YUZU-NO-HANA Sushi and Sake Bar

I had to deal with some personal issues, and therefore was unable to blog for the past 2 months. Anyways, my first review back is of my dining experience at Yuzu Sushi & Sake Bar from back in August 2012 (sorry major delay). 

YUZU-NO-HANA Sushi and Sake Bar is a mid-sized Japanese restaurant located within the clubbing district in downtown Toronto. The restaurant provides a clean and contemporary atmosphere with decorative sake bottles stacked behind the sushi counter. There are also seating all throughout the restaurant, and enough spaces in between tables for those who want to enjoy an intimate dinner. 


I made reservations about three days prior to the dinner on a Saturday as we wanted the omakase (which required a 24 hours notice). The omakase at Yuzu is $80.00 per person for a 9 course meal, and it is basically a selection of dishes made by the head chef.

For those who are curious .... omakase is pronounced as oh-mah-kah-say.

Yuzu exemplifies all of the qualities that I look for in a great Japanese restaurant; high quality food, the freshness of the fish, creativity in the dishes and knowledgeable and friendly staff.


What makes a great restaurant is not only the delicious food, but also the service and hospitality of the staff. I believe that great services enhance customers' experiences, and it is something that I take into consideration when deciding on tipping amounts (15% being the standard for me and it goes up from there), whether to return or not, and also recommending to friends and readers. With that being said, I thought that the service was excellent at Yuzu Sushi & Sake Bar, as our main server and waitresses were very efficient, professional, and friendly. We had the most interactions with the main server, Kaz, as he was the one who brought out our dinner (omakase and bento box). Kaz was friendly, personable, and was knowledgeable about the omakase dishes and fish.


As an appetizer, I ordered the calamari ($12.00) which was grilled squid with herbs, marinated in shoyu, and salada greens. The salad that accompanied the squid was crisp and refreshing. The citrus dressing provided a very tangy taste, which I enjoyed.


For my main course, I decided upon the Yuzu Bento ($30.00) which was a two layer bento box that came with beef teriyaki, rice, miso soup, sashimi, sushi, tempura, and some veggies as side dishes. The beef teriyaki was really delicious as it was very moist and tender.

Now onto the omakase ($80.00 per person).


The 1st course: Oyster shooter (fresh oyster, quail egg, tobiko, yuzu ponzu, uni and green onion). The shooter came out in a decorative long-tubed glass and who knew that raw oyster and quail egg would actually taste good ... I sure didn't. 


The 2nd Course: Edamame (paste). Unfortunately, I passed upon this dish so I don't know how this tastes like at all. I did try the edible flower though.


The 3rd Course: Assorted appetizers platter. I was impressed with both the freshness of the fish and also its presentation.

- Egg/eel
- Baby clam wrapped with seaweed
- Baked egg yolk
- Seared eggplant
- Salmon
- Japanese yam with uni (sea urchin)

The 4th Course: Assorted sashimi (chef's selection). The three pieces of sashimi were fresh and the rice had the right amount of seasoning without being overly overwhelming. 

- Yellow jack
- Suzuki (sea bass)
- Red snapper


The 5th Course: Sweet fish (ayu) with miso paste. The fish was grilled and the sauce was made using ginger stock. The name is quite deceiving as the fish was not sweet at all; instead it was extremely salty. According to the chef, salt is needed to marinate the sweet fish so that it won't burn. 


The 6th Course: Grilled duck. I really liked the duck as it was flavorful and tender. The presentation of the dish was also aesthetically pleasing. The only complaint that I really have of this dish would be the small portion as there were only three slices of duck.

The 7th Course: Assorted sushi (chef's selection). The overall quality of the fish was excellent and the chefs did a great job with the nice smooth cuts.

- King salmon
- Hamachi (yellow tail)
- Searobin
- Seabream 

The 8th Course: Cold sōmen (white Japanese noodles) wrapped around a thin egg wrapper with shiitake mushrooms and shrimp. The combination of the noodle and egg wrapper provided an unique taste. However, this was probably my least favorite dish of the night as I have never been particularly fond of cold noodles.


The 9th Course: Yuzu crème brûlée. I was hoping to try their green tea flavored one and was a little disappointed when Kaz told me that they don't make it anymore. However, they are now serving a  traditional flavored vanilla version, so I ordered it since I absolutely love crème brûlée. The caramelized top was good, the fresh fruits were sweet, but I thought the custard base lacked a little sweetness.

Overall, I highly recommend Yuzu Sushi & Sake Bar for its offering of beautifully presented authentic Japanese food, and great service. Additionally, the chefs (in the kitchen and sushi) all use high quality ingredients to ensure an unique and tasty experience, especially with their omakase.


RATINGS:

Quality of Food: 4.5/5
Service: 5/5
Dining Experience: 4.5/5
Price: $$$$ || Online Menu

Address: 236 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON, M5H 1W7

YUZU-NO-HANA Sushi and Sake Bar on Urbanspoon

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