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Restaurants

Oishi Kada

Posted by Kaela Greenstien / Listed on July 28, 2011 / review policy

Sushi KadaOishi Kada is, surprisingly, the lone sushi purveyor of Kensington Market. After twelve-years, Oishi Kada (translation: that was delicious!) is comfortably settled in its niche between a hostel and a goth bar at the north end of Augusta Avenue.

The student friendly prices and unassuming exterior remind me more of Vancouver's numerous quaint mom n' pop sushi shops than typical Torontonian sushi attempts. With the owner often running the kitchen, sushi bar and till simultaneously, you won't be finding any "all you can eat" specials like other spots in the area speaking volumes to the quality being offered. Most of the sushi places I've tried in Toronto have been disappointing compared to Vancouver offerings not to mention true Tokyo sushi I feasted on while on exchange in the city.

The owner saw us sit down on the patio and straight away brought us icy glasses of green tea with the menus. While his English is somewhat limited, his constant big smile and super polite service more than made up for it. Your cup of tea will never go empty and he'll even make you seaweed-less rolls if benthic marine algae is not your thing.

Sushi KadaOur three rolls, spicy salmon, tuna avocado and yam tempura roll, Sunday special 3 for $9.99 or regular $3.99 each, came with a piping hot bowl of miso for each of us immediately after ordering.

The maki came relatively quickly considering the owner was working alone. The subtle flavour of the rice vinegar was wrapped in the soft and sticky rice. The flawless rice must be periodically stirred in a giant wood vat with a similarly over-sized wooden spoon while the sushi chef tastes for the right balance of rice vinegar.

Maki TorontoSpicy tuna and salmon rolls were wrapped with a creamy slice of avocado and hot mayonnaise. I asked about where the fish was from, Alaska, but couldn't work past the language barrier to find out the type of salmon. It didn't seem deep enough to be sockeye but it was delicious nonetheless. The ultra soft yam tempura roll was melt-in-your-mouth delicious and sweet with a light deep-fried batter.

Sushi KadaButterfish sashimi, $4.50 for 5 pieces on Sundays or regular 3 for $4.50, was as promised, a fresh buttery slice of the Japanese fish owing its name to its unique flavour.

Sushi KadaJapanese lunch time favourite and savior to the indecisive, the bento box, was a good way to try different menu items but the chicken teriyaki and spring rolls were forgettable. Fresh slices of eggplant, yam and shrimp tempura were deep-fried perfection making up for the rest of the box.

Sushi KadaIf raw fish isn't your cup of green tea, heaping donburi bowls, udon soups or homestyle Japanese vegetable curry with hearty chunks of potato, yam and onion ($4.95 lunch special, $6.95 regular) are a wise alternative.

Sushi KadaFor desert, scoops of green tea or creamy candied ginger ice cream ($2.50) were both delicious ends to the meal.

Sushi KadaIt's quiet enough to feel like a neighbourhood secret with an in-crowd following including, what could have quite possibly been the local anime club I saw meeting over sushi on a Saturday night. Don't come expecting Asian fusion, overly ornate rolls or any other song than a synthesized version of "Joyful joyful" quietly playing on repeat. Low key and humble, Oishi Kada is quietly providing Kensington Market with a cheap and cheerful sushi fix.

Open 11.30-late daily, Sunday 1pm-8pm
Lots of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.

Discussion

16 Comments

Neil / April 19, 2010 at 12:08 am
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Soooooo delicious!
Everything I've ever had there has been amazing.
Famine / May 5, 2011 at 11:51 pm
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I went there for the first time ever yesterday, and it was seriously the best Yam Tempura Maki i've ever had in my life. Hands down. I wish I lived closer.
LOVE IT! / July 31, 2011 at 03:11 am
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LOVE this place! Love this review! Love these pictures!!! Great great great!!
oishi yes / July 31, 2011 at 12:59 pm
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great photos, this place definitely looks worth checking out and sunday seems to be the best day to go. thanks for the great info as usual blogto!
sushooo / July 31, 2011 at 02:37 pm
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I come here every Sunday because it is the sushi bomb of Toronto! I'm from Vancouver too and Toronto sushi is sushi fail! Except for oishi kada!!
pkcup / August 2, 2011 at 11:01 pm
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When my co-workers and I have a sushi craving for lunch it has to be Oishi. Lunch special #94 (shrimp tempura roll and spicy salmon roll)is our go-to meal and it is damn delicious. It comes with miso soup and for a $1 more you can have it upgraded with finely sliced asparagus and carrots -- mmmmm delightful!
PSAN / August 4, 2011 at 03:24 pm
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I have been to almost every sushi spot worth going to in this city, and I gotta say... this place is AMAZING!!! The sushi is always fresh and delicious, service is great, and most importantly - they offer great deals! I try to go every Sunday for the deals, but anytime I have a sushi craving, this is my go-to spot!
tiff / August 20, 2011 at 12:47 am
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Nice Post! You should try Sushi Delight on the Danforth!
Their chicken Teriyaki bento box is yummy ;D and fpr only $6.99
Nitpicker / September 17, 2011 at 09:24 am
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Oishi opened in 2002 like nine years ago not 12.
Sabrina / October 9, 2011 at 01:57 pm
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SOOOOO happy to see this place reviewed this year! My favourite sushi in Toronto, by far! Love the homey vibe and scrumptious ingredients. Yum!
Rosario Solis / January 8, 2012 at 02:11 pm
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I love this place,budget friendly, authentic Japanese food. The best spot to eat in Kensington.
Matt / December 31, 2013 at 10:59 pm
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This gem is gone...to hopefully reopen soon.
David Pan replying to a comment from Famine / January 7, 2014 at 06:38 pm
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do you find similarly good japanese restaurant in your neighborhood?
David Pan replying to a comment from Matt / January 7, 2014 at 06:40 pm
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the owner tries to find a suitable location to service good sushi again. but it is not that easy. do you any suggestion?
i am the owner's best friend in toronto.
Miss you Oishi / February 12, 2014 at 11:43 am
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Hopefully they resurface soon, really enjoyed the sushi. Too bad as it seems they had a pretty loyal following when it came to their customers, must be doing something right. Not sure on the circumstances of their close. Too bad
jezibaba replying to a comment from David Pan / May 17, 2014 at 11:12 pm
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@David Pan do you have an email to contact the owner? I'd love to get in touch. Oshi Kada was one of my favourite places!

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