Blowfish restaurant will always have a special place in my heart. It was the meal that kicked off Mark and my official wedding festivities, and where we took our wedding party to thank them for being such wonderful friends and supporting us over the years. Nine years ago, there was only one Blowfish location, and they were doing what few, if any, sushi places in Toronto were doing–serving high-end, fusion sushi. And with its semi-club vibe, it was also one of the trendier restaurants in the city.
I haven’t been back to the original location in years, and about a year ago they opened a second location on Bay Street. I had the opportunity to attend their one-year anniversary party a few weeks ago, and realized that I was quite amiss in not having visited there for Lady who Lunches. Last week, I rectified that and headed over to their Bay Street location with a work colleague.
Blowfish is part restaurant, part luxe bar/club. The seating feels more lounge than restaurant, but that wasn’t an issue, given that they were fully booked when we arrived (at noon on a Thursday). Thankfully, they were willing to seat us at the bar–a modern, black behemoth that stretches nearly the entire length of the restaurant.
As we ordered, we watched the bartender pour drink after drink after drink–clearly this place doesn’t cater to your “must return to work sober” crowd. The menu is fairly brief, although it does seem to have something for everyone. The blowfish makimono (their house specialty rolls), which had once been unique in this city, still sound interesting, but there are certainly similar variations at many other venues. (I must note: at a cheaper price, as well.) I opted to try their orange + black ($13) and my companion went with the coconut bay ($13). In addition to the rolls, we also got a side of edamame ($5) and a tuna taco ($11).
The service was exceedingly quick, although I received both of my dishes about five minutes before my companion received either of hers. My roll (salmon with avocado, wrapped in mango with another slice of salmon, dotted with black and orange tobiko) was nicely sized and tasted delicious. All of the ingredients were extremely fresh and the rice was perfectly cooked with the exact right level of stickiness, managing to not fall apart even when I could only eat half a piece at a time. My companion enjoyed her roll (coconut battered shrimp, cucumber, and slightly too much frizee), although she did find it a tad on the sweet side.
The tacos (the portion included 2) were served in a crispy wonton taco that was slightly sweet, nicely crunchy and not overly greasy. The texture and taste played nicely against the diced tuna. My only complaint was that, while at first glance, the taco looks to be heaped with tuna, in fact, the shell was three-quarters full of frizee, throwing off the balance of the dish.
If you’re looking for a more club-like restaurant that is serving up some pretty cuisine, this is the place to go.
Blowfish on Bay
333 Bay Street
Bay Street & Adelaide Street