For the past 5 weeks I’ve walked past this sushi restaurant on my way to and from work. It’s a bit grimy looking, especially with the large, empty patio in front. In other words – seriously lacking in curb appeal. But, I’m on a mission, so Bikkuri Japanese Restaurant was added to the list and I randomly selected it for this week’s lunch.
The title for this post really should be ‘don’t judge a book by its cover.’ When I walked in I was greeted by a modern, sleek restaurant in reds and blacks with a large sushi bar towards the back. There was nary a sign of the table pop-ups showing photos of generic sushi that I had expected.
This restaurant seems to cater to a younger business crowd; the service was quick and efficient, pleasant but not overly friendly. It also wasn’t packed even though we were there during prime lunch hour (12:30 on a Wednesday). The food arrived quickly after we ordered it, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. The fish was fresh, the portions were adequate and it was not too expensive.
The first dish was Bikkuri Sunomono ($8.50), a seaweed salad topped with a healthy portion of steamed seafood (crab, shrimp and octopus). It was served in a rather tall martini glass, and given my height (or lack thereof) you can imagine the situation. It was bright and vinegary and citrusy an my only complaint was that it was swamped in the dressing, causing the seaweed at the bottom to soak up all of the tartness.
Next was a spicy salmon handroll ($4.00) – the sauce was spicy but not overly so and they didn’t skimp on the salmon. They also didn’t try to sneak anything else into this roll and some restaurants are wont to do. I also ordered a Dragon Maki ($10.99 – protein was grilled eel, and the roll was wrapped in fresh, creamy avocado slices) and 2 pieces of sushi (salmon – $2.25 and scallop – $2.40). I found the roll a bit on the salty side, but otherwise it tasted great.
This is certainly a restaurant that I would return to. As I only ordered cold fish dishes, I will definitely go back so I could try the quality of the food coming from their kitchen. What was all that about judging and appearances? I’m too full to remember…
Bikkuri Japanese Restaurant
36 King Street East, Toronto
King Street and Victoria Street
The views expressed above are the writer's alone and are not meant to represent a restaurant review or critique – rather, the article documents the writer's experience on a single occasion.
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