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Restaurants

Sashimi Island

Posted by Ryan Spencer / Reviewed on February 9, 2012 / review policy

Sashimi Island TorontoSashimi Island has reopened under new management as the latest AYCE sushi joint on College. Although no rival to the Annex, this strip of Little Italy has slowly become a destination for these restaurants — so much so, in fact, that it can be daunting to find an actually decent place. Let's be honest, most AYCE is not authentic — it's a category of sushi unto itself, and what it lacks in quality is made up for in quantity. When approaching a new AYCE joint, I look for cleanliness and the actual pieces of fish rather than whispers of protein suffocated in balls of rice. Since the menus are pretty much the same, it's all about the ingredients and execution.

Right off the bat, they passed the first test. I couldn't even smell a lingering trace of fishiness as I stepped through the vestibule. Surprisingly, a lot of AYCE fall victim to this and can't even pass the sniff test. The interior has ample booths and a well-stocked sushi bar on display with kitschy bamboo paneling and Japanese tchotchkes on the walls. I prefer this style over the more modern and stark looks that are out there.

Sashimi IslandOur service was friendly and prompt as we sat down. Green tea was immediately brought to our table as we dived into the menu. The pricing is pretty standard: $13.99 for most rolls; $16.99 for all rolls and hot-plated dishes; and $19.99 for the entire menu and sashimi. We ain't fancy, so we opted for the basic plan that had about 50 or so choices, most of which were based on shrimp, tuna, salmon, eel, etc...

Sashimi IslandYou usually have to pay attention for the ways that AYCEs cut corners, like watered down soy sauce (yup, seriously). Soy sauce should be a deep brown not a light amber. This wasn't the case here. But the wasabi was a little dried out and the pink-dyed ginger has become begrudgingly acceptable at this point.

Sashimi IslandFor most dishes, we asked for no spicy mayo. Another trick to hide poor ingredients is by overloading your taste buds with a fat. The sushi pizza (is this shish indigenous to Toronto?) was one of the best I've had. With a perfectly thin crust, the rice was crispy and the salsa on top was on point with our white tuna topping. Our favorite rolls were the B.C. Roll, Black Dragon, Snow Dragon and Fire & Ice, the latter of which included a slice of hot pepper in the cut-roll that was delicious. I also love a good hand roll. The tuna and salmon hand rolls had a good ration of fish to rice. They really don't skimp here. Even without the mayo, the rolls nailed the umami flavour Itamae (sushi chefs) strive for.

Sashimi Island has a deal right now with 20 per cent off for their grand opening. I'm sure this will be a fixture on the menu for some time. It's definitely worth a spin on your AYCE rotation as it's a solid bang for the buck with above average sushi pizza.

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Discussion

18 Comments

loper / February 9, 2012 at 04:05 pm
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This place is called Sashimi Island and you "ain't fancy, so we opted for the basic plan" which didn't include Sashimi? How can you do an accurate review if you're being cheap? I'd like to at least know the quality of Sashimi at a place that includes it in it's name.
Shawn / February 9, 2012 at 04:07 pm
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The employees there are really nice and friendly too.

Its my favourite sushi place in the area; but I'd probably stay away from the chicken udon as the time I ordered it the chicken looked pretty crappy.
frankwhite / February 9, 2012 at 06:22 pm
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This place is honestly the best sushi on College.

The Special Rolls are unique, and freakin good. All you can eat sushi, cheap too!

4/5 stars for shure..
duncan replying to a comment from loper / February 9, 2012 at 06:45 pm
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exactly what i was thinking... this review shouldn't even count
Sharilyn Johnson / February 9, 2012 at 07:06 pm
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I ordered delivery from them via Just Eat over the weekend. Random choice, and I was VERY impressed. Can't wait to go do AYCE there!
gabe / February 9, 2012 at 10:03 pm
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What is AYCE????? Act Now Don't Delay!!!>
Shawn replying to a comment from gabe / February 10, 2012 at 12:27 am
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AYCE = All You Can Eat sushi. Its like a buffet but the food is made to order and brought to you rather than where you go and get it pre-made and take it yourself. Some AYCE places split their menus; the cheapest menus (such as the one here; but yes, how does a review of SASHIMI island, or any sushi place, only look at the cheapest offering?) typically have regular sushi rolls and sushi pizza, and more expensive menus have sashimi, udon, etc. as choices as well as the sushi.
frijoles refritos / February 10, 2012 at 12:41 am
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What in the world is that roll in the 3rd photo?
I'M A COP YOU IDIOT / February 10, 2012 at 02:09 am
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sushi D is the best on college
Olivia / February 10, 2012 at 02:25 pm
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Are you kidding me?

Sushi D is garbage.The service is superrr slow and the food is mediocre at best.

I've only been to Sashimi Island once but it was excellent and I plan on returning soon.
cooley replying to a comment from frijoles refritos / February 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm
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That roll was recommended to us by the waitress!

It's a snow dragon roll. Standard dragon roll with minced fish (can`t remember the type), honey and coconut on top. Seriously delicious roll.

This restaurant is amazing.
Melonpan / February 20, 2012 at 07:35 am
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What about the quality of the sashimi? This review is terrible.
Ben / February 20, 2012 at 11:07 pm
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The main issue with these AYCE places is that they rarely, if ever, serve Tuna - offering cheaper inferior species instead (Salmon, Shrimp, Tilapia (some sell this farmed fresh-water fish as grouper), whitefish, Freshwater EEL). What they call "White Tuna" is not tuna at all, most often it's butterfish, aka Escolar, aka "Orange Discharge Fish"... Google: butterfish orange discharge

Not that there is anything wrong with that, if you are into that sort of thing...
MarcBT / August 9, 2012 at 09:46 pm
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Worst japanese restaurant of my life. Fish was tasteless and spongy. Do not eat there.
Ursula / April 26, 2013 at 10:38 pm
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Great food and fast, attentive and happy servers make for a great AYCE eat restaurant! My personal favourite was the snow dragon roll!
Travis / May 20, 2013 at 08:25 pm
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Do not go here! The service was good, and they have some interesting maki rolls, but unfortunately they are bland and tasteless. The Sashimi was old, discoloured and tasteless and they were using sweet potato fries for their tempura. If you want sushi, go down the street to Sushi D. Although their service is a little slower, the food is much fresher and packed with tons of flavour.
Vik / November 6, 2013 at 01:16 pm
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I eat here once a year, because their rolls are delicious, but EVERY TIME I go here I remember how bad their service is.
Nia replying to a comment from loper / November 25, 2013 at 02:28 pm
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lol you spoke my mind re: the sashimi part.

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