza was a year and a half ago and I loved it from the get-go.  I actually fell in love with it even before I stepped foot in the restaurant!  I don’t know about you, but I’ve become a bit spoiled having the internet at my fingertips and I look up restaurant menus online like crazy when I know I’m going to a place, providing they have a website.  I study the menu with the intensity I probably should have allocated to studying for exams in school, ha. 

Even before the eating experience has started, you can gauge how you feel about a place from their menu.  For one thing, you know the prices.  If it’s unaffordable, you don’t go – it’s that’s simple.  Second, if you’re indecisive like me, it’s makes your life a hell of a lot easier!  You can go into a place at least with an idea of what you want instead of taking eons to decide after you’re seated and everyone is giving you the death stare to hurry the hell up because they’re starving.  And sushi menus are always so much fun to go through! 😀  Since being introduced to cream cheese in sushi, anything of the sort jumps out at me and like a little blinky light, “Moscow Roll” was my little sushi beacon.

 

The rolls are just amazing.  They come in a set of 5 large rolls and are coated in crispy breading for some awesome crunch.  The Moscow Roll contains salmon, tuna, hamachi (yellowtail or Japanese amberjack), tangy cream cheese, and plenty of green scallions sprinkled over top.  And the sauce!  It’s a fusion of sweet chili sauce and sushi mayo drizzled all over and as you can tell from the photos, it’s like an artistic sushi painting! 😀  The taste is wonderfully complex.  You have the texture from the crispy breading, the soft buttery texture of the salmon and fish, and the richness of the cream cheese completely mellows and balances the spiciness of the sauce.  The cream cheese totally knocks it out and it’s just a yummy, messy dish of sushi happiness!

You can tell that I am one happy foodie 😀  Ginza is lovely and not just for the food but also for the atmosphere.  I’ve only been to the Yorkville location on Bay St., but to me, it is the epitome of modern meets fresh meets clean.  It’s peaceful and it’s fresh and vibrant.  And I am especially in love with the little red tea cups!  It gets my heart racing when the utensils and accessories are bright colours and I cannot tell you how much I want to take these cups home with me because they are so pretty oh my goodness.  *laughs*  I’m a tea accessory geek!

Ginza currently serves 4 locations in Toronto and the GTA, with the newest one located in Maple on Major Mackenzie Dr.W and Dufferin St.  That location actually works out okay for me considering I live in Markham, but for those who live in the 416, there’s no need to fret because there are 2 other locations you can gorge on sushi at: Finch Ave. E between Leslie and Bayview in North York, as well as Bay St. and Yorkville which is the one I’ve been to. 

Prices vary depending on the type of food you’re ordering but I’d say a meal would normally average around $6-$10 on the lower end and $12-$15 on the higher end if you’re ordering sushi combinations and such.  Let it be known that Ginza is not exclusive to sushi alone, but also serves Thai and Japanese dishes.  Outside of sushi, you can order tempura, soba noodles (which I’ve tried as well), rice, meat cutlet combos with noodles or rice, and a number of different soups and appetizers.  The quality of food is superb and I really enjoy the selection.  So the next time I go, I’m totally going to try out some other maki rolls and report back!  Oh, and hug and squish my beloved red tea cup ❤

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Ginza is located at the following 4 locations:

  1. 7330 Yonge St. (at the intersection of Clark Ave. and Yonge St. in Thornhill)
  2. 652 Finch Ave. East (located between Leslie St. and Bayview Ave. in North York)
  3. 1255 Bay St. (north of Bloor St. W just off of Yorkville Ave.)
  4. 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.

Scrapbooking materials used: white and gray cardstock (Recollections); red alphabet stickers (Recollections); patterned journalling cards (Anna Griffin, Darcy collection); sushi menu sticker (Jolee’s).