Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Skippa: Casual Japanese Sushi & Sake on Harbord






Tucked away on Harbord Street is Skippa, one of Toronto's newest Japanese sushi and sake bars that siblings Ian and Kati Robinson launched in 2017, specializing in refined small plates influenced by the slightly sweeter flavours of Japan’s Fukuoka region that Robinson became familiar with when he trained under Mitsuhiro Kaji at Sushi Kaji. Named after their father’s sailboat, the 30-seat space and most of the furniture in it was built by the Robinsons themselves. While Kati manages the front of house, Ian takes on the role of head chef, and decides on the menu every day, depending on what’s in season and locally available. Quality ingredients are the cornerstones of Japanese cuisine, and Skippa embraces those same high standards, with a daily-changing menu that features a selection of Ocean Wise fish and produce from small-scale Ontario farms, including Robinson's homegrown Japanese herbs. Skippa's prices are market-driven, with small plates such as Edamame, White Asparagus Sunomono, Grilled Black Maitake Mushroom and Miso Salad or Wagyu Beef from Japan which range from $3 to $13, to chef Robinson's popular 'Trust Skippa' omakase sushi which is competitively priced at just $50. While all of the menu items are worth trying, the sushi is the main attraction. Everything is made to order, and each expertly made plate is served one at a time, so with an ever-changing menu, diners can taste the best of what the four seasons have to offer.

 

The L-shaped sushi bar has a front-row view of the kitchen

Skippa is a beautiful harvest table that was custom-made from a fallen sugar maple trunk

Avocado Salada with red oak lettuce and blood orange

Organic Ontario Edamame

Kaki, also called persimmon, from PEI with yuzu

Masai Moriawase with morsel mushrooms, burdock root and beets, sliced daikon and carrots

Howaito Asparagus Sunonomo with white asparagus and shiso

Tsukune, a Japanese chicken meatball cooked yakitori style with kimone

Nasu: Simmered eggplant with ginger and daikon

Chef Robinson cooking the Tsukune Chicken Teriyaki on Skippa's yakatori grill

Chef Ian Robinson preparing our Omakase behind the wooden sushi bar

The first dish of the 'Trust Skippa' Omakase, Goldeneye Sea bream with steamed rice and dashi

Ocean Trout from British Columbia

Great Swordfish from Nagasaki Japan

New Zealand Sea Bream garnished with olive oil and preserved lemon

Torched Aburi Mackerel

Tuna with black housemade garlic soy sauce

Horse Mackerel from Fukuoka Japan and smoked with Japanese hay

Wild Yellowtail Hand Roll with freshly roasted nori seaweed from Tsukiji Market in Tokyo

Tamago sweet egg roll

Wagyu A5 Striploin from Japan

Coconut Iced Cream with Rhubarb