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Restaurants

Mazz Sushi

Posted by Tanja / Reviewed on April 3, 2009 / review policy

Mazz Sushi TorontoMazz Sushi is a little Japanese & Korean resto in Bloorcourt with a big menu, terrific service, and impressively fresh fish at reasonable prices. Unlike the Sushi-crowded Annex, Mazz doesn't have much of any competition further west at Bloor & Dovercourt, yet offers amazing quality out of sheer pride in their work.

Maybe that's all I really need to say about Mazz, but then where would I put all the delicious sushi photos?

Edamame BeansSitting in one of a pair of more traditional Japanese booths (screens and all) one side of the resto, a friend and I start off the meal with an order of Edamame Beans and Kani (crab) Tempura.

The hot Edamame beans ($4) arrive quickly along with some small complimentary appetizers: marinated cold tofu cubes and an Okayu cup for each of us.

Kani TempuraKani Tempura ($6) arrives soon after. It's crispy, yet not too batter heavy -- a great seafood portion for $6.

My fellow late night diner orders Bento #1 ($12) which features Salmon teriyaki, California rolls, watercress, beansprouts, glass noodles and rice. He asks for cucumber-less California rolls and Mazz works it out for him without hesitation. The rolls are big and jam-packed - even with missing greenery.

Salmon Bento Box #1The Teriyaki salmon steak is really the highlight of this box though. Once again, the portion is quite generous yet the quality of the food remains high. It's perfectly cooked and a pleasure to eat (I was plenty happy to "help" him polish it off).

Sure, there are great bento offers elsewhere for a few bucks less, but by the time you "upgrade" to California rolls, you're usually about even, so why not start with a fine box from the get-go.

On my side of the table, an order of the Rainbow Roll ($9) is a little best-of sushi dish and perfect for my indecisive mood.

Pictured at the very top, the rainbow at Mazz includes a long row of California rolls topped with four kinds of fish and avocado. I'm pretty picky about fish as I can't stand overly fishy smells and tastes, but truly fresh raw fish is neither and this roll is a dream. Even the seaweed is tender and effortless to chew through. Each piece, with its own subtle flavour, melts in your mouth.


Mazz Sush on Bloor St West at Dovercourt

Discussion

26 Comments

apetimberlake / April 4, 2009 at 06:34 pm
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Looks Great!
Terrific review, i just can't get into that sea weed salad though.
Although my wife sucks it down like coca cola
Ivor / April 5, 2009 at 01:41 am
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hmmm...thought id post it here just in case someone does know the answer and the review is about sushi.

does anyone know where I would be able to find Inari wrappers? they are the tofu rice pockets.

one of my favs whenever i go for sushi...been trying to find where i would be able to get my hands on them.

thanks in advance.

Tanja thank you again for another great review.

I went to sushi 101 when i got the chance and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Tim replying to a comment from Ivor / April 5, 2009 at 11:56 am
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Have you tried SANKO?

http://blogto.com/grocery/sanko
pwik pwok / April 5, 2009 at 02:20 pm
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what's with all these korean/japanese hybrids?

are these korean owners trying to tell us that their own cuisine can't stand on its own?

and contrary to popular belief, korean and japanese cultures are not the same.
Elle Driver replying to a comment from pwik pwok / April 5, 2009 at 06:22 pm
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There's PLENTY of "hybrid" restaurants in Toronto. If I go to a steakhouse, but I see that they're offering seafood as well, am I going to assume that their steak "can't stand on it's own?"

And contrary to your belief, Korean restaurants are opening like CRAZY all over the city, so there is obviously a demand for traditional Korean cuisine. Walking near Yonge and Wellesley, I was astonished to find about 10 restaurants offering either Korean BBQ or traditional Korean dishes along the Yonge strip.
pwik pwok replying to a comment from Elle Driver / April 5, 2009 at 07:05 pm
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a steakhouse serving seafood is complimentary not contradictory.

your argument about korean restaurants opening on younge may have some merit. however, the fact remains that there are numerous restaurants that are korean/japanese hybrids. again, i ask why?

this might be off topic, but i also ask why all the korean/japanese restaurants are all owned by koreans or other non-japanese persons. sadly, most of these hybrids do a disservice to japanese cuisine because they prepare sub-par japanese food.

perhaps it's not entirely the fault of these owners. most torontonians don't know what good japanese food is and, thus, will frequent these hybrids for "japanese" food. what a shame.
hmm. / April 5, 2009 at 07:41 pm
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You obviously do not know that there aren't a lot of Japanese people in the city of Toronto. "most of these hybrids do a disservice to japanese cuisine"? What about the Thai, Caribbean, Vietnamese, Japanese and even Korean restaurants owned and run by Chinese people? From personal experience, Japanese people who visit these "hybrid" restaurants love the food. If anything, the Japanese should be satisfied that their culture is being spread around the city.
reikoleiko replying to a comment from Ivor / April 5, 2009 at 09:16 pm
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You can get the inarizushi pockets at PAT central market (675 Bloor St. West).
Ivor replying to a comment from Tim / April 6, 2009 at 12:06 am
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ooh thanks! will do
Ivor replying to a comment from reikoleiko / April 6, 2009 at 12:08 am
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will check it out thank you!
Gloria / April 6, 2009 at 10:55 am
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What is UP with Japanese food fans? They're constantly crapping on this city and how many of the restaurants here are not "authentic" or "pure" or worse, not Japanese-run, as if that's a flaw that is even remotely related to food quality. I'm glad you love Japanese cuisine so much that you want the highest quality served to everyone, but the fact is not everyone can afford it and can settle for less.

If it offends you, try to suffer quietly as a martyr for all of us. I thank you in advance for saving my culinary soul.

I myself am not a huge fan of "hybrid" restaurants, but I don't think it's related to thinking one cuisine can't "stand on its own" but the fact that a lot of people do like eating or choosing from many different types of cuisine in one place.

What is the "contradiction" between Korean and Japanese food?

And WHAT "popular belief" that Korean and Japanese cultures are the same?
smiley / April 7, 2009 at 12:52 am
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I was very surprised to find so many Korean- and Chinese- owned Japanese restaurants in Toronto. Service and food they provide are essentially different from what I'm used to in Japan. All those colourful exotic rolls that would only be considered disgusting in my traditional taste (you just don't mix different fish sticking together like that!) and shockingly thick lukewarm sashimi (sashimi should be served CHILLED grrrrr), and boiling-hot miso soup with no fish broth, give me a break. But no matter how "hybrid" they are, good restaurants serve great food, and there are not so good ones even if they are Japanese-owned. When I really miss Japanese service, I have a few Japanese-owned restaurants on my list that I would cling to, but that doesn't mean that they would be appealing to everybody just because they are run by Japanese. If Korean-owned Japanese restaurants suit your taste and satisfy your appetite, that's fine. But often, Korean- and Chinese- owned Japanese restaurants disappoint me, just because they don't prepare food as I'm used to. That's all.
Mel / July 16, 2010 at 07:53 am
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If you're used to it in Japan, maybe you should go back to Japan. just a thought.

in the meantime, I just got back from Mazz Sushi and the food and service was awesome.
Vanessa / August 6, 2010 at 07:08 pm
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I just moved around the corner to this place and have already been twice. They have great service and good prices too. Yesterday I got th veggie bento box 2, and it had a roll with banana and spicy tempura. I thoughtit sounded odd but it was delicious!! Th box itself was huge for the price and I couldn't finish everything.
Dan / August 9, 2010 at 07:55 pm
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I just ordered a rainbow roll that didn't have eel on it, and the fish was kind of warm... I've never had sushi that was warm before, and I'm pretty sure I've read that if the fish has tapeworm, you can contract it if the fish is allowed to get warm. Perhaps it was just warm because I ordered pick-up, but I would think they'd keep it in the fridge until I got there and I live next door, literally.

Also, I ordered a lot of sushi and I got several complimentary salads, all of which were tiny. I'm not about to complain about the size of a FREE salad, but the packaging was ridiculous. So much packaging for so little perk... I'd just as soon have skipped the salad and saved the environment. Also, I asked and their packaging is non-recyclable. Lame. Very lame.

I keep reading that it's cheap. I think it's, at best, reasonable. I've been as content with the sushi at all-you-can-eat restos... In fact, I prefer the rainbow roll at Sushi Island, even when you order from the AYCE menu and they skimp on the crab. One thing I will say is that the rice:other stuff ratio is much better at Mazz, even if the other stuff is sort of disconcertingly warm.

It's hit-or-miss with pick-up orders, definitely, but I've never had a bad time when I've come to eat in the restaurant itself. Maybe they take better care when their tips are at stake. I'd tip them better if they had a greener social conscience.
Dan replying to a comment from Dan / August 9, 2010 at 08:00 pm
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I should clarify that I've ordered rainbow rolls from Mazz in the past that came with eel, and were much much better. My point is that there has been a marked (by the eel-less rainbow roll and warm fish) decline in the quality of the pick-up orders I've had, and there have been many. I think the restaurant changed management not too long ago, though, so perhaps that's the problem.
Jenny / October 19, 2010 at 10:35 am
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I agree with Dan for few points but the sushi rice should be warm not cold so when the fish goes on top of rice, it could feel little warm. I'm not sure how long you've been going there but the management has been changed 3 years ago. I know their packaging sometimes looks too much that's why i always bring my own container. And if I have a problem with something they always try to make it up. I mean it is a busy resto so i would understand there could be unsatisfied service out of many good ones. You just have to let them know and they won't just ignore it.
Tallya / November 26, 2010 at 05:27 am
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I just wanted to say its rediculous that people are so upset about the way the food is represented. I think that good food speaks for itself and that is it. I know that if you were raised eating squid, for example, and another person has never had the idea to try it, it is natural for you but for that person it is bizzare and they might never gather the courage to even try it. I was born in Belarus and through the age of 8 was raised on European food, mostly Russian, Ukranian, Polish, etc... And then we moved to the US. I just wanted to say that I see recipes for Borshch or any other former soviet union dishes all the time and they are definately not authentic but we need to understand that people who didnt grow up with the tastes and traditions what we did, are not nessesaraly as open to those things and its ok to try new things.
Cleeno / September 2, 2011 at 02:49 pm
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I have been going to Mazz for over 5 years and the food and service has been usually wonderful. That is until two nights ago. I ordered salmon sashimi like many times before. Perhaps because it was later in the evening the fish was difficult to chew through, almost like day old sushi. I went up to the counter to return it and said normally it is excellent but I just can't eat this and would hope they could just take it off my bill. The chef argued that his sashimi is the best in the city and he has had no other complaints that day. I said, maybe it's just me, but it still doesn't mean I can eat it and I would appreciate it if they just took it back.

I returned to my seat with my back to the counter. I heard a loud noise and my friend saw the chef throw down his cleaver and storm out the back hallway. When he returned a few minutes later he came over to where I was sitting and started to yell at me in front of the rest of the customers. He was so angry he was spitting on me when he spoke. He accused me of always complaining and sending food back. We were all in shock. Trying not to cry, I informed him there was only one other time in 5 years coming there when the silver skin was left on the sashimi and I couldn't cut it off with my chop sticks so I asked that they cut it off for me. That is not complaining. It is like asking for a steak to be cooked a bit longer. Still furious, he informed me that I can no longer order sashimi from Mazz and went back behind the counter.

Here is the thing: having worked in the service industry, I know that the customer is not always right, but I also know not to take food complaints personally and humiliate and berate that patron in front of the entire restaurant. Perhaps I should stop ordering sashimi but I don't need to be yelled at and shamed to consider this as an option. The worst part is this man is also the owner so until it changes ownership again, I will not be going back. So go, enjoy their food, but enjoy it or else.
Smurfy / September 2, 2011 at 03:11 pm
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Maybe the Chef had a bad day or something?? I've been going there for many years and the nice chef is there 24/7 and i don't understand how he does that.. I sometimes tell him he works too hard that he should get a break once in awhile. I guess if you work that hard with no days off, I'm sure he has one of those days.. Hey he is only human. But I have to say that he could have been in better manner saying things to customer as a owner.
Ash replying to a comment from Ivor / September 2, 2011 at 04:46 pm
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Go to Sanko at Queen and Claremont! they have a few different kinds. The canned kinds are the best. :)
SA / September 3, 2011 at 12:02 pm
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So the chef was possibly having a bad day, you say...hmmm...though I can appreciate those moments myself, I cannot imagine as a regular patron of anything, EVER being served up an extra helping of spittle..good day, bad day...any day! It is unfortunate that the chef is also the owner...I mean, seriously, that bordered on assault. Just another bully with too much stress and power and not a clue about respect and good customer service. Bright side..he is not your boss :)
allison / January 19, 2012 at 05:07 pm
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The quality of the food is always great, but I can't really agree with the comments calling it "cheap", it is reasonably priced at best. Certainly in comparison to places like New Generation or Sushi on Bloor further east it is more expensive although the quality is better.

My main complaint is with the serving staff. I have eaten there several times in the last two months and one waitress is consistently rude. Whether getting take-out or eating in she is disinterested at best and borders on outright aggressive at times.
Once a friend unexpectedly joined our table part way through dinner (keep in mind there was no line for tables, there were several EMPTY tables and he was planning on ordering food) and she refused to let him join our table. Then when we asked for our food to go so that we could leave with him she seemed openly exasperated huffing and puffing as if we caused her some kind of offense. She even slammed down the bill!

Other times I have come to pick up take-out and she doesn't even make eye contact. Just completely disinterested. One time I went with my mom and she asked for a fork and this women openly glared at her. When she brough the fork she just dropped it from above right into my mom's food. splashing a bowl of soup and walked away.

I really love the food here, but I am pretty much ready to stop going until this women quits or is fired.
Sawyer / February 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm
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Awesome service and awesome food. Highly recommend this place to any sushi lover.
You won't be disappointed!
neighbour / August 27, 2012 at 03:09 pm
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I have been going to Mazz for at least 3 years (sometimes more than 2 a week) for lunch. They do have an amazing lunch deal. Bento Box with nigiri sushi, sushi rolls, bean sprout salad, glass noodles, and salad plus it all comes with starters of tofu, congee, and miso soup! That lunch is $7. Amazing! Many times the chef also sends out something like breaded fish or similar also on the house.
Michelle / September 15, 2012 at 01:21 pm
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I just moved into this neighbourhood back in April and this is my sushi joint! I have Tokyo Sushi way closer, but I prefer the high quality and terrific service of this location. I've always gotten take out but I must dine-in in the near future! Very reasonably priced for the high quality.

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