The Keys to My Heart: Salmon Sashimi Salad Rolls, Spicy Tuna Salad Rolls & Scallop Nuggets at Sushi Garden!

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A realization just dawned on me: I’ve eaten sushi 3 times this week.  THREE TIMES!  Once for lunch and twice for dinner.  I haven’t done that in ages.  Eating sushi 3 times within a week that is.  And funny enough I didn’t even plan on having sushi this week – it just happened.  My mum bought some giant sumomaki rolls with crispy tempura, shrimp, lettuce, avocado and red fish roe for dinner on Tuesday, then I spontaneously decided to have some for dinner when I was out on Friday because the salmon lovers sushi box was beckoning me, and then yesterday my best friend and I ditched our soup-and-sandwich lunch plans in favour of bento boxes and yummy rolls with spicy mayo sauce.

It’s been a wonderfully delicious sushi week.

I haven’t posted about my sushi noshing adventures in what feels like forever but trust me when I say that I sushi and I are as tight as ever.  I’ve started an “I Love Sushi” photo gallery on Ate by Ate’s Facebook page, I have some new posts in the works with brand spankin’ new photos, and today, Ate by Ate is back to its sushi-loving ways with a post about one of my all-time FAVOURITE sushi menu items in the city – salmon sashimi salad rolls from Sushi Garden at Yonge & Wellesley!

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You know something’s captured your heart when you feel compelled to order it every single time you make a return visit to a place.  This is a HUGE deal for me because everyone knows how anal I am about trying something new and not ordering “repeats” if I can help it; after all, if I always ordered the same thing, how on earth would I ever have new content to post about and photograph?  Even if I do order something I’ve eaten before, I always feel like I should order a little something extra on the side, just to make the visit worthwhile in the context of the blog.

Yes, I’m anal and nuts.  But I know y’all love me anyway despite my quirks!

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The salmon sashimi salad rolls from Sushi Garden at Yonge & Wellesley get to me every single time though.  I love them THAT much and they are THAT amazing and yummy.  And they’re pretty darn exclusive!  They’re only available at 2 out of the 3 Sushi Garden locations in the city (the Yonge & Wellesley location and the one by Yonge & St. Clair, not at the Yonge & Eglinton one) and I have yet to see the same thing at any other sushi place.  And if you can believe it, the very first time I had this was back in 2009.  Yes, nearly 4 years ago!  I just never posted about them because I didn’t have a good photo of them.  That and there was another time where I didn’t get a photo of them, period.  I know, foreshame.  Good things come with time though so they’re here now ready to make a big sushi splash!

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These salad rolls, or salmon sashimi with vegetables as they’re referred to in the menu (4 for $6.99, 6 for $8.99) are comprised of thick, delicious, velvety soft slices of salmon sashimi wrapped around julienned cucumber, fish roe, and giant chunks of creamy avocado.  I could eat these endlessly, they are SO good!  They’re super thick and they truly don’t skimp on the salmon sashimi.  I love them not only because they’re delicious but also because they’re a nice change from the maki rolls with rice.  They have such a fresh, bright taste to them and they’re a little less heavy in comparison to other menu items (like rice and noodles and such), so they’re a great dish to pair with an appetizer or another set of rolls.  Because truthfully, salmon, tuna, and butter fish are my favourites so if there’s any menu item that will give me a generous helping of either of those 3 (or all 3), I’m all over it like peanut butter on jelly.  It’s the reason why I love sushi pizzas so much!

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During this particular visit to Sushi Garden, I paired my salmon sashimi salad rolls with spicy tuna salad rolls (4 for $5.99) and shared the scallop nuggets appetizer with spicy sauce with my sweetheart.  The spicy tuna salad rolls are rice and nori rolls filled with tuna, avocado, and spicy mayo but the difference is, all the rolls are wrapped with another layer of thinly sliced cucumber, making these rolls another great fresh and bright tasting alternative.

And the scallop nuggets!  If you love seafood, and especially scallops, you will LOVE this appetizer!  The scallop nuggets (5 for $3.99) are breaded and crispy on the outside and meaty and juicy on the inside.  They’re like scallop coins or medallions sitting daintily on a bed of lettuce with a generous portion of spicy mayo sauce.  And I do mean SPICY!  I find that many the spicy mayo at different sushi places have varying degrees of heat but let me tell you, this one is HOT!  It’s delicious but boy does this sauce ever clear up your sinuses and make your eyes water!  It is definitely not for the faint of heart but perfect for those who love heat.

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Even though I had this meal in the dead of winter, the colours and flavours scream spring and freshness so let’s hope our spring season starts sooner rather than later!  I’m working on some new sushi things for the spring and summer so enjoy this sushi comeback and indulge your cravings by checking out the gallery on Ate by Ate’s Facebook page!

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Sushi Garden serves 3 locations in Toronto:

  1. 1560 Yonge Street, at the corner of Yonge & Heath Street (in Delisle Court), closest major intersection being Yonge & St. Clair.
  2. 30 Eglinton Ave. West between Yonge Street and Duplex Ave.
  3. 3 Wellesley Street West. at the corner of Yonge & Wellesley
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Sushi in the Shape of a Flower? How Cute, Count Me In! – Avocado Rolls With Tempura Bits and Mayo at Sushi Garden

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I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again: I love the challenge in finding the unique in the mundane.  Especially when it comes to sushi.  Although every sushi place is special and different in their own way, they all serve many of the “basics” when it comes to maki rolls: the california roll, salmon, tuna, avocado, spicy salmon, spicy tuna, etc.  It’s precisely because  these rolls are so ho hum that make the challenge of finding something special that much more fun.  For instance, The Sushi Shop makes their salmon rolls with crunchy green onion, Pacific Mall’s Japanese Express serves my favourite spicy salmon rolls in this world with dollops of spicy sauce on top of the rolls, and Big Sushi makes their Philadelphia rolls with cream cheese and crab meat while many others pair the cream cheese with salmon.  You know all how much I love trying out different rolls with wacky combinations and cute names, but I also love ordering the basics and seeing how each sushi place will interpret it differently and make it their own.  So it made me squeal with joy when I came to eat at Sushi Garden, located at 30 Eglinton Ave. W., and learned that the plain Jane avocado roll was dressed up in the shape of a flower (!!!).

Sushi…in the shape of flower petals?!  *breathes into a paper bag*  That is just WAY too cute not to love.  There was no way I could resist that.  Especially because I felt rather foolish for not noticing this adorable presentation earlier – I’ve eaten here more than once!  Foolishness aside, I was excited to order their spicy avocado rolls for my light mid-afternoon meal and admire the sushi flower petals by staring at them adoringly before shoving them all in my mouth.  The avocado rolls are made with some sushi mayo and crunchy tempura bits (I LOVE tempura bits in my sushi!  And nowhere else I’ve been to serves their avocado rolls with it, so score!) and are shaped like teardrops.  When you put them together, they look like a flower.  Awww. 

Let it be known though that although they tasted delicious (the combination of flavoured mayo and avocado was delightful creaminess to the max and the tempura bits were fantastically yummy), the spicy didn’t really exist.  I mean, sure, I felt a liiiittle bit of prickling on my tongue, but the rolls by no means made my taste buds dance like jumping beans.  If you don’t care about that and just want good flavour and good texture and pretty sushi, it’s awesome.  However, if you’re reeeeally looking to cry from the heat, steer clear because it’ll disappoint; it’s just not “spicy” in the true sense of the word.  But I assure you they’re soft and delicious nevertheless!  For those who like the heat, I’ll compile a list of great spicy sushi in the future to put on the blog, but for the time being my recommendation for spicy rolls is Big Sushi on Bloor St. W., this stuff will make you huff and puff!

Sushi Garden actually has a number of locations in Toronto and the one here on Eglinton Ave. W. by Yonge St. is just one of them.  To my knowledge, there is one on Yonge St. not too far north from St. Clair Ave. and just south of Heath St., as well as a location at the corner of Yonge St. and Wellesley St.  Their menus are a bit different though, so just keep that in mind if you’re interested in trying them out.  The one by Yonge & St. Clair is the largest of the three with a menu to match.  The location at Yonge & Wellesley also has a very extensive menu (my favourite thing to order is the salmon sashimi roses!), but is smaller in size and veeery busy during lunch hour.  

Even though the Yonge & Eglinton location has a smaller-sized menu, it has a more peaceful, spacious environment and the great thing about this particular branch is that they offer a 10% discount off your total when you pay in cash.  I’m looking forward to trying out some other items and revisiting some others (they have fantastic tempura green tea ice cream!) and of course, reporting back here!  In the meantime, enjoy the flower sushi 😉

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Sushi Garden is located at 30 Eglinton Ave. West, just west of Yonge St. on the north side of Eglinton.