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Restaurants

Oshio Japanese Restaurant

Posted by Libby Roach / Reviewed on November 2, 2012 / review policy

oshio japanese restaurant torontoOshio Japanese Restaurant has been a long-time resident in the bus terminal of a mall at Don Mills and Steeles. Taken over two years ago by new owners, little has changed and that's not always a good thing. While the restaurant receives steady business throughout the day, the service is awkward and the interior is dated. But one doesn't come to the border of the GTA for shoji screens or fake silk flowers. With a sizeable Asian demographic, Markham is a mecca of culinary delight and Japanese food is no exception.

oshio japanese restaurant torontoWhile there are several private shoji-screened booths (those favouring shoe-less dining take note) we opted to sit in the compact dining room and the lunchtime rush quickly enveloped us. While Oshio features a decent bar menu with several Sake options (Cold, Nigori, Ginjo) that mingle with their typical beer varieties (Sapporo, Asahi, Kirin, Heineken and domestics) we instead accept the green teas that were plunked before us. After about five minutes, we flag down our frenzied server to take our food order.

oshio japanese restaurant torontoBefore our food arrives, a small bowl of Congee is brought out as a zensai. It's creamy and flecked with morsels of chicken and egg--entirely inhalable. Edamame beans ($2.95) came swiftly after; a standard size portion of pods, dusted with salt and piping hot. The usual accompaniments were also quickly dispersed: miso soup with chunks of tofu, and tiny bowls of iceberg lettuce with shredded carrots and one slice of tomato. Not very imaginative, but familiar, simple and tasty; isn't that what really counts?

oshio japanese restaurant torontoSushi combo A ($6.95 + $1 for spicy sauce upgrade) comes with the aforementioned soup and salad. The sushi was stellar; assorted nigiri in ample fresh portions contended with the marvellous spicy salmon rolls that were well worth the extra expense. The spicy salmon rolls were some of the best I've had; the creamy sauce was liberally spread, and was a good match to the spicy kick of wasabi.

oshio japanese restaurant torontoBeef Teriyaki ($8.99) came bento style which fed my compulsion of keeping things separate (in a good way). Tender slices of beef were cooked to order, draped on a bed of bean sprouts, and crowned with a smattering of green onions. The accompanying sides--a puff of rice, Chinese broccoli, more salad, and delicate sesame-scented glass noodles--were all spot on, although the salad was a bit redundant.

In my search for the best sushi pizza, this contender had all the right parts. The spicy salmon sushi pizza ($7.99) was excellent value for its tiny price and massive portion. The unexpected mix of unagi and spicy sauces made for cluttered presentation, but irresistible pizza. Fresh avocado slices enhanced the overall look, as did the draping of roe, and the 'pizza' crust was evenly cooked with the right amount of crunch.

oshio japanese restaurant torontoOshio's slogan is "Best sushi, best price," and while I think best is a bit of a stretch, they do offer great value, the portions are generous, and the fish is fresh. The interior could use some tweaking, the service is abrupt and hurried, and the location is, well, sort of depressing. If you can tackle the gloomy blend of scenery and service, then they'll be sure to hook you up with their honest and basic approach to sushi.

Oshio accepts reservations and is listed with Just-eat.ca for delivery.

Discussion

10 Comments

Brandon / November 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm
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Haven't been there since they changed owners, but their Oshio Special Roll is amazing.
comeon / November 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm
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How can anything at Don Mills & Steeles be considered the "best" ??
Bruce Mandrake / November 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm
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I can't ride my fixie that far north, bro.
matts replying to a comment from comeon / November 2, 2012 at 01:30 pm
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Oh, look at you how funny and snarky... Now GTFO
l'ilguy replying to a comment from matts / November 2, 2012 at 03:15 pm
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Oh Matts, always so sensitive.
Marko / November 2, 2012 at 05:26 pm
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That sushi pizza looks pretty cool. Much better than the usual 2 lumps of fish on a crappy rice block. Nice find!
Firu / November 2, 2012 at 07:18 pm
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Some of the best Asian food in the GTA is in Markham, Scarborough, etc. People who dig good food will travel. You can take your fixie on the TTC, bro.

Nice pics.
hjli / November 5, 2012 at 04:59 pm
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For the price, this place is awesome. I was worried when it switched owners but the food is still great. Definitely not the best sushi but everything is fresh and plentiful, especially for the price.

Not worth a trip from afar but if you're in the 'hood and feel like Japanese, it's a safe bet.
Jeff / November 8, 2012 at 01:14 pm
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Great Restaurant! Amazing food at a reasonable price point. Follow @LetsEatToronto for Toronto's Best Restaurants, Deals and Promotions!
Glenn / November 11, 2012 at 12:54 pm
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I have eaten at this place, and it really was some of the worst sushi I have EVER had. I'm not sure what the problem is really, the flavours were off and the fish was semi-fresh at best. I would rather eat mall sushi from any Sushi-Q, they are always better.

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