// toronto sushi review

King & Jarvis

Sakura Ichiban

(2 reviews)

Sakura Ichiban is located right on the corner of Jarvis and Adelaide in downtown Toronto, a short walk from Yonge Street. The area is slowly gentrifying, and is a short walk to St. Lawrence Market. Sakura Ichiban delivers for orders over $40. Please read our conversational review, below.

142 Adelaide Street East

// rating

bran9 / 10
fred8 / 10

Review Date: Oct. 20, 2009

Sakura Ichiban is in my new hood – literally two short blocks from my place – so I had special interest in checking this sushi place out. It was a Tuesday night at 7:30. As I strolled in I was immediately greeted by the friendly staff.

I’ve passed by this place many times driving on Jarvis Street so it’s nice to finally give it a try. The place is located in an up and coming area so you’ll see the odd panhandler here and there. The staff are extremely nice and I got one of the bamboo booths in the back. The place wasn’t too busy on the Tuesday night when I got there.

The booths are great, especially for casual business meetings – like discussing the latest sportaholik.com strategy. Also just if you want your group of up to 4 to have a more secluded dining experience. On tap they had a beer that I’d never heard of – ‘Robert Simpson’ – which is a microbrew from Barrie (yes, you read that correctly!). Worked for me. I ordered one.

The ‘Robert Simpson’ made me wonder why it would be in this one sushi restaurant? Who knows, maybe the owners are originally from Barrie. The menu had the standard offerings but this time I was thinking we should try to get one of the party boats to give us some variety in our selections. The menu says it includes sushi, rolls and sashimi and I guess we’ll let the chef decide on what to prepare.

It’s $30 if you just got sushi and rolls and an extra $10 with sashimi. As per tradition, we ordered up a sushi pizza as well!

Ah yes of course the staple of Toronto sushi: the sushi pizza. What surprised me was that right after we ordered, the waitress came back with a few appetizers. First was a small tofu dish, then followed by a small noodle soup dish, that both of us got in single size servings. Nice little added bonus that was unexpected. I don’t believe it’s included in any of the dishes that we ordered so I assume it’s just their way.

Yes, the appetizers were good. After that the boat came out. The first thing that came to mind was ‘fresh’ – especially the sashimi and sushi.

Agreed on the ‘Fresh’ comment. The presentation looked clean and bright with a good variety of items. After trying a few pieces, the freshness was confirmed. One thing to note, the disposable chopstick were wrapped in those custom paper holders with the name of the restaurant and instructions on how to use them. Same as Daio Japanese Restaurant. Good for the newbies.

I didn’t read the wrapper as I’m now a professional sushi-reviewer. They don’t give a blog to just anyone, you know… oh, wait. Back to the food. The spicy salmon rolls had a bit of a late kick to them. They seemed not so spicy but then a few seconds later it hit you. However, the spicy trophy goes to the sushi pizza. Easily the spiciest sushi pizza we’ve had. I’m a fan of spicy, so I enjoyed. Let’s just say I made sure to order up a second pint of Robert Simpson. Another thing about the sushi pizza: the nicest presentation of any we’ve had before. It was well stacked, and some time was spent on the presentation side. It beat a typical Yonge Street sushi pizza any day.

Your not kidding about the sushi pizza. It was really spicy. Must have been that spicy orange sauce! I must admit, it was too spicy for me. If you are a regular reader, you know I like some kick but to me it’s just too much to be enjoyable. The presentation however was a huge surprise to me. Generally, all sushi pizzas, look more or less the same. Not this one. It looked amazing to a point where I didn’t even want to touch it.

We have regular readers? (nice!). I’m going 9/10 for Sakura Ichiban. I’m also liking how I’ve got a 9-review close to home! Everything was very fresh, especially the sashimi. We trusted the chef with the boat, and he did not disappoint. The sushi pizza was one of the best I’ve had – the best presentation wise for sure. Staff were super friendly and service was prompt. I also liked the booth – it looked like there were 3 or 4 of them. Add to that a microbrew I’d never heard of on tap! I’ll be back!

8/10 for me. Great staff and food. The sushi pizza had the best presentation I’ve seen so far in Toronto but just too spicy. They should probably put a warning beside it on the menu (maybe they did?) It’s a nice spot and a definite recommend.

Please comment on your experiences at Sakura Ichiban, below


10 comments for “Sakura Ichiban”

  1. […] noodle soup and the mango ice cream. I’m going to steal your 5.5 and go with that. 5.5/10. Hit up Sakura Ichiban, about a 5 minute walk away, for a far better […]

    Posted by John’s Sushi Bistro | King & Jarvis » Sushi Toronto | November 28, 2009, 9:41 pm
  2. Good review! I’m moving to the area in a few weeks and was desperately looking for some good Japanese food in the area :)

    Posted by Amber | February 19, 2010, 3:53 pm
  3. I go here to get take out sashimi and yakitori on a regular basis and it’s always been good.

    Posted by Phil | March 11, 2010, 12:07 pm
  4. […] lower than ‘yet another Toronto sushi restaurant’, I believe. Head up and over a few blocks to Sakura Ichiban at Adelaide and Jarvis for a good sushi experience. Oh, and what’s with the height of the benches […]

    Posted by Ichiban Sushi House | Yonge & King » Sushi Toronto | April 8, 2010, 7:02 pm
  5. This is right near my office and I’ve never had a bad meal there.

    Robert Simpson Brewery is about five years old, was named after the first mayor of Barrie, and has recently been renamed Flying Monkeys Brewery. They make some nice stuff — my favourite is the AntiGravity light ale.

    Posted by Antikythera | April 27, 2010, 8:10 am
  6. Just found you guys and appreciate the format, style and approach. Good tone, very readable.

    I am bookmarking because I am turning into a sushi maniac these days and need some help.

    Thanks and good work.

    Posted by Gregg Terrence | July 9, 2010, 7:02 am
  7. Hey Gregg… Thanks! Appreciate the comment.

    Posted by Fred | July 9, 2010, 7:05 am
  8. […] the other end, those who warn to stay away due to the service. Then our new friend Gregg shot us a comment and an email urging us to visit Hiro and report back. I guess that was the push we needed, so we […]

    Posted by Hiro Sushi | King & Jarvis » Sushi Toronto | August 28, 2010, 1:41 pm
  9. […] were not spicy at all. I was hugely disappointed. Earlier in the day I had spicy scallop rolls from Sakura Ichiban in downtown Toronto, and those are how they’re to be done (please take note, Tako chefs)! […]

    Posted by Tako Sushi | Mississauga » Sushi Toronto | September 5, 2010, 4:46 pm
  10. […] decent. The Spicy Scallop roll I really was not impressed with. I wouldn’t order that one again. Sakura on Adelaide still has the Best Spicy Scallop roll in my […]

    Posted by Sushi Xtra | Queen & Spadina » Sushi Toronto | July 18, 2011, 8:13 am

Post a comment