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Restaurants

Spring Sushi

Posted by Libby Roach / Reviewed on October 4, 2012 / review policy

spring sushi torontoSpring Sushi aims for modern glamour and design, amped up by a serious devotion to technology. Located in the labyrinthine mall across from Dundas Square in the former Woo's Chinese Buffet spot, Spring Sushi is bringing new meaning to fusion; Thai, Korean and Japanese all co-mingle on gleaming iPad menus. With both AYCE and a la carte offerings, Spring Sushi is going with the 'something for everyone' philosophy--I'm just not sure it always translates.

spring sushi torontoWhile the restaurant has a steady stream of diners, I'm left wondering if it's for the fish or for the novelty of ordering off an iPad. Already in use in Europe and Asia, iPad menus have been praised for their accuracy; you order, and the onus is on you to get it right.

While wait staff aren't entirely replaced, they are merely relegated to food running, and it would have been better to have more information available on the iPad. Vague descriptions of the food were rampant, and while most sushi is self-explanatory, some of their menu items (such as the sushi pizza) could have used a better write-up.

spring sushi torontoWe opted for the AYCE menu and while the portions were almost all certainly for one or two people, the AYCE was literal, and food was ushered to us repeatedly with no second glances. At $25.99 for an adult AYCE option, the price was a bit steep, but you're not just paying for fish here; the location is prime and the iPads necessitate some expense. Drinks are not cheap either, but the list is replete with frozen cocktails, wine, Japanese and Canadian beers as well as sake.

Ordering was easy enough--mash some buttons, press confirm, and food swiftly arrives. We started with a mango salad, which oddly came as thinly-sliced and limp mangos with a few scattered spinach leaves and red and green peppers; noticeably absent was any dressing or seasoning of any kind. Definitely a miss, but Thai food isn't supposed to be their forte. The pineapple fried rice was overcooked and mushy, and the canned diced pineapple were few and far between.

spring sushi torontoWhile they don't offer tuna sashimi of any kind, the salmon sashimi was buttery and rich and the preferred temperature (not the half-frozen kind that is commonplace). Also sampled were the snapper sashimi, surf clam sashimi (Hokkigai) and crab meat (Kani) sushi, which were all respectable, considering it was AYCE.

spring sushi torontoThe spicy salmon rolls featured diced salmon, where I much prefer a solid hunk of fish with a smear of spicy sauce, and maybe the odd avocado; this is too reminiscent of a salmon salad sandwich gone awry. The salmon sushi was rather flat, beaten into submission, but flavour-wise just as good as the sashimi. The BBQ eel sushi was well-seasoned and hit the mark.

spring sushi torontoThe salmon sushi pizza was disappointing. Served with chopped red and green peppers and chunks of white onion, the flavour of the fish is lost in the dish. Fune's stellar sushi pizza is my absolute favourite, and I have yet to try one that comes close. Spring Sushi's is mediocre at best. The deep fried dumplings (Gyoza) filled with vegetables came out a little cold and crunchy, but the shrimp tempura were fluffy, crispy and utterly inhalable.

spring sushi torontoThe soft shell crab roll jams tempura style crab meat with avocado, cucumber, lettuce, and flying fish roe into one overstuffed maki. While certainly on the messy side, it's worth the extra napkins.

spring sushi torontoAYCE is hard to execute with a distinguished level of culinary prowess, so go in with slightly lowered expectations for the service and quality of the food. While Spring Sushi sometimes excels, you should approach it with a nod towards its novelty. I think it's a great way to explore different types of fish, and certainly the iPad is a clever way to get people in the door--just remember, you get what you pay for.

Spring Sushi takes reservations of all sizes, and also has another location in Hamilton.

Discussion

20 Comments

1000 / October 4, 2012 at 09:37 am
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mmmmmmmmmm!
Paul / October 4, 2012 at 10:36 am
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I've eaten here a couple of times now. The food is pretty average, and the menu is quite limited -- not much creativity in terms of special rolls, etc.
Anthony / October 4, 2012 at 11:07 am
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What is the name of the application they are using? Very cool stuff
Anthony / October 4, 2012 at 11:07 am
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What is the name of the application they are using? Very cool stuff
BH / October 4, 2012 at 11:21 am
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So, instead of serving tuna we get an iPad gimmick. Not the kind of trade-off a lot of sushi lovers will be interested in.
Joel / October 4, 2012 at 03:55 pm
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Awful awful awful. Went for lunch and will not be going back.

The "service"
While in theory ipad ordering is a good idea its execution here is lacking at best. You punch in your order and then have to flag down one of the few waiters in order to review, confirm and submit. Good luck getting the attention of the waiters who manager to keep their eyes fixed either on the floor or in the distance as they breeze by table after table with patrons waving frantically trying to get their order in, drinks refilled or just to find out why they have been waiting an hour and none of their food has come out (tables on either side of ours got up and left after waiting 45 minutes with no food or explanation). We managed to hang in until most of our order arrived although one of our party needed to leave which meant unfortunately we got stuck with his excess which leads us to....

The “food”
You would think a restaurant that calls itself "Spring Sushi" would at least focus a bit on doing that right. Wrong. Rolls with tuna are made with the canned variety and salmon is chopped up and swimming in mayo and/or "eel sauce". All rice had the taste and consistency of Minute Rice and I would not be surprised in the least if this proved to be accurate.
The cooked food is hit and miss. The first order was edible with a couple of dishes bordering on the tasty side and warranting a second helping after it was determined that the sushi was all but inedible. Unfortunately the second time around anything that we remotely enjoyed no longer had any semblance to our first order. Mango salad went from a light crisp and refreshing dish to a warm, mushy tasteless ordeal. “Grilled” beef items like short ribs, sirloin steak, and teppanyaki beef with garlic, while made fresh and tasty at first, had the appearance of being microwaved and were swimming in liquid for our second order. We ordered the pineapple fried rice which was ok at first but a subsequent order was dry, overcooked and completely tasteless.

I won’t even get started on the Thai Food menu except to say, save your money and go somewhere else.

You have been warned
Grandma Glory Hole replying to a comment from BH / October 4, 2012 at 05:48 pm
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BH / OCTOBER 4, 2012 AT 11:21 AM
"So, instead of serving tuna we get an iPad gimmick. Not the kind of trade-off a lot of sushi lovers will be interested in."


"Sushi lovers": hahahahaha. "Sushi lover" don't go to AYCE. Enough said.
Debbie / October 7, 2012 at 08:37 am
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I went once for dinner and had a great time. The staff are very friendly and service was fast. We loved every dish we tried and will definitely go back. Only complaint is portions are small and served on large plates. The best AYCE I've tried outside of Markham.
Crystal replying to a comment from Anthony / October 12, 2012 at 12:27 am
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The application is i-QuickMenu(www.quickpos.ca)
jerry / October 13, 2012 at 03:54 pm
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The food is basically what you'll expect from an AYCE sushi joint. Went for lunch on a weekday and it was just $20 after tax and tip.
If you want authentic sushi/Japanese food, stay away from this place. (Actually stay away from all AYCE)
Alex / October 13, 2012 at 05:19 pm
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THe food was okay. Butit takes too long for the wait staff to come over to the tables to geth iPad orders sent through.
Kenny / November 23, 2012 at 05:01 pm
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The Food Taste Like XXX.. You can Easy find any sushi restaurant.. service is the worst.. does serve yourself.. eat yourself sound like the kind of restaurant you want to go..

simple:
no service.. aweful service..
food is not fresh.. taste funny..

i will never go again..

the ipad order.. alwayz freeze.. you press it.. and it does not response.. freeze on the screen does not move.. and then you order 3 items.. and only one come..
Gloria / December 16, 2012 at 11:21 pm
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Worst sushi, service, and dining experience ever. this is my first comment on a restaurant - it shows how horrible the experience was.

Was starving and I love sushi so I was looking forward to the meal. I ordered a set with three rolls, and was impressed by the low price.

But when the food came, I regretted even stepping in the restaurant. The sashimi pieces were so thin, and smelled stale, so fishy. The flavours were just so off. Our servers were rude and forgot one of my friends' orders.

I don't understand how they are still in business.
D / March 5, 2013 at 02:00 am
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THIS PLACE IS GREAT! Haha these bad comments make me laugh. Y'all have time
Yasmin / March 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm
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This place is disgusting and sucks.

I get my water I took a sip and I see there is a hair in my water. HAIR IN MY WATER. I do not appreciate having short men hair in my water. I could have drank it. EW. Anyway I told my waiter and he got me a new one and I didn't make a big deal of it.

Then I'm waiting for my food all excited since I hadn't eaten all day and just as I'm about to take my first bite I SEE ANOTHER PIECE OF HAIR IN MY FOOD. That is not acceptable. I told my waiter and I was furious as to how they can, not only have hair in my water but also in my food. Thats really gross. My waiter tried to convince me to stay and he'll get me a new one but I was like FUCK THAT. Why would I want to stay when theres HAIR everywhere. This place is disgusting. The food didn't even look like how it did in the pictures.

I SUGGEST TO ANYONE WHO DOES NOT WANT TO EAT ASIAN MAN HAIR NOT TO GO HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you do, be my guest.
Malika / June 18, 2013 at 09:54 am
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Service was amazing. Everytime we hit the call server button to put in the order our server poped out of thin air. He started to slow down as the meal went on but we still had food on the table while we were waiting for him to approve a new order so we didn't mind. Love the Ipad tech definitely the restaurant of the future. Food was good for an AYCE. The portions were smaller and the sashimi was sliced thinner than I would have liked but hey its ACYE. Price was right. The shrimp tempura was amazing. I would have liked more choices in sushi.
james / August 29, 2013 at 11:04 pm
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I love this place,I pad ordering is a good idea,just glance through the screen to select the items I want,I came for the all you can eat lunch,good selection and good food,service is good,I will recommand to anyone who love Japanese food!
Rachel / October 22, 2013 at 12:03 pm
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I honestly don't understand all of these bad reviews. My experience was a late Sunday evening and the place was relatively packed, making us have to wait about 15 minutes for a table. It's to be expected really. After ordering on the iPad a waiter dropped by just in time to ask if we were finished ordering. After confirming it, it literally took not even 10 minutes to get a big chunk of out first order. In all honesty, I'm shocked to hear anyone say that the food was stale/overnight food since me and my friends were talking about how FAST and FRESH our food was... Especially the food that was prepared/meant to be hot. All in all, I loved my experience here and will definitely be returning.
Jennifer / October 23, 2013 at 08:10 pm
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Although the concept is quite interesting and modern, the food and service did not quite satisfy. As soon as myself and a party of 4 others were seated, the waitress explained how to use the iPad. Unfortunately, the program used to order food shut down midway through inputting our order! Twice! We attempted to flag down the waitress which was close to impossible and took a good 20 minutes to finally get some assistance!

The food was nothing too impressive, just your typical all-you-can-eat rolls, hand rolls, etc.
Although, the plate presentation was quite nice mad the selection was vast! The atmosphere was nice too!

tony / November 18, 2013 at 01:08 pm
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The Big Japanese Wall Paper Look Very Ugly.. I expect the food to be very fast.. but.. end up their ipad order has some problem.. and i sit there like an idiot.. but.. my food never come.. i have to get the waiter to check.. what happen and end up.. the waiter have to ask me.. what i order.. i will never go to this place again.. at that price.. i can find many japanese restaurant down town toronto..

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