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BIG Sushi

Posted by Tanja / Reviewed on March 24, 2005 / review policy


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."
*har har*

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.

march2405_bigblahsushi2.jpgDespite 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.

march2405_bigblahsushi3.jpgBento 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.



tim / March 24, 2005 at 01:39 pm
lol. beware the double salad, orange one.
Tanja / March 24, 2005 at 01:49 pm
funny, they never think to fill the empty spot in your dish with double sushi or double tempura... ;)
chloe / March 24, 2005 at 05:43 pm
The chicken was good tho! Skin/cartilage-less! I would go back for the chicken. :)
Chris / March 24, 2005 at 05:57 pm
I too have tried 'other' sushi places only to find that they are sub par to Sushi on Bloor. From this point on I will never go to another sushi place, it's just not worth the risk or disappointment.
Danielle / March 24, 2005 at 06:29 pm
I was working on a post about the ridiculous amount of sushi restaurants along Bloor between Spadina & Bathurst. There are 7! Insanity. My favourite place Elixir closed and a terrible sushi restaurant filled it's spot. Too sad.
Tanja / March 24, 2005 at 07:01 pm
YES! That place is SO crappy. The only other place on bloor there that is worth it for me is Japan Sushi. I've had good stuff there. These other places are iffy.

And of course, my gf, miss Hong Hong, (who posted as chloe up in the comments there) is the first one to point out that no one is even Japanese.

"Stop eavesdropping!"
"What! they're speaking cantonese/mandarin/korean/russian!"

pick a language. lol. Everyone is in there for a quick buck. What we were talkin about yesterday is how someone should open up a crazy DIM SUM place on that strip! YES!
Christine / March 24, 2005 at 09:55 pm
Yikes, I should start posting on my regular 'comfort food' haunts. I was about to mention that a lot of the posts were on Sushi places.
Tanja / March 24, 2005 at 10:19 pm
Yeah, i thought about that before posting, but I couldn't help myself.. too much to say!

i'll ease out of japan by posting something about EAST tomorrow and then make a valiant effort to hike over to some other countries. ;) Just for y'all. But no more COCO BANANAS. *gah*
Lou / March 24, 2005 at 11:21 pm
I'm beside myself... that no one else has come forward and stepped up for New Gen! I've been going for years and will never appreciate sushi from anywhere else as much. Good quality. And cheap!
Tanja / March 24, 2005 at 11:59 pm
You are one of those freaks!


Don't misunderstand me... heh... I mean that in the best way possible.

I see New Gen always pretty packed and I see that they get awards from Now mag city polls, but I've never met anyone who thought it was good. YOU ARE THE FIRST.

*its nice to meet you*

I've tried to eat there 3 times (cuz after 3 strikes, you're out) and each time was worse than the one before so I just can't do it anymore. Once they didn't even charge me 'cause it was so bad. I'm tempted now to give it another shot, but really, I'm going to Sushi on Bloor instead.

Wave to me next time you are in there and I walk by. I'm the platinum blonde.

jatsimpleposie / March 26, 2005 at 05:12 pm
I like New Generation too - but its better if you can have a booth because the other tables esp at the back are too squishy.
Yotes / March 29, 2005 at 11:34 am
Ewww...New Gen...Yuck. Sushi on Bloor (free ice cream with the BENTO!!) or Japan Sushi = THE WAY TO GO! on Bloor. Last time I was at New Gen they got my order wrong and when I only ate half of what I got and asked to take it home they PUT IT IN THE GARBAGE and then ignored me when I asked them about it. Just crappy service in general. I’ll have to make sure that I try the new place some time.
Akira Takashi / January 24, 2006 at 10:55 am
let me begin by saying that BIG SUSHI is probably the best sushi place in the Annex. Anyone who gets a bento box obviously isn't looking for authentic japanese sushi. Firstly, bento is like buying canadian chinese....hahaha...its like fast food....if you want fast food go to mcdonalds....

However if you want a real authentic japanese sushi & sashimi stay for a fresh roll, or sushi cart.

and for those who complain about there being too many sushi places in the annex, go take a look at korean town.

harmless / February 23, 2006 at 02:37 am
If you have a car, wander to Thornrichmondmarkhill and behold the deliciousness of Yang's Kitchen, bit east of the 404 on hwy 7. Such goodness esp salmon sashimi, scallop rolls and veal spareribs. Such plenty. Such hilariously random service.
Bernard / June 9, 2006 at 05:15 pm
It really depends on what you're looking for. Sushi Combo A is great for salmon/tuna lovers who don't want eel, squid, etc.
Leslie / August 16, 2006 at 05:00 pm
I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE Big Sushi. Been there 2x and ordered same thing (Caterpillar Roll) because it was phenomenal. Gigantic rolls and tasty spicy salmon, avocado, etc. My brother ordered one of those lunch specials and had trouble finishing it. EXCELLENT.

p.s. The seating area is also superbly relaxed, comfortable and roomy unlike Sushi On Bloor.
Mark / April 25, 2007 at 07:37 pm
if you go to big sushi, DON'T get a bento box! big sushi is AWESOME for all of those "special" rolls that are in the middle of the menu. they area absolutely amazing. they definitely beat anything on the menus of sushi on bloor or new gen, although I love the above two places as well. I do, however, think that sushi on bloor is totally overrated and overpriced. tons of places give free ice cream (such as sushi time and often new gen, and they actually offered me free ice cream at big sushi too), and don't complain about getting two salads when your first one comes free! just don't order a damn bento box!

p.s. the sweet potato rolls (plus you can get them with avocado or asparagus as well) are one of the most delicious things that i have ever eaten. you are obviously not an appreciative fan of sweet potato so you really shouldn't be judging the restaurant based on them.

way to suck Tanja!
Danielle / December 15, 2007 at 07:22 pm
I have to disagree with going to a Sushi place for bento myself. Big Sushi has some of the best/most creative rolls and they are always the freshest of all the ones on the block. The friendliest staff who will remember you and even how much hot sauce you want on your Volcano Rolls, Big Sushi will always have a special place in my heart!
mmm sushi / December 8, 2009 at 05:10 pm
agree - big is the best one on bloor - best special rolls (get rainbow roll), most comfortable seating, and no lines (because new gen and sushi on bloor are crowded with students who wont try something new) - i turned all my UofT friends onto big sushi and they've been going there since
the only thing i've recently found odd was the color of the tuna sashimi; it's Very pink... unnaturally pink.. but, it still tastes fine
Pinksnake / June 14, 2011 at 06:12 pm
I agree also, terrible review. Big Sushi is ALL about the specialty rolls and the wicked seating, very spacious and comfortable unlike newgen and sushi-on-bloor. Sushi on bloor is like the fast food of sushi, its uncomfortable, the rolls are beginner made, don't get too excited just because you get a scoop of icecream with your meal haha... Newgen gives icecream to people on the house sometimes, pretend its your first time there and they probably will haha.. Prices are all about the same anywhere on bloor. BIG has best rolls, newgen has best bentos. If you want better sushi check out Katsu @ danforth/pape - all you can eat, their other location (called something else) at Yonge/Charles, Sakura @ Sheppard/Yonge, lots of other good places in T.O.
Sean / December 18, 2012 at 08:29 am
Inspected on: December 11, 2012
Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional Pass)
Number of infractions: 6 (Minor: 3, Significant: 2, Crucial: 0)
Crucial infractions include: N/A
www.instructables.com / February 18, 2015 at 07:10 pm
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