I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again: I love the challenge in finding the unique in the mundane. Especially when it comes to sushi. Although every sushi place is special and different in their own way, they all serve many of the “basics” when it comes to maki rolls: the california roll, salmon, tuna, avocado, spicy salmon, spicy tuna, etc. It’s precisely because these rolls are so ho hum that make the challenge of finding something special that much more fun. For instance, The Sushi Shop makes their salmon rolls with crunchy green onion, Pacific Mall’s Japanese Express serves my favourite spicy salmon rolls in this world with dollops of spicy sauce on top of the rolls, and Big Sushi makes their Philadelphia rolls with cream cheese and crab meat while many others pair the cream cheese with salmon. You know all how much I love trying out different rolls with wacky combinations and cute names, but I also love ordering the basics and seeing how each sushi place will interpret it differently and make it their own. So it made me squeal with joy when I came to eat at Sushi Garden, located at 30 Eglinton Ave. W., and learned that the plain Jane avocado roll was dressed up in the shape of a flower (!!!).
Sushi…in the shape of flower petals?! *breathes into a paper bag* That is just WAY too cute not to love. There was no way I could resist that. Especially because I felt rather foolish for not noticing this adorable presentation earlier – I’ve eaten here more than once! Foolishness aside, I was excited to order their spicy avocado rolls for my light mid-afternoon meal and admire the sushi flower petals by staring at them adoringly before shoving them all in my mouth. The avocado rolls are made with some sushi mayo and crunchy tempura bits (I LOVE tempura bits in my sushi! And nowhere else I’ve been to serves their avocado rolls with it, so score!) and are shaped like teardrops. When you put them together, they look like a flower. Awww.
Let it be known though that although they tasted delicious (the combination of flavoured mayo and avocado was delightful creaminess to the max and the tempura bits were fantastically yummy), the spicy didn’t really exist. I mean, sure, I felt a liiiittle bit of prickling on my tongue, but the rolls by no means made my taste buds dance like jumping beans. If you don’t care about that and just want good flavour and good texture and pretty sushi, it’s awesome. However, if you’re reeeeally looking to cry from the heat, steer clear because it’ll disappoint; it’s just not “spicy” in the true sense of the word. But I assure you they’re soft and delicious nevertheless! For those who like the heat, I’ll compile a list of great spicy sushi in the future to put on the blog, but for the time being my recommendation for spicy rolls is Big Sushi on Bloor St. W., this stuff will make you huff and puff!
Sushi Garden actually has a number of locations in Toronto and the one here on Eglinton Ave. W. by Yonge St. is just one of them. To my knowledge, there is one on Yonge St. not too far north from St. Clair Ave. and just south of Heath St., as well as a location at the corner of Yonge St. and Wellesley St. Their menus are a bit different though, so just keep that in mind if you’re interested in trying them out. The one by Yonge & St. Clair is the largest of the three with a menu to match. The location at Yonge & Wellesley also has a very extensive menu (my favourite thing to order is the salmon sashimi roses!), but is smaller in size and veeery busy during lunch hour.
Even though the Yonge & Eglinton location has a smaller-sized menu, it has a more peaceful, spacious environment and the great thing about this particular branch is that they offer a 10% discount off your total when you pay in cash. I’m looking forward to trying out some other items and revisiting some others (they have fantastic tempura green tea ice cream!) and of course, reporting back here! In the meantime, enjoy the flower sushi 😉
Sushi Garden is located at 30 Eglinton Ave. West, just west of Yonge St. on the north side of Eglinton.