Toshi has been famous for their quality sushi and competitive prices for as long as I can remember. And for as long as I can remember, it’s always been small, crowded and not the most comfortable. That is why you should always expect a line up and if you’re desperate enough, to share a table with strangers. I have definitely shared a table with complete strangers just so I could satisfy my nigiri sushi cravings and paying a fraction of the price I would spend at other famous sushi bars like Ajisai (Kerrisdale) or Sushi Hachi (Richmond, BC).
I have high expectations for my nigiri sushis because I’ve had so much sushi in Vancouver the good ones definitely stand out. There are 4 things that I look for in a nigiri sushi:
- Freshness of sashimi - the fish has to taste sweet and fresh, not old and stale.
- Ratio of fish to rice – there should be more fish than rice but not too much fish that you can’t eat it in one bite. I hate when there is too much rice in sushi!
- Is there a small bit of wasabi under the fish? – This is the way you’re supposed to have nigiri sushi, not with soya sauce but with a bit of wasabi underneath the fish so you can still taste the flavours of the fish.
- If there is seaweed, is it soft and moist or fresh and crisp
What I ordered:
Chef’s daily selection of nigiri sushis (10 piece) 5/5
- This special consists of the freshest fish and seafood of the day. I absolutely love the squid nigiri because the shiso leaf and the lemon juice perfectly compliments each other and I usually don’t like having a full piece of squid sashimi! Also, I always order this one for myself because I get to have a bit of everything on the menu for $12.50!
Box pressed sushi 3.5/5
- I heard this “box pressed sushi” was an original creation by the chef because a food blogger had asked him to create something from scratch and this was the product: Pressed sushi with scallop, salmon, thin slice of lemon and avocado in the middle. It tasted refreshing but I thought the texture of the salmon and the scallop was too soft and a little mushy. Also, I think it would taste better with less rice as the ratio is a little off. But that’s just my preference.
Egg plant grilled with sweet miso 4/5
- If you’re a fan of egg plant then you will love this dish. It’s simple and deliciously sweet after grilling the egg plant with miso it tastes somewhat caramelized. You just spoon out the mushy guts and leave the skin.
Uni Sushi 4/5
- The uni was Fresh, the seaweed wasn’t stale. The reason I didn’t give it 5/5 was because I’ve had sweeter and better tasting uni. But none-the-less, it was pretty good!
Shrimp Suno Muno (Cold rice noodle in vinegar dressing) 5/5
- Their Suno Muno is excellent! The noodles are perfect texture (not hard and stale), the cucumbers are freshly cut and the shrimps are fresh tasting and marinated in lemon.
- It’s so busy that I appreciate the efficiency and attentiveness to refill my tea. But you don’t walk into this place thinking that you’re going to receive great service but the servers are none the less polite and the service is quick.
Consistency of food standards 3/5
- I’ve been here several times and I have to save it’s not the same level of standards every time. However it is understandable because you get what you pay.
Verdict: Have been there several times and will definitely go back.