"SUSHI KAJI “ - OMG!! What a shockingly impressive Omakase at an even more shocking price-point!!

The absolutely amazing Omakase dinner I had tonight reflects a huge mistake on my part…….but in a positive, good way! The mistake?..My not paying this iconic culinary temple a much earlier revisit to savour its superb cuisine!

For me, tonight’s feast must rank as one of the top three most memorable and enjoyable meals I have had in the GTA……in recent memory, if not all time! Yes! It was indeed THAT GOOD!! Food quality and quantity, deliciousness, service, ambience and price point! Every one of these elements was near flawless!

Beginning with the three, beautifully presented and plated Otsumami.Their heavenly taste, featuring perfectly cooked and precisely dressed and seasoned major ingredients, all coalesced to form some balanced and amazingly delectable flavour profile and wonderful texture delicacies.
The umami rich Wanmono of Cold Soba with Sakura shrimp was refreshing and delightfully different as a mid-course dish. The tasty broth! Wow!!
Sashimi platter of Scottish Wild Ocean Trout, Chu-toro Bluefin Tuna and Madai from Japanese water were all pristine and fresh.
Neta ingredients used for the whopping 15 pieces of Edomae nigiri sushi were surprisingly varied, wonderfully exotic and gorgeously dressed with delicious house-made glaze and sauces. In most cases, no soya-sauce was required……though Kaji’s dashi infused home brewed soy-sauce was top-notched and rare by GTA standard!
The Neta and the 15 Nigiri pieces featured the following:
Hokkaido Uni ( Sea-Urchin ), Baby Sakura-ebi with Caviar ), Anago ( Sea-Eel ), Akami ( lean Bluefin Tuna ), Chu-Toro ( Medium fatty Tuna ), O-Toro ( Fatty tuna belly ), Shin-Ika ( Juvenile Cuttlefish ), Scottish Wild Ocean Trout, Hirame ( Flounder ), Madai ( Japanese Sea bream ), Yellow-eyed Snapper, Chopped tuna roll with spicy mayo, Aburi Hotate ( Flame torched Hokkaido Scallops ), Awabi ( Abalone ), Botan-Ebi, Tako ( Octopus ).
Every one of the above was a star in its own right! The brightest being the stellar Hokkaido Uni ( creamy and sweet ), the Awabi ( so tender, rich and flavorful, the liver sauce! Wow! ), the Aburi Scallops ( multiple layers of complexed profiles, from smokey aroma to caramelized sweetness. Soooo good! )…and of course, ALL the fishes, mostly from Japanese water!!

BTW, even the once sub-pared Shari has improved and is now more than passable!

Dessert of fresh fruits and ice-cream, though simple, was interesting and enjoyable, the ultra-chewy mochi pieces a delight to eat.

All-in-all, a superlative meal that was mindbogglingly filling and great in terms of both quality and value-for-money!

I cannot stop but think and wonder why someone would actually pay over double the price for Omakase to eat at certain places midtown or even four times the price for Omakase, downtown…….unless they would like to pay for gimmicks and/or subsidise the decor and rent of those establishments!

Trust me!..listen to Yu-San and go to Sushi kaji and trust Kaji-San for his Omakase


Thanks, haven’t been there for years. Interesting from your pics, looks like the sushi came in plated sets instead of presented one at a time. Were you seated at the bar or a table?

We were a party of 4 seated at a table…hence the platter approach for some of the nigiri. A few ladies seated at the sushi bar get served individually by Kaji San himself or his sous like typical higher-end sushi-Yas in Japan say!

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  1. Very sure the baby shrimp picture you posted with the caviar is not baby sakura-ebi.
  2. The use of spicy mayo is not edomae.
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A friend of mine from Hong Kong, who also ate at Masaki Saito two weeks ago, was served the same looking ’ Sakura Ebi '. Why would the chefs lie or tell patrons otherwise?!

I do not see anything wrong if the chef wanted to be a bit adventurous and chose one of his 15 ’ traditional edomae ’ nigiri offering and do something funky but tasty to it? It’s just a term and ok to think outside the box once in a while!
Kind of like one visits a so called ’ Traditional French Bistro ’ outside of France and order a Boeuf Bourguignon. Just because the chef chose NOT to use Burgundy but another Pinot Noir from elsewhere or even another red wine…are we going to complain that it is wrong for him to name the dish Boeuf Bourguignon?
To me, main criteria is that the food taste great and worth the money! No complaints for the quality of food when the Omakase is only $160…compare to $330 at Shoushin or a $680 at Masaki Saito. Do I really care, paying a hefty premium for a piece of O-toro, just because the fish has a tag telling people the name of the fisherman and name of boat it was caught in?
To me, there are many more things worth being be critical about, nowadays!
My 2 cents!

Nowhere did I write nor accuse the chefs lied to patrons.

The dish with soba indeed has sakura ebi, while the “nigiri” with caviar is not.

No! Of course you did not! If my wording gave you the impression that I did, then ’ I am Sorry ’ and I whole heartedly apologise!
I was merely trying to express my bewilderment and query as to why the chefs in question told their patrons and print on the menu that they are serving them Sakura-ebi but in fact those are not?!
BTW, the ones on the soba were indeed ’ shrunk ’ sun dried ones which I have seen sold in Japanese supermarkets and eaten elsewhere…etc. As for those on top of the shari with the caviar topping, those are raw, de-shelled ones which resembled the ones I ate at Saito a while back.
Well, only the chefs in question knew and can tell.

I haven’t been here in years but it’s great to hear that they are still doing well. I have very fond memories of this place as just over a decade ago I recall going their for my first anniversary with my wife (then gf) and having one of the older staff stand in front of us with a paring knife at the bar peeling and carving a daikon flower for her. He must have been there a good 15-20 minutes and it was beautifully crafted.

Sounds about right for another visit soon…

Same, I went probably 7 years ago during September and Kaji-san seemed to be going through the motions, didn’t seem like his old fun self. Food also seemed out of season it was cool weather and they were serving summer dishes. Not a big deal, but wasn’t as flawless as prior experiences. I will definitely return.

Thanks for sharing Charles. With a ‘regular’ omakase nearing 200$ price point I would venture out to Kaji for a 160$ one :slight_smile:
Still can’t digest (pun intended) 500$+ offering nearby but each their own I suppose.

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You might need to review the difference between “sakura ebi” and “shiro ebi” …

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Ah!! You are right!! Now I remember!
Sakura for the soba to bring out more umami. Young Shiro shrimps for the neta in the nigiri sushi!!
My bad! Thanks for the lesson! :+1: :grinning:

Fish fraud happens more often than you think. There was a study done by Oceana Canada in Ottawa & found ‘alarming levels of fraud’:

“…restaurants were the worst offenders: 68 per cent of sushi spot samples and 51 per cent of non-sushi restaurant specimens were mislabelled… Species substitution, where one type of fish is passed off as another, was found in one third of the seafood tested.

Steve, I would NOT expect “fraud” from Kaji-san.