Line-Ups Out the Door, Lunch or Dinner – Great Sushi and Rolls at Sushi on Bloor!

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It’s been months since I blogged about Sushi on Bloor and even though I really wanted to incorporate a new scrapbook layout into this post, I figured some new photos sans the cardstock and patterned paper wouldn’t hurt!  Sushi on Bloor is just all sorts of awesome and convenience.  As I was discussing with a friend, anything located within The Annex makes for great accessibility.  The neighbourhood itself is always bustling with foot traffic, there’s great stuff to see and eat, and Sushi on Bloor’s location on Bloor St. West between Spadina Ave. and Bathurst St. makes it simple to explore other neighbouring areas such as Korea Town to the west, Kensington Market to the southeast, and Yorkville to the northeast.  I’ve explored this neighbourhood a lot over the last year and half and I’ve had so much fun finding and taking my graffiti art photos, getting excited over new additions (hello, there’s a David’s Tea now!), and basically walking up and down and all around a million times.

Although The Sushi Shop will always be my number one for amazing sushi rolls, Sushi on Bloor holds its place as a solid second.  As I mentioned in my very first Sushi on Bloor post, I enjoy their Crunchy Rolls (salmon) and Crunchy Spicy Tuna Rolls SO much.  Since then I’ve tried their smoked salmon rolls, their tuna dragon roll, the Casa Loma (again), and their avocado salad and there are some real winners here.  The smoked salmon rolls consist of salmon, crab meat, tobiko, and bell pepper!  Their smoked salmon rolls are served warm and are different from so many other rolls I’ve had.  For one thing, the outer layer of seaweed is coated in crunchy tempura (I know, start drooling!) and for another, there’s bell pepper inside which you don’t see quite as often as other fruits and vegetables such as cucumber, avocado, sweet potato, and mango, for instance.  The smoked salmon is not the cured, smoky version but the flaky, grilled fish kind and it absorbs the flavour of the little bit of soy sauce they use on the rolls so well.  The texture is fabulous and it packs a punch of flavour with the sauce they use.  If you like crispy and crunchy, it has your name all over it!

From my personal experience, if you love rolls stick to enjoying the large variety they have as opposed to ordering the dragon sets.  They’re yummy, but honestly, I feel you get SO much more bang for your buck when you order the different sushi roll sets and really, this is their strong suit.  They have a wonderful selection of different roll sets (most of them with 8 rolls per set) for $5.00 and great lunch specials that offer 12 rolls (6 each of 2 kinds: salmon and California, or avocado and Dynamite shrimp tempura) for $5.99.  I couldn’t get decent photos of my Casa Loma rolls (both times I had them!  I really need to clamour harder for those window seats) but I will say that I reeeeally wish they would use more cream cheese in them (unagi, cream cheese, and avocado).  They’re yummy, but the beasty cream cream monster in me wants more 😀

The nicest surprise for me in all the times I’ve eaten here was the avocado salad.  I was only expecting maybe a small dish or bowl of salad; a decent size, but nothing big.  I almost jumped out of my seat in excited surprise when I was presented with a HONKING LARGE dinner plate full of spring mix salad greens, shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, and big creamy wedges of avocado.  OH.MY.GOD.  I love this salad.  Hands down, one of the most fantastic items on their menu.  It’s $4.50 for crying out loud!  It’s meal-size!  To think that you could have a fresh meal-size salad for under $5 in Toronto at a SUSHI PLACE no less is unheard of!  Freshii salads ring in at around $7-$9.  Fancy pants places charge $5+ for a simple green salad with balsalmic!  And don’t even get me started on the fast food places that attempt to put on a healthier image with their $5-$7 salads.  This blew me away and now I’m tempted to order this every time I’m there now!

I know how popular Sushi on Bloor is in this city but it still wows me every time I see line-ups out the door here.  They recently renovated and added a 2nd floor of seating to the restaurant and the place is STILL packed to the brim!  There are obviously lull periods, but come 12:30pm and after 6pm, you might as well take a number!  They serve great quality food and they deserve all the success and business they’ve been getting.  It excites to me try the different rolls and really, the only thing missing here is a dessert menu.  Fantastic selection with fantastic prices in a hopping neighbourhood.  You really couldn’t ask for more.  Except the dessert menu 😉

*****

Sushi on Bloor is located at 515 Bloor St. West just east of Bathurst St.  They are open for business 7 days a week at 12pm and offer a number of lunch specials and an wide range of rolls, appetizers, bento boxes, and sashimi, sushi, and maki sets.

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The Dizzying Array of Choices at Sushi on Bloor! Salmon Crunch & Spicy Tuna Crunch Rolls

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I am not joking with my post title.  Other than Queen Street West, if sushi restaurants and bars were people, Bloor Street West would have to be one of the most densely populated!  Walking westbound from Spadina to Bathurst, you literally pass by a different sushi establishment every four shops.  I kid you not.  And yes, if you are wondering, I have already been to several *whistles innocently*.  Surprise, surprise.  Given how many sushi places are in this area though, it’s going to take me quite some time to make my rounds, especially considering how large many of the menus are these places!  What I have for you today is some food porn from Sushi on Bloor (how appropriately named!), located at 515 Bloor St. W. (west of Spadina, east of Bathurst).

Now, with so many sushi places in the city to nosh at, it can get dizzying and you start wondering what sets each place apart from the rest.  Thus far I’ve posted about Haru Zushi and The Sushi Shop, as well as some thoughts on some decent maki rolls from T&T supermarket, Promenade Mall location.  Besides freshness and great customer service, Haru Zushi sells itself with terrific prices and variety for lunch specials, and The Sushi Shop impresses with their creativity and interpretation of ingredients for their rolls.

Sushi on Bloor is fab for several things in particular.  First, the sheer number of menu items on the menu would send anyone into a tizzy.  There are nearly 150 menu items!  Aside from their daily lunch specials which include maki combinations and bento boxes, their menu is broken down into maki rolls, vegetarian maki, nigiri and handrolls a la carte, sashimi combos, soup and salads, appetizers, teriyaki meat dishes, tempura and rice meals, noodles and udon bowls, and bento boxes among others.  In addition, the prices are very reasonable for a sushi bar and restaurant.  Many items hover around the $5-$8 price range which makes it easy to mix and match and is an ideal place for either lunch or dinner.  Or both!

Just a word of warning though: Sushi on Bloor is open for business 7 days a week at 12 noon, as opposed to Haru Zushi which opens at 11am and The Sushi Shop which opens at 10-11am depending on the location.  On weekdays during the busy lunch rush, you better be there at 12 sharp.  12:15 if you’re pushing it.  This place isn’t very big and it gets PACKED!  There are literally line-ups out the door and hungry sushi lovers even claim their place in line a little before 12 noon to make sure they have a lunch spot.

Everyone has different meal preferences when it comes to sushi restaurants.  My best friend prefers bento boxes whereas I stick to maki rolls, hand rolls, and appetizers.  My brother, my mum, and my boyfriend all enjoy teriyaki while I steer clear and would much rather nosh on a bowl of udon noodles.  My favourite things about Sushi on Bloor have to be their avocado and dynamite roll (rolls with tempura shrimp) lunch special ($5.99 for soup, salad, and 12 giant rolls, 6 of each), their maki roll selection (I could eat my way through their maki menu every single day because they’re just that delicious), and their hand rolls.

 

The rolls are BIG!  The size of rolls at Sushi on Bloor are always consistently on the larger size which, in my opinion, is a great thing.  The last thing you want to feel is disappointed.  The kind of disappointed you feel when you finish your meal and you wonder what the heck you’ve eaten because you can’t feel it in your tummy.  However you may feel about the sushi and the food, everyone can agree that the sizes of the rolls don’t disappoint.

Their hand rolls are also on the larger side and their salmon hand roll is fantastic.  The roll is the size of small burrito (I like to think of hand rolls as sushi tacos) and the salmon sashimi is sliced nice and thick and absolutely scrumptious.  I really enjoy the salmon at Sushi on Bloor because it has this wonderful, melt-in-your-mouth buttery texture and it’s served at the right temperature.  Some places make the mistake of either serving it lukewarm or freezing cold and neither of these qualities make the salmon taste good.  

Thus far, I have tried these rolls from Sushi on Bloor:

  1. Avocado and tempura shrimp rolls daily lunch combo (12 rolls, 6 of each)
  2. Casa Loma Roll (unagi/eel, avocado, tobiko/fish roe, and cream cheese – 8 rolls)
  3. Spicy Tuna Roll (6 rolls)
  4. Crunchy Roll (pictured; salmon, avocado, tobiko, tempura bits, mayo – 8 rolls)
  5. Spicy Tuna Crunchy Roll (pictured; tuna, avocado, tobiko, tempura bits, mayo – 8 rolls)
  6. Tuna Salad Roll (tuna and ginger wrapped with cucumber with dollops of mayo – 4 rolls)

My favourites?  Both types of Crunchy Roll, salmon and tuna, hands down.  Not only am I in love with the way the salmon and tuna melt in your mouth with the avocado, but the tempura bits make these rolls outstanding!  My next favourite would have to be the Casa Loma roll because the savouriness of the unagi just melts into the creamy, tangy cream cheese and anything and everything with cream cheese floats my boats.  My only misgiving about the Casa Loma roll is just a desire for more cream cheese!  Call it personal preference, call it a cream cheese obsession, I would love to have more of it in the roll!  I thoroughly enjoy it though and I’m really looking forward to trying other rolls!  The selection of rolls and appetizers alone will keep me occupied here for many meals to come. 

*****

Sushi on Bloor is located at 515 Bloor Street West between Spadina Ave. and Bathurst Street on the south side of Bloor.  Sushi on Bloor is closer to Bathurst Street, just west of Howland Ave.  They are open 7 days a week at 12pm and they also offer take-out.