2016 JOANNE KATES 100 BEST RESTAURANTS

The Spend A Lot list is Joanne’s sky’s-the-limit guide to dining in the big city.

#11 Yasu

Yasu

Yasu’s commitment to great sushi is unwavering, which is why it’s such a hard reservation to get. They book 30 days out for their set dinner, $80 for 18 perfect pieces if sushi made before your eyes and delivered in a serene and measured minuet. No more, no less. No tempura, no teriyaki, almost no tables. Just a small plain white room with all the dazzle on the tongue. 12 lucky people sit at the sushi bar and watch chef Yasuhisa Ouchi and his helpers do the hand dance, preparing one sushi at a time. It changes based on fish markets, but you get what was flown in that week, from all over the world: Ruby red ocean trout from Scotland. Impossibly sweet scallops from either Hokkaido, Japan or Gasp. Sweet fresh uni from Japan wrapped in nori so crisp it breaks like glass. Deep red rich toro tuna like butter. Monkfish liver with shiso leaf and ponzu sauce. Barely seared hay smoked Spanish mackerel with grated daikon and chili. Like an edible jewel box.


  • Yasu
  • 81 Harbord St., Toronto (map)
  • 416-477-2361
  • www.yasu-sushibar.com

  • Chef: Yasuhisa Ouchi
  • Cuisine: Sushi
  • Cost of dinner for two: $160
  • Hours: Mon. to Sat. seatings at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Fri. to Sun. seatings at 5 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Meals served: Dinner
  • Veggie-friendly: No
  • Wines available: 10+
  • BYOB?: No
  • Patio: No
  • Private party area: No
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • CC accepted: Yes (no American Express)
  • Parking: Street parking
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