It was with mixed feelings when I first heard that Chef Jackie Lin was leaving Zen and his long-time teacher Chef Seiichi Kashiwabara behind. I, along with many long-time Zen customers, had long gotten used to watching the duo in action behind the sushi bar. But I guess everything, both good and bad, must come to an end. On the other hand, I am happy for Chef Lin as he got the chance to stretch his wings and take full charge in the new Shoushin in midtown Toronto.

Shoushin differentiates itself from the other sushi-ya in town by being heavily service-oriented. Its head wait staff, Laura (the only Caucasian in a restaurant full of Asian staffs), managed to elevate customer service to the next level. I was impressed that she displayed the Japanese way of hospitality — Omotenashi, in Japanese, means the way of treating a guest. It is an all encompassing concept that combines understanding, warmth, and above all, respect. I’ve experienced that in Japan. However, it’s a pity that not a lot of Japanese remembers the art of Omotenashi once they left their country.

One complain about Shoushin is that the cooked dishes took quite a while to come out from the kitchen. After being seated for 45 minutes, we were only served the first appetizer. Perhaps that was because the restaurant was brand new (I visited on the 2nd week after their grand opening). I’ve reflected my comments to Chef Lin so hopefully improvements are on their way!

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I order the $80 omakase course. In retrospect, I should’ve selected the $120, which comes with a plate of sashimi and a handroll on top of the $80 set. The most expensive selection is $250, which includes extravagant items like kobe beef. I personally do not want to spend over $300 per person on a meal, as that is out of my price range.

Below: Lotus root with shrimp paste, tomato, and veggies.

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Radish steamed in a flavourful broth.

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Red miso soup, a bit too concentrated and salty for me.

For the appetizers, I am missing a picture of the Japanese style steamed egg custard.

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Sea bream marinated in kelp. All sushi served to us were already pre-seasoned (soy sauce applied).

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Shima aji.

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Tuna / Toro #1 (increasing in fat content — see 2 subsequent pictures).

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Tuna / Tora #2 ~ the best texture out of all three pieces, in my opinion.

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Tuna / Toro #3 ~ Not sure if this was supposed to be the best as it was the fattiest out of the three. However the remaining tendons made it a bit chewy.

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Aoyagi clam/Surf clam.

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Bonito with grated onion on top. One may know bonito fish from dried shaved bonito flakes.

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Squid.

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Lovely Sea Urchin / Uni.

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Shrimp / Ebi.

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Sea eel / Unagi.

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I gave up my piece of Unagi in exchange for the octopus. It was grilled and very tender.

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Egg / Tamago ~ The egg was sweet, almost like a prelude to dessert.

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Red bean cake with green tea mousse and black seasame.

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I am not a fan of red bean, hence I paid $3 extra to get this black sesame cream puff. Note, pedal is non-edible 🙂IMG_20151028_212941

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

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