Momo San serves Japanese Aburi style sushi in the form of special rolls, nigiri, and sashimi, along with beer and cocktails.
The restaurant's name translates roughly to something like “Mister Peach” or “Mister Pink,” and stands where Italian bistro Bocca used to be. Their presentation and quality is sure to impress in already sushi-heavy Baldwin Village.
Owner Pandora Pan has really revitalized the space into something much more contemporary.
Jagged 3D panels of light wood and silver metal jut out from the ceiling, unique round tables surrounded by black benches really change up the typical sushi restaurant model.
“Aburi” is the word which refers to the torching process, and “oshi” refers to the style of hand-pressing sushi in a box so it comes out molded into a particular shape. Head chef Jin Park handmade the boxes used here as well as the wooden trays some oshi are served on.
Unagi oshi kushi from the specialty oshi menu tops salmon oshi sushi with aburi eel. It’s extremely pricey at $30 for six pieces, but you do get a nice big hunk of savoury, meaty unagi and the combination between the smoky, saucy torched fish and the sweet, creamy salmon is explosive.
The Momo tart ($15) is almost as indulgent but less prohibitive expensive and accurately named, an almost cake-like construction of layers of spicy seafood, rice, and creamy avocado flame-seared and topped with beautifully presented sashimi and a little heap of popping fish eggs.
Beef oshi ($25) steals the show with its massive plus-sixty-inch length, created using one of Chef Park’s custom boxes. It follows up on flavour with juicy, thinly sliced AAA Angus beef topping the molded rice, delicately finished with green onion, the barest slice of crunchy Asian pear and daikon sprouts.
The Momo San signature plate is also pricey for a typical twelve-piece signature sushi plate at $28, but you are getting that extra effort put in with the aburi and oshi style and the quality as usual is all there.
A medley of scallop, salmon, yellowtail, shrimp, torched albacore and red tuna and more is by turns creamy, buttery, charred, sweet, full of seafood flavour.
A Baldwin Burner ($13) is a nod to the neighbourhood that caramelizes syrup by spritzing it using an atomizer and setting it on fire, making the flame more diffuse for more aroma.
It’s slightly smoky with an herby blend of chartreuse, aperol, gin, topped with a lightly flavoured foam made using elderflower liqueur, egg white and lemon.
The Tokyo Hot ($11) has nice spice to it due to a jalapeno-sichuan-infused syrup that blends well with boozy VSOP and plum wine accented with fresh lemon juice.
There’s a more private area in the back.
In addition, there's a large covered patio that’s perfect for temperamental Toronto weather.