Yuzu is at a whole different level when it comes to sushi, and that’s the main reason why I absolutely adore them – making them my favourite sushi restaurant in Toronto. I’m sorry Nami, you’re amazing but I discovered something better along the way ;)
This review will cover two visits since I didn’t get the chance to write about my first experience by the time I went for my second :D Just west of University Ave on Adelaide St. is where you will find one of the most refined Japanese restaurants in the city. The sushi chefs at Yuzu are capable of stealing your little hearts away with their outstanding techniques and an original interpretation of the classic sushi. Their food so aesthetically appealing with the use of only fresh ingredients, Yuzu elevates the traditional sushi to an added touch of elegance. They maintain the true essence of sushi and demonstrate a strict level of respect by not adding any unnecessary ingredients to their dishes. The restaurant itself is clean and contemporary, with bottles of sake lined up neatly along the slots in the walls. I don’t care for sophisticated and fancy Japanese restaurants that are incapable of delivering high-quality and fresh food to their customers.
On my first visit with Kim, we went during lunch time and I ordered a Chrirashizushi ($17). The sushi chefs so meticulous in creating a breath-taking presentation with such tiny details, their perfectionism won me over. Not only was I impressed with the presentation of their take on Chrirashizushi, the quality of their fish and their rice preparation blew me away. I was speechless. The sashimi so fresh and soft, they melted in my mouth. Another significant component of a Chirashizushi is the rice. As I mentioned in my Sushi Couture review, it’s crucial that the rice is prepared well since there’s so much of it – its taste and texture is far more noticeable than let’s say, in a nigiri. Some places use not enough rice vinegar, others don’t add enough water resulting in overly dry rice; Yuzu distinguishes themselves from the rest with their superior rice preparation. Moist, but not wet. Flavourful, yet not overwhelming. Their rice really stood out to me as I indulged in their Chirashi, because it was that exceptional. To me, Yuzu is home to the most delicious Chirashizushi in Toronto. How naive of me to think that I knew what perfect really meant, before I even experienced Yuzu ;D
Kim chose Sushi Lunch ($17) that consisted of 8 pieces of nigiri and 6 pieces of maki. Again, look how careful the sushi chefs were in ensuring that every single piece of nigiri was topped with different ingredients. They not only added flavour, but texture that complemented the nigiri. Delicately fried shoe-string onions, lotus root, and sesame seeds that only crusted a portion of the sake (salmon) are evidence of Yuzu’s exemplary approach that I’ve been trying to describe in this entire post. Like me, Kim was fascinated with Yuzu’s incomparable quality.
Note that at the beginning of this review, I kept emphasizing that Yuzu is at the top of my list when it comes to sushi, because they really do excel in it. It’s dessert where they fall short. I don’t expect their desserts to be as perfect as their sushi because rarely do we find places that master everything on their menu, where every dish is scored 5/5.
When we saw both Green Tea Crème Brûlée ($6) and Green Tea Tiramisu ($7) on their dessert menu, Kim and I knew we had to order them. The crème brûlée did have enough green tea flavour and was creamy in texture, but the sugar crust on top failed to crack properly. Aside from the rich and creamy custard, what excites crème brûlée lovers most is the part where we get to stab (or crack) the hardened caramel with our spoon. Tiny pieces of sweet goodness that resemble glass are created and we make sure that every bite includes a piece of caramel as well as the smooth custard. Unfortunately we couldn’t hear the cracking sound due to the thin layer of sugar. The green tea tiramisu was only average in my opinion. The green tea wasn’t very prominent and the overall cake was too sweet. We expected a hint of bitterness due to the matcha powder, but we struggled to find it. Not a dessert that I’d order again.
Aside from the desserts, Kim and I were pleased with our lunch at Yuzu. For that reason, I kept recommending Yuzu to my friends ;D For the same reason, I visited Yuzu a second time for dinner with Alfonso and Jess!
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For my second visit, I ordered what Kim ordered last time: Chef’s selection of 8 pieces of nigiri + 6 pieces of maki ($21). Similar to my previous visit, every piece of fish was fresh and the rice was consistently great. I enjoyed the escolar (butter fish) and hirame (fluke) the most. Also notice that every piece of nigiri has a different topping; Yuzu never fails to amaze me with their presentation and creativity :)
Below are the dishes that Alfonso and Jess ordered. Alfonso ordered Seared Scallop on Rice Croquette from the special tapas menu, Butterfish sushi, and Aburi Maguro (tuna) sushi. Jess had Chef’s Selection of Assorted Rolls ($19) and her favourite was the dynamite roll. It seemed like they really enjoyed their food too, so that’s a good sign ;) I’ll link their reviews on Yuzu once they’re up! :D
If you haven’t tried Yuzu and you’re a sushi lover, then I strongly recommend it to you. I don’t have much left to say, so if my entire review wasn’t enough to convince you, then I’m sorry, you don’t know what you’re missing ;D Their version of Chirashizushi is truly out of this world (as if I haven’t stressed that enough yet). So, what are you waiting for? Make a reservation and experience how good, good can be!
236 Adelaide St W
Toronto, ON M5H 1W7
Mon-Fri 11:30am – 10:30pm
Sat 12pm – 11:30pm
Sun 5pm – 10pm