Shunoko is a sushi bar headed up by the same person behind the now shuttered Sushi Nomi in Roncesvalles, Jun Kim.
Much of the fish here is imported from Tokyo's famous Tsukiji Market. Though the main focus here is still on sushi they now have the capacity to offer hot mains and other dishes on their expanded menu in this larger space.
Whereas Sushi Nomi was essentially all takeout with just a few small tables, this space is about four times the size.
Fish balls ($6) are made in house and deep-fried, a mixture of salmon, tuna, albacore and sea bass that’s like the best version of a takoyaki.
The Coconut Spicy Tuna house maki ($10) is your classic spicy tuna roll but rolled in crunchy popped rice and topped with sweet, toasty coconut, giving almost a Rice-Krispie-like effect.
The Can’t Go Wrong roll ($15) is a big crunchy shrimp tempura, asparagus, cucumber and avocado roll topped with buttery blow-torched scallop and dripping with unagi, butter garlic and spicy sauces.
The poke sushi bowl ($19) from the chirashi section of the menu has the usual overload of ingredients like a lot of poke bowls.
However, the mix of red tuna, salmon, butterfish, sea bass, and albacore is impeccable and the vegetables like tender asparagus, crispy onion, garlic chips and shiitake and burdock simmered in soy are individually perfectly cooked in true Japanese form.
Sushi Saiko ($25) is a set of 9 pieces of nigiri with a spicy tuna roll. You’re intended to eat the set from left to right, starting with the lightest-tasting fish, tuna, all the way up to the strongest, albacore. Finish with the back row of spicy tuna roll so the hot sauce doesn’t overwhelm the flavour of the raw fish on the nigiri.
Nigiri are pre-seasoned with a brushing of soy house-aged with fresh-shaved bonito, sake, mirin and kelp that’s diluted with a little dashi and mirin, so a minimal extra dip in soy should suffice.
In between the tuna and albacore we have sea bass, sea bream, salmon, black sea bream, golden eye snapper, striped jack and amber jack, by turns creamy, fatty, sweet and meaty.
Salmon miso ($19) is a winning entree, marinated in miso which apparently isn’t done many places. The thick, beautifully arched filet has a crispy, sweet skin and comes with a little slice of omelette and some burdock on a bed of veggies.
Creamy black sesame, red bean, and sweetly spicy ginger ice cream ($5) are on deck for dessert.
Sit at the sushi bar and be guided through your own personal omakase experience, or order at whim from the hanging boards that list the available seasonal fish choices.