Toshi Ryoriten

Since going back to work after my maternity leave, finding time for just Stephen and I to connect has been a challenge. We’ve had the best intentions for monthly date nights but between work, constantly having a cold and trying to find time for ourselves, going out has not been realistic. What has worked is aligning our work from home days and going out for lunch dates! We’re exploring our neighbourhood and get a chance to feel like an adult. One such date took us to Toshi Ryoriten, a Japanese restaurant at Major Mackenzie and Leslie with a more upscale menu.

Atmosphere: Although Toshi Ryoriten is located in a strip mall next to a grocery store and Tim Hortons, the restaurant had all the trimmings of high end sushi bar. Plenty of natural wood decor, modern pendant light fixtures and a live edge counter at the sushi bar. At lunch on a weekday, the clientele was casual and moderately busy. There were seats at the sushi bar, tables at the front of the restaurant and more booths around the corner, in an almost separate dining room. Stephen and I sat at the sushi bar and next to us was an older group who sounded like regulars, greeting the chef by name and talking about catering for a private event. Cozy and familiar.

Service: Sitting at the sushi bar, most of our interaction was with the sushi chef. There was one server who greeted and seated us and brought us tea. Our meal was prepared quickly from the kitchen and sushi bar. I do wish the chef had listed the fish that were on the plate instead of silence. With how separate the dining areas were, it was a challenge for her to manage both areas once the restaurant became busier. We did have to wait a bit to get our bill, but not unpleasantly long. Chef Shinji Mori was very friendly and lively with the group of regulars next to us, which did create a feeling of different levels of service.

Food: Originally, I had planned to order the Chirashi Sushi Lunch ($17) but Stephen convinced me to splurge on the Premium Sashimi Platter that came with chutoro and uni ($60). My platter was beautiful and the quality of fish was top notch. The uni and chu-toro were on par with omakase restaurants in the city, not a surprise as Toshi Ryoriten does offer omakase at dinner and feature fish flown in directly from Japan. The uni was excellent in flavour, rich, creamy and tasted like the ocean with no aftertaste. It was also a generous portion.

While the quality was superb, I was a bit disappointed by the variety, only 6 types. Without any info from the chef (I’m aware I could have asked), I recognized sea bream and amberjack, but something unique or a more diverse selection would’ve taken the meal from good to exceptional. In hindsight, ordering the Chirashi Lunch ($17) and adding an order of Uni Sashimi ($16) would’ve been a better value.

Stephen balanced my splurge lunch with his Tempura lunch bento. The bento box was packed with tempura, rice, salad and a complementar bite of beans with a sesame dressing. The tempura was light, excellently cooked and fresh, not at all oily. All of the vegetable pieces were just cooked, sweet and in season.

Overall, lunch at Toshi Ryoriten was ok with glimmers of amazing. The menu is extensive and ranges from casual Japanese fare to premium sushi. They would be a good choice for a group of diners with varying paletes and budgets.

Toshi RyoritenToshi Ryoriten
Toshi Ryoriten Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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