Oroshi Fish Co.
Oroshi Fish Co. is a first-rate fish market and sushi counter with a hidden alleyway entrance.
A small sign of a fish and a bright blue door are the only giveaways for the sushi shop situated in a side lane off of College Street between Dovercourt and Rusholme Road, illuminated only by a single overhead light at night.
Though you might not expect it given the low profile location, Oroshi is a lucky find for anyone in search of high-end sushi, sashimi and donburi.
Jason Ching and chef Edward Bang from Omai and chef Jeff Kang, the owner and chef at Apres Wine Bar and its now-closed sister restaurant, Canis, bring us this seafood kitchen.
The open-concept kitchen inside reveals the trio and their trusty sous-chefs in their element, washing, descaling and slicing bluefin tuna, yellowtail amberjack and striped bass for takeout and wholesale orders.
All of which, along with whole flounder, trout and red seabream, dry age for three to eight days in fridges near the takeout counter. Hung from their tails, the fish are drained of moisture and blood during this time resulting in more concentrated fat content and deeper flavour.
Ching tells me, though dry-aging isn't common practice in Toronto sushi shops, the fermenting technique was the origin of Japenese sushi before everyone started eating it fresh.
More and more chefs are starting to dry-age their fish in the U.S., New Zealand and Australia now that word is getting out about the results. This tried-and-true technique produces a firmer texture and richer taste that isn't overly fishy at all.
The fish can age here without going bad partly due to how they're killed when caught, with a spike through the brain.
This instantly kills them, maintaining the flavour that would otherwise be lost when the fish flops around before dying, causing lactic acid buildup that leads to a much faster decomposition rate.
A good way to try all Oroshi has to offer is with an omakase ($49.50) consisting of chef chosen bluefin tuna, arranged from lean (dark) to fatty (lightest), seabass, yellowtail, salmon, squid and scallop.
Tamago, sea urchin and chopped scallops with crème fresh and topped with fish roe also fill the sushi box.
A salmon or tuna handroll also comes in the set.
The regular sushi set will only set you back $14 despite the good amount of premium fish still included.
Four pieces of nigiri, salmon, seabass or chopped scallop, go alongside eight California rolls. Just a dash or two will do of the soy sauce, which is seasoned in-house with sake, kombu and bonito flakes for a sweeter, more umami-rich flavour.
Chirashi don ($28) offers a wide selection of aged fish with steelhead salmon, bluefin tuna, seabass and yellowtail creating a brightly coloured bowl that looks fresh out of the ocean, even though that's not the case.
Besides the takeout menu, shelves are stocked with pantry items to help you take any-and-all at-home sushi or seafood experiences to the next level.
Teriyaki sauce, Hong Kong-style chili oil, hot sauce, wasabi powder, and furikake and togarashi seasoning are all available, plus, a lime ponzu, ($8.95) which is great as a marinade, dipping sauce, or even salad dressing.