See? I’m back! I said I’d still be blogging on this site, I never lie. I just take writing breaks the length of a human pregnancy, at least it wasn’t as long as an elephant’s term. The restaurant I’m reviewing is Sushi Friends, which can best be summarized as a friendly sushi place.
Given that I’ve been to a favourite Japanese restaurant prior to eating here, it wasn’t going to be an easy win for Sushi Friends. But actually, (spoilers) they did pretty good.
My mom ate two servings of Philadelphia rolls, and I had the Queen Bento Box. That came with miso soup, seaweed salad, 8 pcs California rolls, 3pcs Daily sushi rolls, 2pcs Shrimp Tempura, 5 pcs Vegetable and I chose Chicken Teriyaki out of Beef Teriyaki and Beef Ribs.
Miso’s miso, so there isn’t much to review there. I did notice the outside of the bowl wasn’t fully cleaned, being an expert on badly-washed dishes myself. This as the only dirty plate I noticed, so it’s completely possible that was the only one out of 100 clean dishes. So it’s not a problem, but worth mentioning.
The seaweed salad, for those curious, has a texture similar to glass noodles. Chewy, fresh and clean. I really liked its refreshing, green taste and sesame sauce. I could imagine sitting outside with that dish on a bright summer day, whilst getting a horrific neck burn and watching ugly shirtless men walk by. Now I’ll go onto the least-good dish, worded that way because nothing I ate here was bad. The chicken teriyaki had a weak sauce, but the meat itself was perfect. I hadn’t noticed this before, but there’s a certain taste and feel to good teriyaki meat, and this chicken had it. But the sauce didn’t hold up to the chicken, like pairing a 3-star meal with a bag of Ruffles.
The sushi was put together well, this coming from the guy who can hardly roll a tortilla wrap without it coming apart. The ingredients were colourful and fresh, especially the fish. That’s quite impressive considering how far away Toronto is from either coast—I’ve never caught imitation crab in Lake Ontario. What really surprised me was the shrimp tempura, it was light and fluffy, kind of like a raccoon before it shows teeth. The veggie tempura also stood out: the eggplant was really thick and generous. There’s no pictures because I ate it—this is a me-eating-things blog, what do you expect, photos?
So, what is that thing? That is banana tempura, yes you can read that sentence again to make sure it isn’t an impossibly late onset of dyslexia. It’s hot, gooey banana covered in a light tempura and drizzle of chocolate sauce. The ice cream on the side was Green Tea flavoured, because why not? The ice cream, just to describe it, is pretty mild with a back note of green tea, and isn’t that sweet. It was perfect with this dessert, a chocolate-covered soft-serve vanilla twist would’ve been a bit out of place. The banana was delicious, cooking it really brings out the sweetness, and it mixed with the other, maybe slightly random, ingredients perfectly. This is a great dish to sneak potassium into your kid’s diet. But if you’re like me you’ll require a skilled group of Japanese chefs to pull off the dish, so shoving bananas down the little brat’s throat works too. Ah, that’s why I didn’t write a parenting blog, okay.
In other notes, the decor was fancy enough to be comfortable, but not so classy as to instill the awkward feeling of having to wear a tie at the table. I liked watching tennis on the T.V., since I’m such a professional critic that stands out in my mind more than things like atmosphere or chef’s technique. The service was polite, and quick enough that I wasn’t turning the table cloth into an appetizer 2 days after ordering. I don’t like waiting for food, this place doesn’t make you wait. On a side note, the bathrooms are clean, so you don’t need to pick between bodily discomfort or a post-modern dungeon of horrors. Washrooms are part of reviewing a restaurant too, even though they aren’t that appetizing—hopefully that’s not just me—it’s important in my book.
All in all, is Sushi Friends a good place with tasty food, and solid service/decor. The prices were great, so you can bring someone here and not rely on the cheap ba$@rd to pay his own godd@mn bill. No, I wasn’t projecting, honest. If you’re an easy walk, car ride or subway ride away, Sushi Friends is a local place worth checking out.
Sushi Friends 397 Danforth Avenue