Bikkuri Japanese Restaurant – Toronto, ON


Bikkuri Japanese Restaurant
36 King Street East
Toronto, Ontario  M5C 1E5
Tel: (416) 369-0330

I recently found myself staying downtown Toronto, near the financial district for a few days.  Much like the first time I visited this city – the humidex was up making my Alberta-acclimatized self,  feel as though I was standing in a steam-room.  ;-)

Stepping out onto Yonge Street – I pull out my trusty iphone and run the iSushi application, to identify the closest sushi restaurants from my current location.  Weeding out any obvious no-no’s, we start walking towards Bikkuri Japanese Restaurant located on King Street and a block east of Yonge.

We are promptly seated in this surprisingly large restaurant, and are given a large selection of choices from their huge menu.  We ordered some chicken karaage as an appetizer, and the mains consisted of the nabeyaki udon, nigiri sushi combo, and the salmon-teriyaki.  The latter two entrees came with a starter salad and bowl of miso soup, which both arrived quickly.  Both tasted very good, which put my initial concerns about our destination decision at ease.

The chicken karaage arrived quickly – served on a soba dish garnished with lemon wedges.  The karaage was cooked well, but the flavour lacked punch.  Figuring that a shot of lemon might perk this up a little – I found that it was difficult to use – as the wedge was subjected to some unnecessary knife-work to partially separate the fruit from the rind.

bikkuri_karaage

Moving to the entrees, the salmon-teriyaki scored average.  The salmon portion was huge – served in three slices, with veg and a bowl of rice.  The fish was cooked well, saved by the pleasant flavour of the teriyaki sauce being just right (not overly sweet).  The sides of carrot and broccoli seemed like an odd pairing though.

bikkuri_salmon_teri

The nabeyaki udon was by far the worst dish on the table.  Soup had no flavour (we even tried to make it palatable by adding lots of togarashi), and the presentation lacked any visible appeal.

The highlight of the night was the nigiri sushi.  Presented well, good balance of fish-to-rice, every piece tasted very fresh.  The shari had a slightly sweeter flavour than I’m used to, but was still good.   I would like to acknowledge the knife-work by the itamae, as he took the time to trim the ebi-tail for that little bit of flair, scored the tai and ika to attain a uniform nigiri form.

bikkuri_sushi

My only complaint would be that the tako was a bit thin, and the six lemon slices garnishing the plate were completely unnecessary.

Overall – I would recommend Bikkuri for their nigiri sushi, but think they should revisit their cooked dishes as they can use some work.

Bikkuri Japanese on Urbanspoon

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6 thoughts on “Bikkuri Japanese Restaurant – Toronto, ON

  1. When I first saw the name, I was wondering if it was in any way associated with the popular Bikkuri Sushi chain in Japan, but a check did not turn up any foreign-based outpots. Just FYI… Bikkuri Sushi in Japan boasts 9 branches in Tokyo, 14 in neighboring Kanagawa Prefecture; and is a wonderful operation serving up some very fresh sushi at reasonable prices. Their kani (crab)-miso soup is amazing!

    When I see that kind of presentation of the chicken karaage, I wonder if they really know what that tray is for, or decided just to use it cause it looked “different”?. Sorry to hear about those lemon wedges that look like they got handled by Edward Scissorhands.

    I could see that large portioned Salmon teriyaki being popular with the locals.

    Nigiri looks nicely cut and formed. I too appreciate the added effort (and knowledge for that matter) to handle items like Ika as such.

  2. It’s amazing what a difference the little attention to details matter. Certainly shows the skill, care, and consideration of the Itamae.

    However, i want to beef about the lemon garnish – what the heck is up with this!? I’ve noticed it more and more lately – though it has come with a corresponding decrease in the “plastic green fence”, which is good, but lemon, unless it’s intended to be there, can have a drastic impact on taste. Im not paying good dollars for premium fish only to have it adultered by the lemon!!

    Does this drive anyone else nuts?

    • Personally, I’ve not yet experienced seeing lemon accompanying nigiri sushi. Count me as one of the lucky ones? As unnecessary as it is, as long as it has not been already squirted all over the fish, I can deal with it, or rather just ignore it and shake my head. There must have been someone, someplace who asked for it and its become as common as the also often unnecessary mound of faux-wasabi.

      The green plastic fence at least serves a useful purpose (e.g. keeping things separate like anything like ikura, tobiko, etc.) from spilling over onto the nearby nigiri. :)

  3. first of all, that’s not the japanese chain at all. the restaurant is owned by chinese people, none of them are japanese there! also, heard from someone used to work there saying, don’t ever, take any of the free appetizers there, because they are all leftovers! the boss just don’t want to waste a penny! and for some food, if the table before didn’t finish, they will serve the food to the next table, which is DISGUSTING!

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