Walking along in the Annex a couple nights ago, I came face to face with the glowing neon lights of the newest Sushi place to open up on the strip (I think they're practically up to 5 just between Spadina & Bathurst (on Bloor)). Before I could even shake my head though, the sweet little owner was handing me a "BIG SUSHI" business card and telling me I should come in for dinner. She was so excited I felt guilty for having other plans, so I assured her I'd come back tomorrow. Besides, it looked like they had some amazing bento boxes... and i'm all ABOUT the bento.
So last night, there we are. My girlfriend and I arrive at Big Sushi, are seated in the back area and proceed to make the same comment as everybody else...
"wow, this place is pretty big"
"well, i mean, it's BIG sushi."
The woman at the table next to us is saying, "How many sushi places can this neighbourhood really support?" My sentiments exactly. There must be something special here that the owner thinks is worth competing with, right?
The menu is pretty small compared to our incumbent god-of-all-toronto-sushi-places, Sushi On Bloor, but the boxes DO look good. I'm eyeing the vegetarian bento with veggie tempura, sweet potato rolls, some kind of tofu and the usual soup/salad.
My bottomless pitt dining pal is going all out with the Bento B box (so descriptive, i know) that includes, chicken teriyaki, shimp tempura, vegetable tempure, and 8 california rolls (8!).
Initial dishes come. The miso soup is good and the salad is nice. Not overdressed, which I'm thankful for. We also ordered the edamame beans, not only because we love them but 'cause you just can't go wrong boiling beans! They are crusty. We stand corrected.
The boxes arrive.
Despite the photo, the veggie box turns out to be pretty puny. The only thing that looked appetizing was the tempura, but after removing the gargantuan onion ring piece from the top, the rest of the pieces were all sweet potato + 1 mushroom. And if you remembered correctly, yes, next to that pile of sweet potato tempura is sweet potato rolls. Overkill. The rolls are pretty blah too. I've already forgotten the tofu, and that other item is salad... another salad... just like the one i'd just had... just, another one.
Bento B, on the other hand, showed more promise. The tempura comes with quite a few shrimp + the veggie (ie. sweet potato) batch I got. The chicken is great as well, without all the excess skin & cartilage we've become accustomed too in our box exploits. Even the cali rolls get an 8 out of 10. Good for the price and VERY filling.
What was not filling, was my post-meal wallet. (I know, a very cheap and badly executed play on words) Though the dishes aren't too expensive, it adds up pretty fast, and when you're turning orange from all the sweet potato, you don't hand over your cash so happily. So will we be back? Heck no, 2 blocks down I can have one of the best bento boxes out there and then get free ice cream to wash it all down. Sushi on Bloor - 1, Big Sushi - 0.