I spent the back half of last week in Toronto with my colleague Jason Skomorowski. Jason’s great company anyway, but on his home turf he step up a level because he also knows his way around Toronto’s restaurants — and it’s a great city for food. And the most memorable of many superb meals I had in those four days was omakase sushi at Yasu.
Omakase was a new experience for me. It’s a sushi experience where the chef decides what you eat, and in what order, and the individual pieces arrive one by one.
We had sixteen courses, all but one of them a single piece of sushi; and an ice cream to finish. And here they all are, in the order we ate them.
Here, we can take a break from sushi for a moment, and meet the chef — here, seen preparing the monkfish liver sushi.
He was one of two chefs behind the counter, each of them serving six of the dozen diners arrayed along the bar. (There was one other two-person table, but it was not occupied when we there there.) In addition, there was another chef preparing ingredients — we think it was the owner, Yasu himself — and a hostess.
Now, back to the sushi!
Put it all together, and you have a truly outstanding experience. Not a particularly cheap one, I’ll grant you — 80 Canadian dollars each comes out a little below £50 in real money. But then, we drank water, and had street tacos for one of our lunches, so it all balances out.
Omakase is a completely different experience from regular sushi: much more restrained, more elegant. It’s less food — but that may not be a bad thing for me. It doesn’t feel like a small meal, because it takes place over a period of about 90 minutes. I would definitely do this again.