Toronto’s sushi scene is still on the lowbrow side and the recent #ArtofPlating trend does not help at all. This ends today when Chef Jackie Lin opens his much-anticipated Shoushin restaurant.

A real sushi eater would agree that adding fusion to sushi is like adding MSG; it gives you headaches. At Shoushin, only the finest and simplest ingredients are used. No fancy dressing, no unnecessary plating.

Last week, we had the honor to be the first among the media to taste this exciting new sushi bar before it opens its door to the public. We expected: a nice sushi bar; we experienced: a top-notch food journey.

From food to interior, Shoushin follows the same concept: simple & traditional, quality over quantity, “Obsession: Perfection”-Japan’s kodawari culture to pursue perfection.

Aromas of hinoki wood lured us in upon entrance. Shoushin is the second in North America (after New York’s Masa) to commercially use hinoki wood, a rare cypress used to construct shrines, temples and palaces in Japan. Shoushin’s sushi bar is constructed with a plank of hinoki from the same tree. The wood is left raw and unvarnished to spread its fragrance. To maintain the bar, Shoushin’s staff washes and sands this piece of precious wood daily.

Three choices of omakase are served here at Shoushin: the $80, the $120, and the $250, which comes with wagyu (A5 grade from Japan) ‎and sturgeon caviar.

Chef Jackie Lin flies fish in from Japan three times a week to ensure guests always enjoy the freshest, seasonal ingredients.

First dish was a fried hirame (flounder). The slightly sour crown daisy and pickled cherry tomato perfectly balanced out the natural sweetness of the hirame. Cashew crumbles added texture.

fried hirame flounder shoushin sushi bar
fried hirame

Next was the sashimi plate: bluefin tuna from Halifax, hirame (fluke), and shiro ebi (white shrimp) topped with sturgeon caviar. Simply exquisite.

sashimi plate shoushin sushi bar
sashimi plate: shiro ebi topped with sturgeon caviar, bluefin tuna, and hirame

Then came a parade of sushi. Fluke muscle sushi and skipjack sushi were light & clean with a firm and chewy texture. Shiro ebi sushi was lightly sprinkled with salt and yuzu. Sea eel sushi was garnished with a Japanese pepper leaf. The ootoro sushi of course, melted in our mouths. Sean’s favourite was the sawara kunsei, Lin’s signature kingfish sushi smoked with wheat straw.

 

Shredded toro was wrapped in sushi rice and served as a handroll.

 

toro handroll shoushin sushi bar
toro handroll

The red bean sesame youkan (jelly) complemented with matcha (green tea) whipped cream and garnished with a gold leaf was the perfect closure to this beautiful affair.

red bean youkan with green tea whipped cream shoushin sushi bar
red bean youkan with green tea whipped cream

We came here expecting a finally legitimate sushi bar; we left with a world-class food experience.

This explains why the opening night of Shoushin was fully booked in less than 35 minutes, and why high profiles like Mayor John Tory, Four Seasons Hotels’ ex-general manager Klaus Tenter, and RioCan’s CEO Edward Sonshine travelled their way to get a taste of it.

Shou, means craftsmanship, Shin, means heart; together, Shoushin represents ingenuity.

Here, you won’t see salmon, you won’t see unagi, or any of that freshwater crap. Here, you will simply taste, the best.

More about Shoushin…

Shoushin sushi bar is located at 3328 Yonge Street and is open from Tuesday to Saturday; Sundays and Mondays are closed for private functions.

Have a guest to impress? Chef Jackie Lin also brings Shoushin experience to your home!

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