Why Yasu Tops the List for Traditional Sushi in Toronto

This beautiful, intimate space lends itself well to this omakase sushi dinner

Sasa Ton

Bioluminescent firefly squid nigiri (Hotaru Ika) from Toyama Bay.

After close to a month wait, I managed to reserve two seats at Yasu Sushi Bar, Toronto's top sushi bar for nigiri for the second time. Demand is unsurprisingly high, and this Jiro style omakase dinner was nothing short of amazing. It was a theatrical experience. It was art of sushi making. It was foodgasmic.

Yasu is definitely giving my all-time favourite, Sushi Kaji, a run for the title, Best Sushi Restaurant in Toronto. This small sushi bar focuses on nothing but sushi and watching each chef prepare each and every piece is truly showmanship of perfection and dedication to the art of food.

Without the time to travel the world for good sushi, this is the next best thing. Two chefs expertly prepare individual sushi bites based on the very best of what the waters had to offer from Japan, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Boston, Alaska, Norway, Beirut, and even here in Canada. 

The two hour meal is a wonderful experience — 18 pieces of exquisitely prepared sushi of excellent quality combined with amazing service. Attentively, he asks if the rice and wasabi portions are to your liking, and brushes soy sauce on each piece as appropriate. The menu changes depending on the season and our favourites were the scallops and sea urchin from Japan! Sublime. Also, after the omakase dinner, you may order more off the a-la cart menu if you wish.

Born and trained in Osaka, Yasuhisa Ouchi quietly opened Yasu on Hardbord Street. Yasu is a small space consisting of a bar which seats about 10 people and one small table by its front window. The space is simplistic and classy. All in all, the freshness of the fish, the serenity of the modern space and the chance to watch a master at work makes the $80-a-person cost worthwhile. But, be sure to book online as there are no walk-ins. For the record: $80 is a steal for sushi this good.

Yasu ends, after a little over 2 hours, and I left in a seafood-induced bliss state. An absolutely wonderful experience that everyone should indulge in.

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