I had the greatest pleasure to be invited to JaBistro Modern Japanese to try a prix fixe menu of their signature sushi, sashimi, and bistro dishes all on their newly renovated rooftop patio! It has been a beautiful summer in Toronto and it was a perfect evening to dine on some top-notch and delicious Japanese food at JaBistro.
JaBistro is a modern Japanese restaurant serving up the freshest and finest sushi and hot and cold dishes in a sophisticated and elegant space. I had the pleasure of dining here three years ago (penning one of my first ever food blog posts that you can read here) and recall the food and service at JaBistro with much fondness and appreciation of their high-quality food and exceptional service.
Clarissa and I stepped into the restaurant just before 6 p.m. and we were greeted warmly by the hostess. Thanks to Stella of Kinka Family, there was a reservation already made for us for two. We were led upstairs to the rooftop patio, a space I hadn’t dined in before. I was really impressed with how serene it looked with wooden ‘stacked’ walls and an open inviting space. The weather was perfect for patio weather. We were surrounded by tall buildings throughout so it felt like we were nestled in a private space and dining in the middle of the city. It was definitely a unique experience already! 🙂
Our server for the night was very gracious, accommodating, and attentive. She made sure that we were content throughout the entire night by making sure our water glasses were full and introducing each course to us when it arrived.
First, we started off with some water and the first complimentary drink of the night, cava sparkling. This was a light and bubbly drink that complimented the hot weather so nicely.
Since it was a prix fixe media tasting, we didn’t have to do anything except enjoy everything that was brought to us! The first course of the night was the Sashimi Sampler. This was a beautiful presentation of colours and textures — the seared wagyu beef was so smooth, the salmon sashimi was ridiculously soft and melted in your mouth, and the ikura popped in your mouth as you bit into each one. It was an amazing sashimi appetizer! Everything was as fresh as could be. 🙂 Sitting on the patio though, I do have to say that after the food arrived, it was best to eat this as quickly as possible otherwise it would warm up in the patio weather!
The second course was the the Seafood Appetizer Platter. It was also adorned with amazing seafood with an emphasis on their bistro dishes. This was a hot dish and contained a grilled sea bream head and collar (a shock for some who don’t usually eat fish heads), lobster broth miso soup, and tempura tiger shrimp and calamari (ebi nanban and ika respectively).
All of their dishes are beautiful to photograph but also so delicious. The lobster broth miso soup contained a lobster claw in there and the broth was exceptionally clear and full of lobster essence. I could drink that soup all day because it was so good!
I really enjoyed the ebi nanban! Most would think that tempura tiger shrimp would taste quite ordinary but this one at JaBistro was deliciously firm and the batter wasn’t excessive either. It was fantastic.
When it came to the grilled sea bream, our server went above and beyond by bringing a fork and knife to our table and helping us to physically dissect the sea bream so that it would be easier to eat. She turned over the head to its back side and helped us to excavate all of the bones out and left all of the succulent fish meat on the plate for us. Wow, I was so impressed! What great service! Thank you so much! 🙂
The sea bream contained so much meat in its collar that was so fresh and moist. It went well with a squirt of fresh lemon too. Since I have eaten fish head as a child, I also dug out the fish cheeks and eye to indulge in. Sorry if that’s too graphic for ya. 😛
The third course was sushi! We each were served a beautiful platter of JaBistro’s finest sushi pieces which contained three nigiri and four aburi (blow-torched) sushi. JaBistro, coming onto the Toronto food scene in 2012, definitely was one of the first restaurants in the city to offer blow-torched sushi, as I can recall.
Each piece of sushi was expertly crafted and perfectly put together. The raw seafood on top of the sushi was so fresh that it glistened in the sunlight that hit the rooftop patio. It was a beautiful foodie moment for me as I absolutely adore well-made sushi.
Each sushi had its own texture and minute details. My favourite was the ebi oshizushi (pressed tiger shrimp sushi). Clarissa agreed too and loved it so much. (She died and went to heaven many times that night because of how good the sushi was :P.) I also loved the salmon oshizushi (pressed atlantic salmon sushi) and lobster sushi. Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the sushi pieces were superb too! But sometimes some sushi pieces leave a special impression on your heart more than others. 🙂
Finally, our prix fixe feasting of the night concluded with the dessert. Dessert was a Matcha Mousse Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream. Presentation was not to be beat here either as even the layers in the matcha mousse cake showed off JaBistro’s talents in food styling.
The matcha mousse cake had a perfect, simply perfect, balance of matcha in its cake that wasn’t too strong or too light. The base of the matcha mousse cake was very crunchy which offset the smooth mousse on top. The vanilla ice cream tasted so light and paired well with the mousse cake. As well, there were some crunchy bits that added to the texture of the entire dessert. It was a lovely finish to the night!
I have to thank JaBistro and Kinka Family and the staff for graciously inviting my friend and I to their beautifully designed space to enjoy a satisfying and delicious meal. I cannot wait to visit JaBistro again in the future for more food and great hospitality. 🙂
FTC Disclaimer: Although Kinka Family reached out and invited me to a complimentary tasting to showcase the food and rooftop patio at JaBistro, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the companies.