Mikado is hidden away on Laird Avenue in Leaside. It has minimal decor and small sushi bar. But don't the location or looks keep you away...else you'll miss out on a great dining experience.
Mikado's been around since 1978, and was one of the first sushi restaurants in Toronto. Chef Keiichi Masuda originally came to Toronto as a gourmet chef and ice sculptor, learning his sushi skills from Mitsuhiro Kajio of Sushi Kaji fame.
We arrive early enough to get one of the traditional tatami tables in the back, separated by shoji screens. After removing our shoes and climbing into the benched area (short skirts not recommended!), we find communal slippers. Here's what mine looked like:
We order the horenso-goma (spinach with peanut, sesame sauce, $3.60):
As well as the tara saikyo (black cod with soybean paste, $8.90, pictured at top). Both are exquisitely presented and delicious. We also order the Oyster Yaki (broiled oyster with mushrooms and sauce, $7.70), which our friend orders whenever he comes to the restaurant.
After sharing a main course of sashimi (20 pieces chef's choice, $37.90), we finish with some black sesame ice cream ($3.40):
This is my favourite flavour of ice cream, but so far I've only found it in a few Japanese restaurants; I prefer the pure black sesame ice cream over the white (with black bits mixed in). As disturbing as black ice cream may look, the taste is amazing: an intense sesame essence, creamy-cold and not too sweet. It's difficult to describe; you'll just have to try it. If you like Black Sesame Pocky, you'll love this.