- Address: 478 Queen St W, Toronto
- Visited: 05/02/2016, Dinner, 2 people
- Cuisine: Japanese
- Rating: 3.5 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $$$ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: http://www.sakutoronto.com
Saku Toronto is another restaurant that I heard about through Instagram. I drooled while scrolling through photos of elaborate rolls and fresh sashimi. Knowing that dinner at Saku would involve lots of photography, I stopped by with fellow blogger Grace of FoodintheCityToronto to indulge our cameras and stomachs.
Atmosphere: Saku was pretty, hip restaurant with exposed brick, a stocked bar and neon lighting accents. Halfway through dinner, the lights dimmed to create a more intimate atmosphere. The leather booths were roomy and comfortable.
Service: I ran into a lot of service hiccups that night, right from my first interaction with the hostess. We had made a reservation and I was running a bit late. I told the hostess the name of the reservation and she showed me to a booth at the back of the restaurant. Once I settled in, I spotted Grace sitting at another table. Dishes came quickly, but aside from dropping off plates, no one checked in on us and it took some frantic waving to get our bill.
Food: Saku had a regular dinner menu and a special menu. Reading through both, I was tempted by almost all the rolls and sushi. I would say we ended up ordering enough food to feed 3 or 4 people, but still had room for dessert.
From the selection of rolls, we narrowed down to trying a torched salmon roll with avocado and crab meat, and the Saku roll with tuna, scallop, cilantro and jalapeno. Between the two, I really liked the torched salmon. Topped with creamy mayonnaise, the salmon was fresh, sweet and worked well with the fillings. With the Saku roll, I liked the spice of the jalapeno and the cilantro, but didn’t expect the filling to be minced. This meant each bite had no variety in texture, just a consistent mush, and could’ve used some kind of crunch. Both rolls had a good rice to filling ratio and fresh ingredients.
The quality of the fish at Saku was truly showcased in the Chef’s Selection sashimi bowl ($18). Our half order had over 12 pieces, a great value for the selection and freshness. I loved that seared tuna and fresh scallop was included. From the tapas menu, we tried the Saku ceviche that included chunks of salmon, tuna, mango and avocado. The dish had a strong acidity, perfect for a ceviche, and the chunks of mango added some sweetness.
At this point, we still had a platter of Chef’s Special Aburi to devour. A platter of 12 stunning pieces of nigiri was served, that was almost too pretty to eat. Each piece was already dressed with sauce, lightly torched and individually garnished. This platter was only $20, an amazing deal. The photos really speak for themselves. I would highly recommend trying out the aburi.
We ended dinner with a slice of match tofu cheesecake, which was light, and not too sweet. Perfect after a full (very full) sushi meal. Overall, I would be back in a heartbeat for the quality and selection of sushi at Saku, but there were a few service wrinkles to iron out which knocks down their rating in my mind.