Sometimes you get a red flag moment when you are wary of trying a new place, but you read it was given a top 15 rating for best new restaurant in the Toronto Life magazine. So you decide to give it a try even though you don’t always agree with their reviews.
Well, this time I should have followed my instincts. My red flag was Chef Jin Lee, who previously worked at Kasa Moto in Yorkville. The patio there was one of the nicest in Toronto, but the food left a lot to be desired.
But, I went to Yakashi with an open mind, and wallet, to try their “fine dining” omakase experience.
We entered a cute, casual 20 seat restaurant at 643A Mount Pleasant Road. Our reservation time was for 8:30, but they were not ready to seat us at our counter seat, yet others were being seated who came in after us?? We eventually got our coveted seats. The chef’s counter seats eight, and they would not begin service until everyone arrived. One couple came in around 9pm, and we were made to wait – strike one.
We selected the 9-course at $150 dinner. There is also a 4-course menu for $75, and some a la carte items as well. Second strike? Paper napkins for a $150 dinner!! Out of our saké choice, and a poor substitution – strike three. The evening was already not going well, was this a foreboding of what was to come?
There was no sushi on this menu. Instead, there is sashimi, tempura, fish, meat etc. Of all the nine courses we only enjoyed two of courses we were served. The wagyu with foie gras and uni, torched by the chef, and the sweetest Japanese melon, a minuscule slice given to us as our only dessert. Every other course was fishy, slimy, fatty, flavorless and unappealing. As you can tell I was not enamored with our dinner and the choices that were offered.
We actually had to come home and find something to eat that would take the offensive taste out of our mouth. I mean how many Canadians do you think would actually enjoy monkfish liver? Maybe in Japan it is a delicacy?