1)Lobster salad accompanied by deep-fried shrimp heads. In the salad there was lobster (of course), mushrooms, carrots and a citrus-like sauce. Both the shrimp heads and salad were nothing special.
2)Chilled braised eggplant. This was surprisingly good considering that I would not find anything spectacular about a piece of eggplant. The sweet sauce and crunchy onions matched well with the soft and chilled eggplant.
3)Sashimi platter and tuna tartare. The lobster, sea bream, trout, octopus and tuna were impeccably fresh, the freshest sashimi I've had in Toronto. Freshly grated wasabi adds a mild bite. The tuna tartare was outstanding. The textures were balanced perfectly: the softness of the tuna, slight liquid from the raw quail's egg and the somewhat crunchy daikon radish.
4)Steamed fish and sticky rice in broth. This dish was something I've never had before and I enjoyed it. The sweet broth blended nicely with the warm sticky rice and steamed fish.
5)Tempura platter including asparagus, shrimp, pumpkin and onion. The batter for the tempura was outstanding and I enjoyed the salt and pepper seasoning they used, which was comparable to the Cantonese-style one.
6) Braised black cod and shrimp croquette. The black cod was absolutely delicious, unbelievably fresh and accented slightly some sweet flavors. The croquette was nothing special, I wish the sweet potato in the center and croquette itself was warmer. The garnishes (shrimp paste stuffed pepper and gonzo beans) were average.
7)Sushi course with lobster miso soup. The lobster miso soup was pretty good but not outstanding. It basically was a miso soup with a bit more sweetness and flavor due to the addition of lobster. The nigiri course which consisted of Toro, Trout, Charbroiled tuna with ginger sauce, BBQ eel nigiri, Uni & salmon roe gunkan maki, squid nigiri, BBQ eel, tuna tartare and uni on top of rice and sweet shrimp sashimi with salmon roe eggs were easily the freshest fish I've had in Toronto.
8)Fruit salad and strawberry mochi. Nothing outstanding here, the fruit salad was basically fruit in a sugary syrup and the mochi was decent, didn't seem store-bought.
The service at Sushi Kaji was second to none. The staff were very polite and friendly. You could tell as soon as you entered the restaurant, the waiters would take your jackets and present you the menu. Throughout the courses, the waiters would always present you the food with a smile and describe what it was and how to eat it. Another important detail was that they always knew when to refill your green tea, which was very good by the way. The chefs at Sushi Kaji are hilarious. Mitsuhiro Kaji is practically a stand-up comedian with his funny gestures, which included the comedic slapping of an apprentice when the apprentice dropped the plates loudly on the counter, and playful teasing of customers, especially when he personally presents you his hand rolls. His apprentices were funny as well and very informative, answering any questions we had about the food and even going as far to show us how real wasabi was made when my friends and I were discussing it. The staff as a whole always asked how everything was and Kaji himself was kind enough to ask us if we were full or not and offering extra sushi at no additional cost.
As a whole, Sushi Kaji is home to a heart-warming staff and the best Japanese food in Toronto. The price I paid at the end of the meal was reasonable because of the great experience and atmosphere of the restaurant, and the very authentic and delicious Japanese food.
860 The Queensway, Toronto, ON M8Z1N7, CA