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! ūüėĬ† 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boards, but I take the reviews with a grain of salt.¬† This is partly because online reviews on message boards can be outdated and also partly because you honestly don’t know the face behind the voice.¬† For all we know, a bad review could have been written by a disgruntled business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 ūüėĬ† 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 ūüėĬ† 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 ūüôā¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†