// toronto sushi review

Bloor & Spadina / Annex

Akai Sushi

(2 reviews)

Akai Sushi is located on the corner of Harbord and Major Street. It’s situated near the Bloor Annex area where there are a slew of other restaurants, including a number of other sushi restaurants. Please read our conversational review, below.

168 Major Street
Review Date: September 28, 2010

Akai Sushi
We finally got around to going to this place after an email recommendation from one of our trusty readers came to us in the summer. I’ve actually driven past this restaurant many times so it’s nice to be able to give this place a try.

I didn’t know this stretch of Harbord that well but in the walk west from Spadina there were a number of nice little restaurants. Akai Sushi is somewhat similar in that it’s pretty tiny – holding maybe no more than 20 people.

Your not kidding. When I walked in, I was pretty surprised how small the place was. I was immediately welcomed by the waitress and the sushi chef. The place had a cozy, more local kind of feel to it. A welcome change from some of our usual larger places that sometimes can sound like you are in a cafeteria.

Yes, it’s a nice atmosphere. I ordered a Corona, and we had a look at the menu. As per usual, we went with the sushi pizza. Also, the Spicy Tuna roll, Green Dragon roll and the Akai Special roll (the Akai Special roll being a whopping $18.95!).

Yeah that’s definite trend with Sushi restaurants. If they stick their own name in the roll, the price suddenly doubles! Let’s hope it’s worth it. As for your Corona, I noticed this time, no lemon or lime! I think that’s a Sushi Toronto first! Anyways, the sushi pizza came out first and it was not what I was expecting. Actually, other than the rice base and shape, the toppings were completely original and different than what I would consider the norm for sushi pizza.

Akai Sushi Pizza
This must be the most unique set of toppings we’ve experienced so far – in terms of a sushi pizza… And I must say: tasty! I recall scooping every last bit of it.

It was very good, just a bit messy. It’s great that they put their own unique spin on it. Although I probably could have used a spoon to pick up all the toppings and ingredients. Next out are the Green Dragon and Spicy Tuna Rolls on one plate. Pretty nice presentation.

Akai Green Dragon and Spicy Tuna Rolls

It was… Both were quite good. No complaints here. I’m finally getting used to the fact that Green Dragon rolls will always fall apart (or so it seems)… as was the case at Akai.

Agreed, they were pretty good. I am not sure if it’s the “norm” for rolls to fall apart though. Although some of these bigger rolls have so many ingredients and are pretty large, it’s hard to keep the roll structure in place. Lastly, the special Akai Roll arrives in it’s own dish. It’s pretty big and I noticed it had the same sauce/toppings as the sushi pizza! Damn, maybe we should have read the actual descriptions in menu.

Akai Special Roll

Yeah, true… We didn’t need two dishes w/ that same in house ‘sauce’… I think that may have dampened my enthusiasm for this roll. It was decent, but not worth the $19 price tag, in my books.

It was pretty unfortunate for us. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I didn’t already taste it a few dishes ago. The price tag didn’t help as well. Either way though, I agree with you that the rolls aren’t worth almost $20 a pop.

So, we’re done with the dishes we ordered and out comes a dish of seared sashimi, compliments of the chef. First off, that was a nice gesture – and a nice surprise. Second, it was fantastic!

Akai Seared Salmon

Tell me about it! Great surprise with the seared salmon. I wonder if that’s the norm there or maybe they recognized our faces with our avatars on sushitoronto.ca! Whatever it was, nice touch. I don’t remember any other place where they’ve given us a free dish. And that’s not all…once we were finished, out comes free dessert! Green tea ice cream with cut strawberries and whip cream in a martini glass! Amazing. I guess my automatic +0.5 comes into effect now.

Akai Green Tea Ice Cream with Cuto Strawberries

Hehe… MUST be the avatars! The dessert was a few steps above the normal dessert, too. The total food bill was around $48, before tax. I thoroughly enjoyed eating at Akai Sushi. I liked the cozy environment, the great service and, of course, the quality sushi. I also liked how they did things different from the typical Toronto sushi place. Although not necessary, a quality free dessert and the fantastic seared salmon tops it off. The Akai Special roll was priced out of line but that’s really my only issue with this meal. I definitely recommend Akai Sushi: 9/10.

This place is definitely a great local sushi spot. I probably wouldn’t travel here just for sushi but if I lived in the area, I think this would be the go to sushi joint. Great sushi with a nice warm neighbourhood atmosphere. The staff and sushi chef were very courteous and would recommend to anyone in the area. Another recommend from me. 8.5/10

Akai the food bill

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