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.

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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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Salmon Cakes and My Bento Box Brother – Sushi Sky and Quite Possibly, the Best Lunch Special in Town

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Who knew a simple lunch special of salmon, avocado, and white tuna sushi rolls could breathe new life into my love of sushi?  Much like the cupcake funk and rut I was in wallowing in over the holidays, I wanted to approach my sushi story-telling from a different angle, a different standpoint.  Even after my giddiness over Ginza’s menu changes, I still felt like I needed a little more “umph” to really get my inspiration fired up again.  After over a year of posting about some of my favourite sushi bars, rolls, and dishes, I was totally reinspired this past weekend and it feels great! 

My lunch at Sushi Sky started off like any other sushi lunch.  At least, I thought it would be like every other sushi lunch – but it wasn’t.  In hindsight, everything about this meal was different from what I was accustomed to (albeit unintentionally) and that’s part of the reason why it ended up being so great.  For starters, I was with my family.  Let it be known that aside from all-you-can-eat sushi places, I never go out for sit-down sushi with my entire family.  Ever.  With my mum and brother, occasionally, yes, but not with my dad in tow.  Long story short, he’s not a fan of sushi rolls so my family and I just haven’t bothered going that route.  Second, I almost always dive for the book menu and start paging through it vigorously, excitedly scoping out the different types of rolls, sets, and appetizers.  This time though, I flipped through the menu half-heartedly, almost as if there was something else seeking my attention.  And there was: Sushi Sky’s lunch specials menu.

I know, I know.  The lunch specials menu at sushi restaurants often have the best deals, price-wise, so it’s odd how I don’t lunge for those menus first, yes?  Well, I have a confession to make.  Many lunch special menus have a combination of teriyaki meat items, teriyaki bento boxes, cucumber rolls, and california rolls with a few other dishes here and there and truth be told, I have avoided many lunch special menus because of that.  I dislike teriyaki, cucumber rolls, and california rolls.  I KNOW.  There are things Deb actually doesn’t like!  You can all collectively gasp now.  I’m aware that I gush on and on about the things I love on Ate by Ate, giving the impression that I simply love everything and have no dislikes.  I may embrace many foods and I may be open to trying many things I haven’t tried before, but in all honesty, these are three things I just don’t touch.

How, then, did Sushi Sky’s lunch special menu capture my attention?  It captivated me with the help of my family, that’s how.  Everyone was gazing so intently at the double-sided menu that I became curious and thought, “what is all the fuss about?”  So I looked and almost gasped when I realized what I had been missing out on during my first visit last month.  Split into two pricing categories ($4.99 specials and $6.99 specials), there were the standard teriyaki items and california rolls, yes, but it was the other menu options that had completely bypassed me the previous time.

Yummies from my first visit!

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With Sushi Rolls, Dumplings, Rice, and Noodles, the Sky’s the Limit! A Photo Spotlight on Sushi Sky

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As foodies, we go through a lot of different experiences, changes, and revelations throughout our lifetime.  We develop obsessions passions, aversions, allergies, and everything in between, all the while gaining knowledge and inspiration from every meal and bite we have and take.  With that train of thought in mind, I pose a question: have you ever been through the experience of enjoying a place okay during the first go-around, only to find that you end up loving it even more the second time?  That, suddenly, you feel like you’re able to appreciate things in a different capacity and see things through a different lens?  This was my experience with Sushi Sky and I feel like I’ve been completely reinspired.  So inspired, in fact, that I’m starting a new sushi subseries completely devoted to great lunch specials!  Oh, and so inspired that I’ve given my brother a new nickname because he helped in this newfound inspiration – details to follow in tomorrow’s write-up.  

With so many sushi bars and all-you-can-eats in Toronto and Markham, my sushi journey that began nearly 5 years ago has been nothing short of delicious and knowledge-enhancing!  However, it’s because of the sheer volume of choices that makes it just as difficult to weed out the amazingly fabulous from the great to the decent to the terrible.  When you find something that works, you come back to it over and over again and when you find something not-so-great, you chalk it up to a learning experience and move on.  The Sushi Shop may be the great sushi love of my life in the city with Ginza sitting comfortably in second, but I’ve found so many wonderful places that have so much great food to offer that I feel like I have favourite things from every place I’ve been to so far.  There are hidden gems just waiting to be discovered (and eaten!) at Sushi Sky and I can’t wait to tell you all about them in tomorrow’s write-up.  Here’s a photo sneak peek of tomorrow’s Sushi Sky post! 

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Sushi Sky is located at 478 Yonge Street in downtown Toroto, just north of College Street on the west side of Yonge.  They are open 7 days a week for both lunch and dinner from 11:30am-11pm Monday-Saturday and from 12pm noon-11pm on Sundays.