The Sushi Lunch Special Series – Dynamite & Avocado Rolls, and Rice & Noodle Sets Galore at Sushi One

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Lunch just keeps getting better and better.  With Toronto Lunchtime Office Markets to look forward to and an infinite number of sushi bar lunch specials to tick off the list one by one, lunch is at its finest.  I’ve always loved looking through sushi bar menus (100 items?!  That should keep me occupied for awhile!), but ever since I started the Sushi Lunch Special series last month with Sushi Sky, I’ve been paying extra, careful attention to menus with the best lunch special variety and deals.  I’ve even spent some afternoons in the last month just browsing take-out menus and doing online searches with The Food Network on tv in the background.  Obsessed?  I prefer to call it enthusiasism. 

Over the past few weeks I’ve come across a handful of new sushi places (new to me, not new to the city) in North York and west Eglinton that I’m so excited to eventually try, thanks to the nice weather and my walking shoes that took me around different neighbourhoods in town.  But I have to hand it to the online community for introducing me to unchartered territories and by online community, I mean the e-mails that flood my inbox every single day.  Let it be known that I subscribe to almost every single collective buying site: Groupon, Living Social, Dealfind, Team Buy, you name it, I’ve probably subscribed to it.  Regardless of whether or not I’m interested in anything I receive in my inbox, it’s an amazing resource.  I know there are mixed feelings and opinions concerning the politics of doing business this way, but at the very least, these sites have really helped me get to know businesses I never would have been aware of otherwise.          

Each time I see something I might be interested in revisiting in the future, I tuck the e-mail away in a special folder to review at a later date.  Thanks to Dealfind, Sushi One caught my eye as a prospective place to check out.  Thus, lunch at Sushi One has been a long time coming.  A REALLY long time.  Since LAST MARCH long time.  I was shocked out of my pants when I went back to give the e-mail I had saved a quick once-over and saw the date of the e-mail: March 24, 2011.  Good god.  I know I take my sweet time getting to certain spots (it’s a big city!), but this is embarrassing.  Oh well.  I least I have a delicious sushi lunch to show you all now.

Sushi One, located on Yonge Street in North York just north of Sheppard Ave., is a fabulous sushi lunch spot.  Not only are their lunch special prices enticing, their selection is to die for.  We’re talking 10 sushi roll combinations, 12 Japanese rice and noodle options, and 6 special lunch combos.  That’s 28 items alone and that’s not even scratching the surface of their regular dine-in menu.  I thought Sushi Sky‘s lunch special deals couldn’t be beat but I was wrong.  While I still stand by the lunch meal set I had (soup, salad, 12 rolls, and 2 salmon sashimi cakes) at Sushi Sky as being in the Top 5 best and The Sushi Shop as my absolute favourite spot for rolls, Sushi One’s selection and prices are out of this world (21 items ring in at only $6.50) and I would have to come here at least another 6 times just to try all the ones I’m in love with.  My hit list includes the curry mushroom rice, curry tofu rice, mushroom udon in soup, the maki lunch bento, the salmon lover lunch, and the mushroom udon with sushi lunch.  What I have for you all today: the simple, yet delicious, dynamite and avocado roll lunch special set.

Sushi One has 10 different roll combinations as part of their lunch special menu and what makes these sets so appealing is the price combined with amount of rolls.  With the exception of one item, all rice, noodle, and roll meal sets in the lunch special menu are priced at $6.50.  Half of Sushi Sky’s lunch menu comes in at $6.99 and Sushi on Bloor has theirs at the same price point, so $6.50 is ridiculously reasonable in the context of sushi.  Furthermore, their roll sets come with 14 rolls as opposed to 12, which is the amount many and most places offer.  The rolls at Sushi One aren’t the largest, mind you, (that award goes to Sushi on Bloor’s lunch rolls) but they’re delicious and of good quality so that’s what I take away from it. 

Almost all their lunch specials include soup and salad (a few of the larger sets come with one or the other as opposed to both) and while I know salad is probably nothing to get to excited about, I love the salad that comes with sushi lunch specials.  They’re always so fresh and crunchy and made with the yummiest mix of Thousand Island dressing and vinegar at most places.  I know, I go out for sushi and I get excited about the salad!  It’s a highlight worth mentioning though!

In terms of the rolls, the great thing about Sushi One’s rolls is that they aren’t overloaded with sushi rice.  It’s a necessary component, yes, but it’s a turn-off when you’re given rolls that are disproportionately made with rice as opposed to filling.  It’s the filling that you are primarily paying for and when you’re stiffed in that manner, it just doesn’t sit well.  Their rolls were drizzled with a sweet sauce that gave the rolls a mix of sweet and savoury flavour and all the rolls were incredibly soft.  It’s a great sushi spot and one of the best for lunch for more than one person because you can totally go crazy and mix and match for the purposes of sharing without blowing up your wallet.  I am beyond excited to go back and inhale a bowl of curry mushroom rice or mushroom udon in the near future! 

*****

Sushi One is located at 4924 Yonge Street in North York on the west side of Yonge, north of Elmhurst Ave., in between North York Centre and Sheppard subway stations.  From Monday-Friday they are open at 11am and at 12 noon on weekends.  Their lunch specials are served from 11am-4pm.  You can view their website and menu here.

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.