I definitely do not have a "go to" sushi restaurant in every city, and Toronto certainly doesn't conjure up images of fresh seafood and impeccably prepared sushi, but Canada's biggest city happens to be home to one of my favourite sushi restaurants in the world.
Introduced to me by my friend Paul back when Yuzu No Hana was a hole in the wall on Elizabeth Street off of Bay Street it has since taken on a more upscale form albeit with the same attention to detail that made them popular in the first place.
Yuzu has been my sushi of choice in Toronto ever since.
Is it the best sushi in Toronto? I'm not sure about that, but for me it stacks up high in my own personal sushi eating experience.
The sushi here includes a creative assortment of rolls ranging from inspired to traditional, and while I like this kind of fair, the benchmark of all sushi for me is Saba (Mackerel) nigiri. There is something about Mackerel that is fleeting.
Even if it is ever so slightly off it takes on a pungent, and somewhat gritty texture which doesn't seem to take long to develop. To me Saba is either great, average, or terrible, and the time it takes to go from great to average is short. Saba needs to be incredibly fresh for it to pass the Stenberg Saba Test and Yuzu always passes this with their Saba flown in from the famed Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo.
While Yuzu is on the pricier side of sushi, but if it's in the budget it is absolutely worth it. Throw in the allure of the frequent diner chopsticks hanging on the wall for their best customers and you'll want to start eating their more to earn your place.
Chris Stenberg is a Canadian travel photographer, filmmaker and researcher. When he’s not wielding a camera or raising a family you can find him running, biking and boarding in the mountains or eating an apple under a tree in an orchard.