ETSU: Best sushi on Baldwin

416-599-4200    |    45 Baldwin St.

No website that I can find for menu details and haven’t sampled anything other than the sushi here (well, unless sake counts) so I’ll go with a mini review here.

Food

I’ve had a bunch of sushi at this spot before and always come away very happy with the value here. It’s not super cheap, but very reasonable for above average Japanese and Korean. I’ve heard good things about the Korean dishes, but since all I’ve had is the sushi, I’ll focus on the three rolls we sampled today.

The two featured above are the caterpillar (no need to point it out) and Rick’s Roll. These are two favourites on the special roll menu. Each is around $10, quite big, and are delicious. The caterpillar has BBQ eel (unagi) inside with creamy avocado layered on top with some garnish and sauce to make it look like it’s animal relative. Could use more eel given the size.

The Rick’s Roll has - I’m probably gonna mess this up since there’s no website to double check - tempura shrimp, softchell crab, and tobiko with a variety of toppings and a distinct ginger finish. This was the table favourite. Had the spider roll as well, but that fell a little flat.

Of course, topped it off with an 8oz bottle of sake between the three of us for really cheap as well.

Service and Ambience

Warm and pleasant servers with frequent refills of the tea/water always appreciated. Also spoke to the owner as we were heading out and he let us know there’d be a new Taylor roll (his name’s Taylor) with different preparations of prawn. Good to know. 

The inside is long and narrow but the tables are very spacious and the chairs are quite comfortable. Also large prints of Taylor’s unique photography grace the walls and add some quirky character to the joint.

The Reco?

Easily the best place on Baldwin for sushi and probably the best in the general area before you hit Chinatown. Will continue to come back here for sushi lunch and recommend the same to you should you be in the area. Cheers.

Other reviews:
 blogTO  |     Toronto Life    |   Sushi Toronto

 Posted by: Jacob, Visited Nov 23, 2011

Etsu Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

YUZU: More than an upscale sushi spot

416-205-9808    |    $10-25 entrees

 

Walked by Yuzu a few times at Adelaide and Duncan (just beside Crocodile Rock). Was a little concerned it might be one of those pseudo-upscale sushi places with disappointing food, but luckily gave it a shot for lunch.

Food

Wasn’t entirely in the mood for sushi/maki and was freezing my ass off coming in from the rain. Also found the lunch specials a little pricey and opted for a bowl of Nabeyaki Udon. I didn’t know what Nabeyaki meant.

The dish is described as a noodle soup with ‘shrimp tempura, egg, and vegetables served in hot pot’. I’ll say now that it was woefully under-described. So now I’ll over-describe its contents to compensate.

Came with mussels, flavourful pieces of whitefish, a few scallops, Japanese mushrooms, tofu, nori, tender leeks and cucumber slides, a perfect over easy egg and a large piece of tasty tempura shrimp on top. All these elements created a captivating broth that smelled and tasted wonderful. Accompanied by thick, hearty square-cut udon, this soup hit the spot on so many levels.

My friend had the tempura udon with more battered shrimp and vegetables to accompany the soup and said that both the crunchy sides and broth were delicious.

We finished with sake cheesecake (how do you say no to this?). The sake taste is very subtle, but the impressive part of the cake is its lightness. It’s almost a panna cotta texture without the jell-o/rubbery mouth feel. Really clean and simple dessert with fresh berries.

Service and Ambience

Nothing of too much note with the service. Fast enough, no mistakes, good tea refills.


Photo Credit: Toronto Life

The room looked great with hundreds of backlit sake bottles around that add character to the place. A lot of exposed break and well-positioned lighting probably makes this a good looking spot when the sun goes down as well.

The Reco?

I can’t comment on the actual rolls (other reviews have and loved them), but if the chefs apply the same care as they did with my dishes, I’d absolutely recommend Yuzu as an excellent choice for Japanese downtown.

Other reviews:
Sushi Toronto    |   Toronto Life  |    dine.TO

 Posted by: Jacob, Visited Oct 26, 2011

Yuzu Sushi and Sake Bar on Urbanspoon