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.
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.
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.
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.