Sushi Bar Sushiya belongs to the same group of restaurants as Zakkushi & Ramen Raijin.  In fact, it is located right underneath Zakkushi on Carlton and Parliament.  I heard about this restaurant from some of my friends who have been there.  However when I arrived, the only sign I saw from the street was Zakkushi’s.  I had to enter the front door, and low and behold, there’s the Sushi Bar sign.  Perhaps that is one of the main factors why almost 80% of the seats were empty, on a Saturday night of a long weekend!  Given that almost all newly opened Japanese restaurants in downtown Toronto are causing such a big hype, this is indeed very strange.

The fact that it’s empty is by no means a reflection on the quality of their food and services.  In fact, I was rather happy with their sushi, sashimi and sake selection.  Sake are available in 1.8L, 720ml, 300ml, etc.  A common practice in Japan is that restaurants would pour a small jar (usually 300ml) from their wide selection of already opened 1.8Ls.  Perhaps smaller bottles of sake aren’t too popular in Japan, or more expensive?  After my first order of 300ml of 浦霞Urakasumi, the server told me it was sold out.  Judging from the fact that it is the first sake on the menu, I assume that it is also their most popular one.  I find it a bit disturbing that Japanese restaurants tend to often run out of particular brands of sake easily.  Given that there were only 3 tables seated for the night, it meant that the restaurant did not have enough to begin with.  Other than this oversight, I’d say the rest of the evening went smoothly.

No official website found.

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Squid marinated in soy sauce (front) and ankimo/fish liver (back) ~ Most of the appetizers are around $3 to $7.  I personally liked the squid, which has a pretty strong taste and slimy texture.  However, similar to natto (Japanese fermented soy beans), it’s an acquired taste, so for those who are not used to this slimy texture, they can be caught off guard.  Both dishes are very good to have with sake.

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Tuna natto ~ Tuna sashimi with fermented soy beans, with raw quail egg yolk.  I think they forgot to add in wasabi so it tasted a bit bland.  (We had to put in leftover wasabi from the sushi platter ourselves).

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Gold sushi platter ~ With uni (sea urchin), regular and blue fin tuna, jumbo shrimp, ika (squid), giant clam, hamachi (yellow tail), eel, fluke, and saba (makerel).  Good value, must try!

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Five pieces of fresh scallop sashimi.

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Second order of sushi, we each picked what we wanted.  Ikura/large salmon roe, giant clam, jumbo sweet prawn.

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Hamachi green onion maki.

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Warm soup, rice, with seabream and Japanese plum ~ craving for something warm after so many cold dishes, and cold sake.  It refreshes the palates with the sour plum.

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Grilled fish requested by us, not on menu.  Too bad the fish tasted more like steamed and not grilled.

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Most recommended: Gold sushi platter; scallops, giant clam, jumbo shrimp (sushi or sashimi)

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Suggestions for improvements:

1.  There should be an outdoor sign.  Make sure it’s eye-catching.

2.  Replenish sake stock.  If not, remove it from the menu (this can be done easily since sake menu is only a photo album).

3.  Improve on grilled fish.  In fact, try to increase warm dishes selection.

Sushiya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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