Restaurant: Kabuki Sushi Lounge
Location: 4 O’Neil Road, Toronto, ON M3C 0H1
Price Range: $$$
To be honest I’m not a huge Japanese food lover and after my wonderful experience at Wako in San Fran, I just can’t go back to eating normal sushi anymore lol. I have heard of Kabuki Sushi Lounge since it’s first opened and T has frequently visit here for the past months, so he finally convinced me to come to the restaurant after some shopping (duh) in the area!
Stepped into Kabuki Sushi Lounge, I was quite surprised to see how spacious and elegant the restaurant was. Simple and unique decor made this a welcoming environment without being too formal or pretentious. I can actually imagine myself having a drink here and munch on some sushi while watching sports (or anime) on their TVs.
So T informed me that Kabuki no longer have the oyster special on Tuesday/Wednesday anymore… Why?!
The oysters were good but I much prefer the juicy and sweet kinds which I think are P.E.I oysters? I’m no expert so I can’t tell where these are from by the looks of it haha. I also didn’t think it was a good enough deal to be called an oyster night, since they were approx. $1.3/each ($16/12 oysters).
Other than the normal condiments that would come with fresh oyster, Kabuki also serve two of their special house-made sauce: Tsukiji Blossom (sweet) and Fire Ponzu (spicy). The one I liked the most was definitely the fire ponzu which gave a hint of spiciness and a slight tangy taste to the fresh oyster.
T ordered the chicken katsu don and I thought it was good, but not spectacular. To be honest I might be a bit bias here because I never liked chicken katsu don (shocking I know). I mean you get 2/3 of rice and 1/3 of meat & egg, it just not something I would gravitate toward to because there’s too much carb (LOL). With that said, I appreciate that Kabuki also offers a brown rice and white meat options along with a vegetarian alternative as well.
The sashimi selection was expensive and I wasn’t sure how fresh the fish were, so I decided to order some sushi rolls with rice (carb alert) to fill up my stomach. In general I like sashimi more and that’s usually how I judge a Japanese restaurant, so I would love to know the freshness of their fish and perhaps come back on another day.
T and I shared the Shinjuku roll for $17 and the presentation was great! Since the tuna was blow torched, it brought out the flavorful oils to the surface of the fish and creating a slightly smoky flavor. I thought the roll was good and the sauce really brought out the flavors and bring together all the ingredients. The oshinko (Japanese pickled radish) was quite a nice addition to help cut through the fattiness from the fish and cheese sauce, and the rice crispy gave some crunch with every bites. I’m not a cheese snob but it felt like they used processed cheese… Or those cheese whiz in a jar that you can get from the supermarket, for $17 I expected better.
Overall I thought the sushi selection at Kabuki Sushi Lounge is different and creative but the Shinjuku roll didn’t hit it for me. The price is definitely pricey even for just the regular Japanese food, but I supposed it’s explainable by the surrounding restaurants in Shop at Don Mills. The service was average and I wasn’t too happy to see the host (or manager) spent all her time at this one table – which I assume it’s her friends – and ignored us until we asked for the bill. While it’s not going to be a go-to-place-for-sushi for me, I would love to come back on another day to try their sashimi and drinks, especially the plum wine (I’m a plum wine lover here) as T told me the owner import a special brand that is extremely difficult to find in Toronto ;).