Feast on delectably fresh sushi options from the land and the sea—at incredibly reasonable prices.
Sushiya, literally meaning sushi restaurant, prides itself on serving “Japanese-style sushi.” No California rolls on this menu (though they will be rolled upon request). The restaurant is tucked away behind an inviting little patio and has a casual feel. Kazunori Eguchi, Sushiya’s manager, hopes that it’s a place where diners feel comfortable leaning over to ask their neighbour what’s on their plate.
As its name implies, sashimi and sushi are specialties at Sushiya, and this is what the chef proudly brings to my table. The toro (tuna belly) melts in my mouth, while the ebi (sweet shrimp) is fresh and creamy-sweet. The oily jack mackerel and the crunchy giant clam couldn’t be less alike in texture, though both have that fresh ocean taste.
As I sample the offerings, I’m excited to learn that Wagyu sashimi and sushi are also currently featured on the menu. Each thinly sliced piece of beef is briefly seared on a charcoal grill and gently draped over the rice, a scattering of green onions on top. Beautiful, and so very tender, yet rich in taste. House-made soy sauce mixed with wasabi is the perfect dipping sauce, making the delicate meat dance on my tongue.
Now for some sake! I opt for the three-option tasting flight. The first, Nanbu Bijin from Iwate Prefecture, is sweet, fruity and smooth, and it pairs deliciously with the giant clam sashimi. Next up is a Kubota Ginjo sake, characterized by a mellow, dry flavour. It’s a tasty complement to the mild sea bream. Last up is a dry Ichinokura sake, which is light, crisp and smooth, with an aroma of grain, cream, nuts and mint. The chef advises that it pairs perfectly with a fatty fish. After enjoying it with a delicious sliver of toro sashimi, I couldn’t agree more!
Even though the food is unbelievably fresh, prices at Sushiya match the restaurant’s laid-back feel. Appetizers range from $3 to $6.20, and a sashimi platter for four is just $65, making this a meal you can enjoy on a budget.
By the time I’m finished eating, the table beside me is just starting their meal. With food this good, I’m tempted to lean over and join right in!
Sushi Bar Sushiya
193 Carlton St. B1
Open: Thurs–Mon 5:30 pm–12 am (last call 11 pm) | Tues–Wed closed
On the patio, and in either restaurant on Mondays, enjoy menus from both Sushiya and Zakkushi (yakitori house) upstairs.