Monday, October 26, 2015

JaBistro: Oshizushi and Aburi-Style Sushi

Opened in November 2012 in Toronto's Entertainment District, JaBistro quickly won a following for its high-quality fish, top-notch sushi and rare sakes. At the helm is James HyunSoo Kim, who brought the popular Guu Izakaya chain from Vancouver to Toronto, and chef Koji Tashiro, who learned the mastery of cutting fish at Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Fish Market, one of the biggest fish markets in the world — where Jiro gets his fish! Billing its cuisine as 'modern Japanese', JaBistro offers traditional sushi and sashimi as well as aburi-style sushi which is pressed, glazed then blow-torched, and oshizushi-style sushi that’s been pressed into a box mold and compressed slightly. The chef’s inventiveness is seen in his Osaka-style sushi: Sushi Aburi made with mackerel, shrimp or salmon pressed in a wooden mould, kicked up with a topping of hollandaise sauce and blowtorched to saturate flavour. The sushi menu also includes sashimi as well as classic nigiri sushi and kyukyoku sushi, which offers the 'ultimate fresh pieces' of the day. For sushi-lovers, there’s a $98 omakase menu of the chef’s choice selections, as well as optional sake pairings. Chef Tashiro searches for the freshest fish he can find, such as sea urchin from B.C., and other fish sourced from Nova Scotia, Boston, Spain, Australia and Japan. The dressings are made in-house, from the wasabi which is made directly from wasabi root imported from Japan, to a house-made version made with fish broth and kumbu seaweed that's sweet on the palate. From the spectacular sashimi platter to Toji's wagyu oshizushi, it's no surprise that JaBistro is considered one of the top Japanese restaurants in the city.

The blonde wood and exposed brick interior with custom-made wooden chairs, 
by designer Bennett Lo of Dialogue 38

Kyuri Ale Cocktail with cucumber water, gin and ginger ale garnished with shiso leaves

Nashiberry Cocktail with asian pear sake, cranberry juice, sparking rosé and grenadine, garnished with fresh blueberries and strawberries

Lobster Broth Miso Soup

Ja Bistro's sushi chef preparing our Nama Nigiri

Nama section of 7 pieces of nigiri sushi

Boton Ebi spot prawn from B.C. with deep fried prawn head

Denshin Yuki Junmai Gingo Sake from Fukui, Japan

Aburi Wagyu Oshizushi, blow-torched pressed wagyu beef 

Marbled slices of raw Wagyu beef from Japan lightly torched and bursting with flavour

Juneau Daiginjo Wateri Bune 'Ferry Boat' Sake from Ibaraki, Japan

JaBistro's chef blow torching our Aburi

Blow torching the aburi sushi

Chef's choice of Aburi blow-torched nigiri and oshizushi  

Kanpachi amberjack from Japan

Aburi Salmon

Aburi Salmon Oshizushi - blowtorched pressed Atlantic Salmon