yukashi toronto

Yukashi

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Yukashi is a refined omakase serving exemplary Japanese creations, born from the minds of two masterful chefs. 

A humble hideaway in Mount Pleasant, the understated nature of this bamboo-walled establishment truly belies the level of skill and detail contained in its playful menu. yukashi toronto

Reservations by credit card are required for a meal at this restaurant by internationally renowned chef Jin Lee and Executive Chef Daisuke Izutsu of Don Don Izakaya, Kasa Moto, and previously, the kitchen of Toronto's Consulate General of Japan.

yukashi torontoCancellation penalties are strict here—it's $75 if you cancel in less than 48 hours—but honestly, the monetary loss would come secondary to missing such a one-of-a-kind meal. 

yukashi torontoBar seats are of course the most coveted spots here, granting diners a close up view of this pair of iconic chefs at they dash around the kitchen preparing your four-course ($75) or nine-course meals. yukashi torontoThe latter, which ranges between $120 to $150 depending on ingredients, is likely to be the most common option here, though a limited availability Yukashi course ($300+) will be a popular splurge. 

yukashi torontoChefs Daisuke and Jin base their menus on the seasons, meaning their offerings change according to the weather.

yukashi torontoWhen we arrive, the fall menu is well underway, so our dishes are aplenty in autumnal themes and, of course, Canadian mushrooms.

Chef Daisuke explains to me that the food prep process never ends, and I can see why: the attention to detail for every dish is baffling.

yukashi torontoThe harvest plate is easily the most impressive part of our nine course experience.

yukashi torontoServed on a wooden platter is a hodgepodge of delicious bites, arranged to imitate a Japanese zen garden from the grassy lawn (matcha crumble) to the white pebbles (dusted tapioca powder with grape oil).

yukashi torontoScattered across the plate are sweet potato crisps shaped like maple leaves, salmon deep fried with rice puffs, and chestnuts cooked with dashi.

There are also a couple chunks of slow roasted tomatoes, filled with a secret ingredient. We weren't able to guess the sweet filling, so lost out on a free shot of sake from one of their premium bottles.

yukashi torontoAlongside the rings of burdock and flower-shaped pickled turnips are black mounds of purple potato covered in squid ink bread crumbs: an ode to the rocks in a zen garden.

yukashi torontoDon't expect any sushi rolls here; the whole point of Yukashi is to defy the perceived restrictions placed on Japanese cuisine.

You will, however, find seafood like a slice of red snapper with a purple miso base, served next to the fish's own roe. 

yukashi torontoOther courses include a warming and hearty bowl of housemade black sesame tofu, yuba sauce, yuzu, taro, and Ontario mushrooms, topped with grated wasabi.

yukashi toronto

Those who've never seen or smelled the process of warayaki (traditional straw cooking) will delight in the experience of watching the chefs cook red snapper over a small warayaki stove, heated by hand. 

yukashi torontoThe smell is intensely smokey, almost cigarette-like to an untrained nose. The flavour, however, is just right, especially when eaten with simple sides of salt and garlic slivers.

yukashi toronto

One dish that stays consistent for every meal is the signature flamed wagyu beef from Japan. 

yukashi torontoServed with uni (usually imported from Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market), goose foie gras, and Japanase A5 wagyu (you can see the certifcation on the bar) these two slivers of mouthwatering meat are torch-flamed at your table for under a minute.

yukashi torontoThe resulting dish is a rich, fatty bite that tastes like pure luxury and leaves you wanting more.

yukashi torontoA simple bowl of soup arrives with grouper cooked in sake, Canadian pine mushrooms, and a side of Japanese sudachi lime.

Eat the main ingredients but leave the soup behind: the chef will retrieve your bowl and add sake and seven spice for the perfect warming sensation.

yukashi torontoAnd another fantastic creation: an elevated poor man's meal of rice served with half-cooked egg and Italian white truffle puts an expensive twist on childhood comfort food.

An experience at Yukashi is undoubtedly expensive but undeniably wort it. If omakases are a glimpse into a chef's mind, it's evident that both Chef Daisuke's and Chef Jin's imaginations are running wild. 

yukashi toronto

Photos by

Hector Vasquez


Yukashi

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