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Omi - kase (long report)


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Omi - kase (long report)

pinstripeprincess | Apr 4, 2006 11:39 AM

Saturday night is upon us it was time to go where we haven't gone before, a place called Omi. The sushi bar was booked but we got a table near it.

I show up and the place has a pair at a table near the entrance, the bar is empty, and in the far corner three friends are cheerily finishing their dinner. I'm shown my table in this tiny approx. 24 seater place. It's a little worn looking, but in the way that you know they focus on food. The place quickly fills up and they're even trying to push in more chairs at the sushi bar.

My friend shows up and after some consideration and a bit of a wait for the waiter (only 3 or 4 people seem to run the whole operation) we order up the premium ginjo sake. He brings over a tray of cups from which we get to choose one. Flowery, a little fruity, goes down quite smooth. If it weren't for the fact that I felt a little flushed I wouldn't have known there was alcohol in the sake. John Lee has noticed that we're waiting and sends the waiter specifically over to us and we order up the omakase.

Miso soup is up first, your typical variety. Two bowls are put down and we're told this is a spring salad, steamed white asparagus with ginger carrot dressing and three tiny cooked shrimp with mayo and a little scallion. Richness plays off the freshness and it's a lovely contrast. You can hear a torch go on and I'm anticipating the next course. Panko encrusted rice patty with a little mayo and a seared scallop on top. It's beautiful and I regret not having a camera. I can successfully take a bite to see a cross section and the scallop is done perfectly. It's all so rich though that it nearly feels like this must be filled with cheese.

No Omakase is complete without the requisite miso fish, ours is king fish. Wrapped in a banana leaf strip it's quite pretty and fresh looking, but it's just ok, a little bland. John brings over and explains our 16 pieces of maguro, toro, hamachi, ebi, salmon and brown sugar cured salmon nigiri. This is a prime plate of fish. Each piece has quite a little kick of wasabi in it. The toro, salmon, hamachi and ebi are rich and lovely. The maguro flavour is cleaner and nice, but the winner of the night is the brown sugar cured salmon that I would eat like candy if I could.

We're already into our next sake, hakutsuru, a significant contrast from the previous one. It evokes a much more typical rice wine flavour and the hit of alcohol is a touch more apparent. Two more pairs of ebi nigiri arrive with a spider roll. We're getting pretty full and the rich choice of seafood is starting to get to me. I make it through one piece of ebi nigiri and two pieces of the spider roll (no avocado or anything, pure softshell crab a simplicity that I enjoy). My friend polished off his half but we're both practically face down on the table.

Our bill comes out to a $65 omakase per person and a total cost of $235 incl. tax, tip and sake to knock your socks off for two.

Fewer courses than I've had before, dishes I've never had before, new sake flavours, and full just as always. I'm happy, will definitely be returning.


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