Location: 181 E 16th Ave, Vancouver, BC
Phone: (604) 874-5173 | Hours: Tues – Sat: 5:00PM – 9:30PM
Toshi Sushi is a popular authentic Japanese restaurant just off Main Street. It’s only opened for dinner and doesn’t take reservations, it’s first come first serve. Yet, this place is packed! I would suggest calling in to see how long the wait is before heading down or arriving early to skip the dinner crowd. And if you do choose to go, don’t forget to go straight in and mark your name down on the wall (it’s their way of reserving a table).
The restaurant is pretty small with maybe less than a dozen tables plus the bar table. It’s a pretty cozy restaurant.
We got our table in roughly an hour, not bad compared to Twisted Fork Bistro. Luckily, we grabbed a snack at Wo Fung Dessert at Aberdeen Centre before arriving for dinner (almost, knowing we’d have to wait). One thing to note, this is one of those Japanese places that charges for green tea. So if you want to save a few bucks for dinner, might as well get beer or water.
This was an open menu item. It was marinated BBQ salmon served with Yu-an Yaki (no idea what it is). The salmon was just right, not over-cooked at all, which makes the meat very tender and smooth. I asked about the marinate but even the waitress had no idea what was in it. It was their secret sauce, she says.
This was their Nigiri Combo off the menu, with 10 pieces of fresh Nigiri. I don’t know all my Japanese all that well, so I’m not going to list them out 1 by 1. They were overall very fresh and professionally presented. The rice did not fall apart when I clipped it with my chopsticks, so we know it’s just right! The sashimi’s were fresh and like always my favourite is the squid!
A very interesting combo. It’s a sushi and a roll. One of their special rolls that are now on their menu. The Box Sushi roll is exactly what it is, a box form sushi, consisting of ebi, hotate, salmon, avocado, and thin slices of lemon. And if you would like, you could add spicy mayo on top, but we liked it original. I think this is the only time that I’ll eat a lemon. It was quite refreshing, I think it’s perfect for the hot summer days here in Vancouver. Though, sushi is a pretty cool food to have for the summer already. This one was just an extra twist. Too bad it was kind of wet and cool that day.
One of my favourite rolls are the chopped scallop. The best of all chopped scallop rolls is now closed. I really used to like it at Tenkai in Coquitlam. They should have renamed it Whole scallop as they don’t chop the scallops up. Anyhow, this place was alright. They added cucumber to fill less of the scallops. Nothing really special here, and not enough mayo. The ones at Sushi California probably does better than Toshi. I realize that most authentic Japanese Sushi places don’t do rolls too well, for odd reasons, but nigiri’s are slam perfect. Maybe rolls aren’t all that popular in Japan?
Overall, I think Toshi had done a pretty good job at attracting its customers. The food was fresh and tasty. It was definitely worth the try. This is a busy restaurant so don’t expect immediate service, but they are quite quick at responding, as they want to get more customers in and out. I do feel a bit rush eating here, as there are a lot of people waiting in line for your table. The ambiance here, again, is very cozy and warm, a bit stuffy if there are way too many people in here. Prices are moderate, compared to Fuji, but not your typical cheap sushi joint. If I were to pick, I would pick Fuji over Toshi.