[ Sushi Bong - no, it's not for Pot Heads ]
5 Northtown Way (Yonge St south of Finch Ave)
North York, ON
I first heard of Ichiban Sushi on Spring Garden through one of my friends, and kept returning for more .. but recently, that same friend denounced Ichiban Sushi (reduced portions, increased prices) in favour of a new haunt -- enter Sushi Bong ..
and yes, i had the same initial reaction to the name .. Sushi Bong is run by a Mr Tony Bong -- hence the name ..
it is located on a private driveway off of Yonge St, inside a Condo Complex .. easiest way to get there is to start at Sheppard & Doris (a small street east of Yonge), and drive north .. after you pass a large Dominion's on your left, make a left turn into a Condo driveway ..
seating is limited to a table for 6, and 5 seats along the sushi bar .. very cozy .. Mr Bong knows the regulars by name ..
complimentary miso soup, served with enoki mushrooms .. a tad strong on the miso and soy flavours, but the enoki mushrooms are a treat ..
wakame seaweed salad (~ $3.50) prepared with sesame oil and light chili pepper, adds a swift kick to a light seaweed offering .. the seaweed presents a fresh springy texture, married with the deep sesame flavour ..
the spicy salmon roll ($4.00, 8 pieces) is prepared with whole pieces of salmon, unlike other establishments that diced salmon sashimi mixed with hot sauce .. there is more salmon than rice, and that's a winner in my books .. rub the lemon wedge lightly on your maki, and it provides a nice tanginess to contrast with the hot sauce ..
the Sashimi Bong special ($10.00, 18 pieces) is a steal .. it's a wonder how Tony stays in business .. 7 pieces each of fresh salmon and snapper, these generous cuts are full of texture and firmness .. the 3 pieces of tuna were slightly mushy, but none of the sashimi tasted of fishiness .. add to that a shrimp (cooked), a surf clam, 3 pieces of octopus, and 6 pieces of 'crab' (pollock) .. and best of all, fresh ground wasabi (you can taste the texture of the ground horseradish) .. this is a must-order ..
the Tempura special ($8.80, 10 pieces of shrimp) was yet another bargain we could not pass up on .. while not battered in the traditional mannered with sprinkles of tempura flakes, this was nevertheless mouthwatering for those who crave deep-fried delectables .. served with a vinegary soy sauce (instead of the sweetened soy sauce with ground radish), it added a whole new dimension to this tempura .. with the shrimp deshelled all the way to the tip, not a single bite was wasted ..