More Maki Please! Todd Clayton Eats His Way Through Toronto's Sushi Landscape
Back in May an email from Todd Clayton arrived in my inbox prodding me to check out his new site about Toronto sushi restaurants. At the time there were only a couple of reviews so I asked him to get back in touch with me when he visited some more places.
Three months later and Todd has now posted reviews of 38 restaurants, each with photos of the sushi, sashimi or maki he shared with some of his friends. While his progress represents a small dent in the hundreds of sushi options that dot Toronto's landscape, it stands as one of the more comprehensive collections of sushi reviews that I know of. He has wolfed down raw fish at some personal favourites of mine including Aji Sai and Japango and there are no signs that he's slowing down.
In between bites of spicy tuna temaki, Todd took some time out to tell me about his sushi adventures including his best and worst sushi meals to date.
What have been your best and worst sushi experiences in the city?
There have been so many really good experiences so far that it's really hard to pick. People ask me "Whats the best so far?" and I really have to ask for criteria. A good value? An upscale venue? But I keep going back to J-Time sushi on Bloor. A wide menu at very reasonable prices, and friendly and attentive staff.
The worst is easy. Asakusa on King West tasted like my own failed experiments into teaching myself how to make sushi a year or so ago. It's the only place so far that I've had a couple of pieces, paid and left.
What's an underrated sushi place you'd recommend that most people probably don't know about?
I'd have to go with Vincent Sushi on Roncesvalles. Whoever heard of sushi in little Warsaw? But it was very good, presented well, and it seems to be a nice small family run restaurant.
What's your favourite AYCE sushi place?
I don't know that I have a favorite AYCE place. I'm not convinced that it's really a good value. But with a group of 4+ it can be a good way to sample 10 or a dozen different rolls. I'd have to give the nod to Sushi Island on College St. They had a very wide selection, and everyone with me that day got to pick their favorites!
Do you notice a difference between Korean vs. Japanese owned sushi restaurants? Do you have a preference?
I think that the restaurants are predominantly Korean, but for the most part I can't tell unless it's really obvious. Though I did have lunch with a friend at a place at Yonge and St. Clair a few months back and the staff were Chinese, Mandarin was being spoken. I don't really think that the ethnicity of the chef or staff plays any roll in how good the food is. Realistically that's all that really matters. How good is the food?
Anything else you'd like to tell us?
The big one of course is to check out the blog at toronto-sushi.com. I encourage people to try out some of the restaurants I've visited and blogged about and let me know what they think! Mine is far from an expert opinion, and I'm always interested in other perspectives. Maybe next time you go out, try a place at random like myself!
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