Wooden Sushi Planks and Japanese Porcelain: Green Day, Sunshine, & Scallop Rolls at Tokyo Sushi, Part II

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I hope you all liked the photos and write-up yesterday!  This is Part II of my Tokyo Sushi mini series and today I’ll be showing you all some of the maki rolls they offer, as well as discussing things like seating in the restaurant and the overall pricing of sushi menu items.  You know I’m a sucker for sushi rolls and to be honest, I generally don’t order things like bento boxes or noodles or rice dishes when I’m out for sushi.  I looove noodles and rice, of course, but I’ve always been somewhat indifferent to these types of menu items, which is why it was a such a delight to eat their spicy salmon don and their spicy tuna don.  With the exception of some appetizers and dumplings, it’s one of the few non-maki roll related dishes that I really love and can see myself ordering time and time again.

My blatant display of affection for sushi rolls on the blog has also revealed how much I adore cute themes and names for sushi!  Tokyo Sushi offers a number of different rolls, in servings of 6 rolls, 7 rolls, and 8 rolls.  Be aware though that sushi rolls that aren’t listed on the lunch specials menu don’t come with the soup or salad, so it’s just something to keep that in mind when you order.  The very first roll set that I ate here was the Green Day roll 😀  How cute, right?  Named after a rock band?  Couldn’t resist.  Not to mention it was made up of MANY yummies that I love: rolls with cucumber, avocado, crunchy tempura bits, and shrimp, ALL covered in creamy slices of avocado.  Avocado and I are besties and the rolls were very good with big chunks of shrimp, YUM!

I’ve also had the Sunshine roll, with asaparagus, salmon, and mayo, as well as the spicy scallop roll.  Even though I wish the roll sets could be bigger (so instead of 6 or 7 rolls in the set, there would be 8 rolls) because I’m just that much of a sushi fiend, what I truly appreciate is how they don’t skimp on fillings and ingredients.  The salmon sashimi chunks in the Sunshine rolls were big and delicious and oh my gosh, don’t even get me started on how amazing the scallop rolls are.  Although I’ve adored all the rolls I’ve eaten here, hands down, Tokyo Sushi’s spicy scallop rolls are freakin’ amazing.  “I could eat 2 dozen of these” amazing.  These rolls have large chunks of fresh white scallops with avocado, shredded lettuce, and more of that oh-so-yummy mayo that I talked about yesterday.  I LOVE THESE ROLLS SO MUCH.

I know I’ve eaten at quite a few sushi places in and outside of the city, but jeebus these rolls totally sit in my Top 5 favourite kinds of sushi maki rolls now.  Just to be clear though, these aren’t as spicy as the name leads you to believe.  I know some people who love heat might a bit let-down by the lack of spiciness in the rolls, but for those who have a very low tolerance for heat, these are fine for you.  I felt a very subtle prickling on my tongue from the spiciness, but really, they’re not anything to be alarmed about.  These rolls are delicious and I would recommend them as THE roll to order when you come here 😀

Tokyo Sushi is not a sushi bar that you’d go to for el cheapo sushi though.  Their food is fantastic and I don’t have an issue paying a bit more for the sushi; if I did I wouldn’t eat here.  But this is me just being honest and putting it out there that if you’re on a very tight eating out budget, you’re better off going to places like Sushi on Bloor and The Sushi Shop (both of which I’ve blogged about), or even Sushi Xtra on Queen St. West by Spadina.  

For lunch, Tokyo Sushi certainly isn’t off the chart in terms of price (and since I’ve only eaten here for lunch that’s the only meal I can vouch for), but you’re going to have to pay around $12-$15 for your meal no matter what when it’s all said and done.  I can’t imagine anyone eating only 6 rolls for lunch, so if you order 2 sets of 6 rolls for example, it’ll cost around $10 or so and because we live in the land of heavy taxes, your meal will come to at least $12 for that type of combination.  The same goes for lunch special combos that go for $9.95 like the spicy salmon don.  A place like Sushi on Bloor, on the other hand, can totally feed you on $10.  If price isn’t an issue for you and you don’t mind shelling out the few extra bucks, Tokyo Sushi truly offers some amazing stuff that you can’t get at other places.  The quality of food is VERY good and I can’t imagine the quality and/or taste of their sushi coming under fire.  I’ve enjoyed my time here so much, I look forward to the food, and I’m totally on board with eating my way through a bunch of their rolls!

The restaurant opens for business at 11am from Monday-Saturday and at 12pm on Sundays.  I love the fact that they’re open at 11am because I’m a hungry girl and I enjoy avoiding the business lunch crowd rush if possible.  And if it’s possible for you to do the same, you should.  The restaurant is tiny and it fills up FAST when 12pm hits.  There are a few tables closer to the back that fit 4-5 people and a cozy 2-person booth nearby.  Other than that, most people just park themselves down at the sushi bar.  It’s a bustling place at lunch time and I quite like it.  A lot 🙂

*****

Tokyo Sushi is located at 33 St. Joseph Street, which is just north of Wellesley St. and just east of Bay St.  They are open for lunch at 11am and offer a number of lunch specials served from 11am-3pm.

Wooden Sushi Planks and Japanese Porcelain: Rolls and The Famous Spicy Salmon Don at Tokyo Sushi – Part I

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It feels like eons since I last made a sushi post and writing about it now feels like a lovely breath of fresh air! 😀  Each time I go out for sushi I find something new to love and something new to get excited about.  Tokyo Sushi, located at 33 St. Joseph Street in downtown Toronto, was a discovery that was a mix of both accidental and meant to be and I have my friend Sally to thank for this!  With hectic school and work schedules and life in general, everyone really has to make a conscious effort to carve time out for friends.  It’s not something that falls in our lap, nor is is something that we should take for granted. 

So when Sally and I were figuring out a date, time, and place to do lunch, Tokyo Sushi seemed like a great choice: easily accessible because of its proximity to Bay Street and c’mon, it’s sushi!  Like I would kick up a fuss about that!  And then I had a lightbulb moment: why not make it a regular lunch outing?  Some girl-time with a close friend and sushi on a regular basis?  Genius!  You all know how passionate I am about food and how I truly believe it plays a role in creating and sustaining relationships.  I have grown to love Tokyo Sushi very much over the last few months and I am thrilled that Sally and I have made it into a regular thing for us.

I really didn’t know what to expect before my first visit to Tokyo Sushi.  They don’t have a website and although that doesn’t particularly buzz my biscuits, I know A LOT of people get annoyed when they can’t look up a business or restaurant online.  Although I understand how some could get frustrated by that, I’m honestly not that bothered by it and so long as I can find it on a map, I’m a happy camper.  There were some online reviews of Tokyo Sushi on some Toronto dining forums and message boards, but I take the reviews with a grain of salt.  This is partly because online reviews on message boards can be outdated and also partly because you honestly don’t know the face behind the voice.  For all we know, a bad review could have been written by a disgruntled business owner down the street whose business has been affected by the restaurant in question. 

One of the reasons why I make an effort to blog about some of my favourite places multiple times is because I want to show continuity over time.  I want things to stay relevant, whether I posted about them last year or three years from now.  And also because this blog, to me, is so much more than a “review platform”.  I really don’t see it as that and I don’t see myself as a critic.  What I strive to show through my food blogging is my story-telling through scrapbooking and the sense of community, love, and relationship-building that food brings to the table every time.  Having said all this, there was definitely one common opinion among all online reviewers and my friend Sally though: the spicy salmon don is awesome and a MUST for those who eat at Tokyo Sushi.  And I would have to agree 😀  It is SO good and that is quite different in presentation and interpretation from other Japanese sushi bars.

For those who are unfamiliar with what a salmon don is, the concept of the dish is simple: fish on top of rice.  When you order any dish ending with the word “don”, in essence that is what you are ordering.  The only difference between dishes is the type of fish, sashimi, or meat.  Tokyo sushi offers a number of lunch specials that are served from 11am-3pm and many come with a miso soup and a green salad.  Their famous spicy salmon don is listed in their list of lunch specials and goes for $9.95 and it is filling and satisfying.  I’ve eaten here a number of times now and I’ve tried both the spicy salmon don AND the spicy tuna don and they are both so delicious.

Their spicy salmon don is different from others because tradtionally, the sashimi is sliced and laid on top of the rice.  At Tokyo Sushi, you get a nice big bowl of white rice covered with chopped and cubed salmon sashimi with flaked tempura and shredded lettuce and seaweed, all mixed together with a little bit of their special sauce which I can only describe as some delicious form of Japanese mayo.  It is creamy and yummy and all you want to do is shove chopstick full after chopstick full of salmon and rice and lettuce in your mouth.  The spiciness isn’t over the top but there’s just enough heat to give the dish a nice kick.  The shredded lettuce gives the dish a bit of cool freshness and crunch, and the salmon sashimi is smooth and buttery in texture, just the way it should be.  

Although I also adore the rolls I’ve ordered from here (which I’ll be blogging about tomorrow in my Part II segment!), their spicy salmon don is truly their shiny gem and Sally would agree with me because she orders it every time we go to lunch 😀  Oh, and spicy tuna don, pictured below?  Same story, only with chopped and cubed tuna sashimi and a dollar more than the spicy salmon don.  YUM x eleventy billion!

*****

Tokyo Sushi is located at 33 St. Joseph Street, which is just north of Wellesley St. and just east of Bay St.  They are open for lunch at 11am and offer a number of lunch specials served from 11am-3pm.  Look for my Part II post tomorrow for a slew of maki roll pictures as well as a lengthy write-up including a discussion of prices and seating in the restaurant.

Scrapbook materials used: emerald green, pale yellow, buttercup yellow cardstock (Recollections); patterned paper (The Green Tea stack by DCWV); black and white polka dot alphabet stickers (atd by momenta); party sushi stickers (TheTinyFig.com); puffy sushi stickers (Cumberland Terrace shopping mall);  paper corner rounder (ek success).

Special thanks to Sarah from LoSo for the adorable party sushi stickers, and a special thanks to Sally for being my friend and my foodie partner-in-crime 🙂