Salmon Sashimi, Crispy Rice, & Special Mayo Sauces – Let’s Talk Sushi Pizza!

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A photo tribute to one of my all-time favourite sushi dishes, the salmon sushi pizza!  Even though Sushi Time is more expensive than other spots in the city by about 25 to 50 cents ($7.25), it’s always one of my go-to dishes whenever I come.  I’ve had their salmon sushi pizza three times already!  Which is saying a lot considering I hate and try to avoid ordering the same thing over and over again at places I love and go back to.  The blog would be one huge snooze fest if I did that! 

Their sushi pizza gets to me every time though.  With its breaded, crispy rice (the sushi “pizza” is cut into 6 pieces), mayo sauce, and super thick slices of salmon sashimi with sesame seeds and green onions sprinkled on top, it is so, so good and one of the meals that truly inspired me to scrapbook my food photos and photograph food seriously.  It played a big part in my very first sushi experience in the city downtown and I’ll forever remember it as the moment my eyes and tastebuds were opened to so much more.

If you can believe it, the very first time I had sushi pizza was at an all-you-can-eat buffet in Scarborough about 5 years ago!  Up until that point I had no idea such a thing existed and my mum and I were so ecstatic when we found this adorable and delicious sushi concoction!  I’ve tried many different sushi pizzas over the years, both at AYCE spots and regular ones and the one at Sushi Time on Queen West still remains my favourite.        

All sushi pizzas have different toppings and different ways of utilizing and displaying them on the crispy rice pizza base, but they always have tobiko and special mayo sauce of some sort, sprinkled and drizzled on top.  Some places will chop and dice the salmon sashimi and mix it with some spicy sauce to form a salmon salad while others will include diced veggies or use different kinds types of sauces like thousand island style dressing, barbeque, or sweet teriyaki.  They come in a a variety of different kinds with salmon, tuna, BBQ eel, and eggplant being the most common.  I’ve only ever had salmon sushi pizza, so I’m dying to try tuna and eggplant the most. 

If you love sushi pizza as much as I do, feel free to share your favourites around the city!   For those of you looking for a fabulous deal and bang for your buck, you absolutely have to try the salmon and crab sushi pizza from Big Sushi in the Annex!  The next time I go I promise to get more and better photos, but in a nutshell, theirs is truly a meal-size dish ($7.50) and the salmon sashimi, shredded crab meat, and avocado slices are loaded on making it almost more like a pie than a little sushi pizza! 

And if you’re having sushi pizza from Ginza, be sure to order it without the diced red onion.  The diced red and green bell peppers delight me, but the red onion takes away from the pizza and it’s much better off without it.  My dear friend Aamer swears by the sushi pizza at Sushi Sky and I am mega curious about the tuna pizza at Yonge Sushi just south of York Mills on Yonge Street, so we’ll see how those ones measure up!  In the meantime, if you enjoy sushi but have never tried sushi pizza before, you should.  It it one of the funnest, most enjoyable things to eat, ever.

*****

Sushi Time is located at 325 Queen St. West near the corner of John St. and Queen West.  Situated between University and Spadina Ave., Sushi Time is on the south side of Queen and are open for business at 12pm, 7 days a week.  You can view their menu in PDF form at their temporary website HERE.

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Check the Clock: It’s Sushi Time! Deb’s Favourite Spicy Tuna Rolls and Green Tea Cheesecake

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If you can believe it, the very first time I went to a sushi restaurant or bar was only 2 and a half years ago.  You’d think with all the layouts I post each week and how much I yammer on about rolls that I had been eating sushi for over a decade.  But nope, Sushi Time on Queen St. West was the first sushi place I had ever been to and I’ve been back about 4 times since because I had so much fun that very first time.  I know, what a monster I’ve become within that time period!  😀  However, that’s not to say that I had never eaten sushi before then.  I had been to a number of AYCE (all you can eat) places that served sushi with my family prior to that night, but there’s just so much variation between eateries that you’re bound to be introduced to new things every time you go, and it’s just a different feeling going out for a night on the town and going to a place you’d never been to before.

Going to Sushi Time was uber fun because it was a place of many “firsts” for me: the first time I had sushi pizza: crispy breaded sushi rice with thick slices of salmon sashimi draped over, chopped green onions, and a nice drizzling of mayo sauce!  And my favourite “firsts” from Sushi Time: amazingly yummy spicy tuna rolls and GREEN TEA CHEESECAKE!!!  *skips around the room with glee*  I’ve had spicy tuna many ways and I have to say that Sushi Time’s is my favourite and oh my goodness, the green tea cheesecake. 

Although a lot of sushi restaurants serve some desserts, I find that the dessert selection is rather limited and a sweet tooth like myself needs some sugar!  And Sushi Time delivers.  Some places serve ice cream in flavours like mango, vanilla, green tea, and red bean, others also offer mango pudding, tempura ice cream, or deep fried banana with ice cream.  And don’t get me wrong, I looooove ice cream.  But out of all the places I’ve been to thus far, Sushi Time is the only place that has green tea cheesecake (if someone can prove me wrong, please do, haha!)  and it is so fantastically delicious.  

Most of the time, I avoid ordering the same things when I go back to place; I just enjoy trying out different things off a menu.  But the cheesecake?  I can’t resist it.  I gotta have this sweet morsel of yumminess every time I go and each time is just as great as the last.  It’s a mesh of rich tangy cheesecake with a hint of herbalness and a well-rounded taste of powdery matcha all rolled into one.  It makes my heart melt ❤

And since we’re on the topic of firsts, here’s another one: the top layout, with the picture of the sushi pizza and the picture of me eating said green tea cheesecake, is the very first food scrapbook layout I ever did.  Yup! 😀  I’ve done countless holiday themed pages, friendship ones, art ones, and even a prom book before that.  But the layout you see at the top is my first foodie one and for that reason, very special and sentimental to me ❤

*****

Sushi Time is located at 325 Queen St. West, in between University and Spadina Ave.  Situated east of Spadina, it’s just past McCaul St. on the south side of Queen.

Scrapbooking materials used: pale celery green, sky blue, and powder blue cardstock (DCVW); red, burgundy, and gray textured construction paper; cream cardstock with silver rosebud embossing (Curry’s Art Store Ltd.); red alphabet stickers (Recollections); silver alphabet stickers (Sticko); sushi stickers (Jolee’s), adhesive gems; 5-petal flower paper punch (ek success).

Big Sushi Pizzas and Philadelphia Rolls at Big Sushi!

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I took a picture of the menu and thought it’d be cute to replicate it, so I drew the fish on the paper menu for my scrapbook layout 🙂  And this lovely sushi restaurant lives up to its name!  Big Sushi, located at 388 Bloor St. W (west of Spadina), was an accidental discovery half a year ago last June.  Since then, I’ve been back twice and I’ve enjoyed my food immensely!  As Richard and I were strolling along Bloor St.W a few hours before meeting up with friends one day in May, I was overcome with an intense pang of hunger.  With me, this happens often.  I know, how embarrassing.  It’s like being with a 2-year-old who whimpers when she’s hungry and wants a graham cracker but doesn’t have one!  I get hungry often and I’m thankful that I’m surrounded by so many good eats when I’m out on the town; this belly of mine can sometimes be unpredictable!

So, back to that sunny afternoon in May.  As I wrote in my Sushi on Bloor post last month, the strip on Bloor St.W between Spadina and Bathurst is bursting with a plethora of sushi places.  Perfect, ripe for the picking! 😀  When we passed by the restaurant windowfront, I did a double-take as once again, you guessed it, I was lured by the delicious-looking photos of rolls and sushi and sushi pizza *cue Homer-like drooling*.  I didn’t want to be impulsive though, so we kept walking…and came back 15 minues later when I couldn’t resist temptation any longer.  Go figure.

I ordered the Philadelphia/Philly roll and other than  The Sushi Shop, Big Sushi serves some of my favourite cream cheese rolls, eeee!  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I LOVE CREAM CHEESE!!  *cue cheerleader pom pom waving here*  I am a cream cheese fanatic and I love it with and on everything!  These Philly rolls were fantastic.  Rolls with crab meat, cucumber, avocado, and cream cheese.  The combination of cream cheese and avocado just melts right into the crab meat and they are so hella satisfying.  I’ve tried several different kinds of rolls with cream cheese from different sushi places and although they’re good, these are GREAT ❤  And the spicy tuna (pictured below)?  Oh, these bad boys will leave you panting.  But in the best way possible, I promise! 😀  Those who find some of the spicy roll varieties too tame at other places will enjoy these ones. 

Big Sushi is absolutely PERFECT for those who enjoy bigger portions and fabulous, budget-friendly prices!  Almost all the maki rolls come in sets of 8, and they have lots of roll combinations that allow you to try 3 different kinds.  For those who are super ravenous, it’s fantastic and it’s also great for sharing.  The prices are also really good.  For many of the rolls that come in a set of 8, prices hover around $5.50-$6 which is very reasonable for downtown sushi.  Not to mention, you get what you pay for; the roll sizes are fab and they load them up with lots of yummy ingredients.  No dry mouthfuls of rice here!

The larger portion sizes reeeally shine when you order the sushi pizza.  The sushi pizza is amazing.  Normally, you’re accustomed to seeing sushi pizzas a little bigger than a coaster.  Not the case at Big Sushi.  If you were to place the sushi pizza on your face (which I really wouldn’t suggest you to do; everything would fall off), it would cover it up entirely.  And you get bang for your buck.  Sushi pizzas usually come in at around $7 depending on the type of sashimi you choose.  For $7.50, you get a meal-sized sushi pizza with not only special sauce and fresh slices of salmon sashimi draped on top of the cripsy slices of breaded rice, but you also get slices of avocado and shredded crab meat, all topped with a sprinkling of tobiko/fish roe.  Did I mention it’s amazing?  Because it is!  It’s fresh, it’s delicious, it’s filling, and it’s generous. 

And really, when you go out to wine and dine, you want to know that the place you’re eating at has the heart and generousity that wants you to eat and wants to give you good food.  Big Sushi is a great place and I’m glad I “accidentally” stumbled on it that sunny May afternoon.

*****

Scrapbooking materials: gray and speckled beige cardstock (Recollections); black construction paper; sushi stickers (Sticko and Jolee’s); red alphabet stickers (Recollections); adhesive pearls and gems (K&Company); silver, gold, and red metallic gel pens for the drawing of the fish on the menu.