Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Asuka - Authentic sushi in the heart of Yorkville

I say sushi, when well done, should be like sex in the mouth. The distinct flavours in a maki roll should leave me closing my eyes allowing me to distinguish the independant ingredients yet savouring their harmony as a whole.

Asuka is the first sushi place I have ever been to in Toronto and still remains my favorite..for that exact reason..

Sato the chef is there every day except monday. He is completely passionate about his art, his sushi.

The best, very best roll is the red carpet roll. This original and melt in your mouth roll consists of crispy shrimp, avocado, and tempura bits wrapped in rice paper and rolled in an abundant amount of fresh tuna sashimi. (yup that's right - no rice! so a great choice for all you low carb addicts ;)  And this whole concoction is topped with a delicious spicy sauce. This same roll is offered as a yellow carpet roll, where the tuna is replaced with salmon. Whenever my family and I go to Asuka we straight away order one of each even before thinking about looking at the rest of the menu.. talk about sex in the mouth!

Other great choices in include the sexy roll- consisiting of shrimp tempura, eel, spicy tuna and avocado

Their straight up sashimi also rises above the rest. Chef Sato never skimps on the portions..you'll have plenty to keep you full...and by that I don't mean rice..i mean fresh fish and or/veges.

The decor is casual yet very authentically japanese. You don't feel like you're in a pretentious sushi restautant and yet the quality may reflect top notch!

So make your way to the underground restaurant on Yorkville avenue and visit where all the NHL players and movie starts frequent whenever they are in town...just take a look at all the portraits on his wall of these celebrities posing with Sato to prove it...guessing he must be doing something right!

Red carpet roll and and fish roe roll

Asuka Japanese Restaurant
108 Yorkville Avenue
(416) 975-9084

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pure Spirits Oyster House

Can I just say I love the Distillerie district?! I love walking along the cobble stone streets and peaking into the little art galleries or boutiques. But first and foremost, they have quite the noteworthty restaurants- my favorite being Pure Spirits Oyster House

Unfortunately, I have never tried their signature oysters, however they are not short on other delectible dishes. The menu is quite impressive to read. If you have an adventurous pallet you've got a lot to choose from.

 I just had to post a pic of the interior, which I love. Firstly, don't get me started on the exposed brick...Looooove the rustic feel! And on a very original note, wine bottles are hung horizontally along the wall so as to give it the wine cellar feel. Very cool.. Most of the tables are booths at one of the room, and a long narrow bar filled with stools line the other side. Funnily enough they are more well known for their patio in the summer, but yet both times I have been we have chosen to eat inside due to the interior atmosphere.

Food is varied for all tastes. The chef is definitely not afraid to experiment with different flavours such as their
hawaiian ahi tuna tartar mixed with sesame seeds , grilled pineapple, red onions and served with rice crisps - perfect for making little canapes. Very fresh and copious. I savoured every bite of that one...only wish I had the pic to show you guys :(...oh well, guess I'll have to go back soon to get on that ;)
Another noteworthy dish is their goat cheese and roasted beet salad. Verry generous on the sweet beets! It's also completed with marinated mushrooms, red onions, balsamic and fig vinaigrette. delightful

Their sandwiches are alright but not one of their best dishes. Pretty sure they only serve them for lunch. So many of their entrees I haven't tried sound great..such as short ribs, black cod...In a nutshell, looks like I'll have to be going back very soon

Although their specialty is seafood, there are plenty of meat and vegetarian options to choose from. So an excellent choice for tastes of all kinds...not to mention a vibrant atmosphere!

Located at:

55 Mill Street
[416] 361 5859