|Shops on Steeles|
What? Oshio for early Mother’s Day dinner (sushi restaurant)
Where? 2900 Steeles ave E (Don Mills & Steeles, at “The Shops on Steeles” plaza) à accessible by bus 53 Steeles from Finch station
Price? $7.99 - $15.99 (prices are a little pricier but you pay for quality & quantity)
The skinny: I’ve been coming to this sushi restaurant for about 6 years now (ever since they opened in 2005) and have almost always had great experiences. The servers (all females) are attentive and polite.
Old favourites: Dinner Box 2 (6 pc sashimi, salmon teriyaki, assc tempura, gyoza, salad, soup, ice cream) and the Chicago roll (shrimp tempura, unagi, salmon…).
|I definitely man-handled this piece of the "Shop Special" Roll.|
|Private rooms with sliding wooden panels|
(Unfortunately), management recently changed. Although the décor has been maintained, the menu has been completely overhauled. The salmon teriyaki that used to be $9.99 now costs $12.99.
Being welcomed by a completely new staff really threw me off. I came with my parents, brother and grandma for an extra early Mother’s Day dinner (we avoid dining out the night of since places get so busy).
They were already sitting at our usual table, right in front of the private rooms and were giving me equally puzzled looks. What happened?!
|Paper placemat with disposable wooden chopsticks.|
Their food’s great, the fish is fresh, the staff cares…why is everything changed? I was rather discouraged and wanted to put my camera away but I came here to eat & blog about this restaurant, so I carried on.
|the new menus were very legit.|
The new menu was confusing. Gone was the old layout of apps/lunch/boxes/dinner/special rolls/single rolls/sushi boats. This new layout was very list-like and the font was bigger (my mom appreciated that, silently haha).
After some deliberation, we each ordered a dish.
Now comes the customary “comp apps”. Now I’m thinking the usual miso soup and steamed edamame beans with sea salt. Nope. Not this time!
A server started us off with steamed, cold tofu and congee. Cool, I’ve never had congee at a sushi restaurant before! :)
The tofu was silky and light. You can tell that the soya sauce and scallions were added to the tofu right before being served as the soya sauce didn’t quite penetrate the tofu. Now come to think of it…I’m not even 100% sure that the tofu was cooked. It may have been served straight from the package.
Congee. Thick, just the way I like it :D It was well-seasoned but a little salty for my taste. Cut back on the salt and it would’ve been a perfect warm contrast to the cold tofu.
|Small, palm-size bowl of warm congee|
As we were finishing up our congee, our server returned with bowls of hot miso soup and fresh side salads. BONUS! Haha
|On the left is Miso Soup and on the right is the Fresh Side Salad|
My dad’s Salmon Teriyaki ($12.99) came first. The salmon portions were generous! And the steam and aroma coming off of it was intoxicating! Food being served on a sizzling plate hardly disappoints because of how boldly it announces itself.
|Salmon Teriyaki on a Sizzling Plate ($12.99)|
The salmon was tender and fresh while the bed of bean sprouts were swimming in sauce (no complaints there!). It came with a bowl of rice which merely served to balance out the indulgence that was this salmon.
|It came with a bowl of rice and to the right is a close-up on the salmon. Grill marks galore. NOM.|
Next up was my bento box ($15.99): 6pc California Roll, 9 pc Salmon Sashimi, Unagi on Rice. Let’s just say I was a very happy girl eating this.
|Bento Box ($15.99) <-- a little pricey, but slightly worth it|
The salmon was sufficiently thick and really clean on the tongue. The “extras” included watercress, bean sprouts, and shirataki noodles(?). I got everything I wanted…so in a sense, this was like a dream box! :D lol Love unagi!! It was tender and hugely flavourful. Sushi on Bloor had bigger portions though...
|UNAGI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's all I have to say. (PS. It's grilled eel)|
My mom’s “Store Special Roll” ($12.99) came next. Looks so good! And it tasted pretty fantastic too. ;D Inside were cucumber, avocado, flying fish roe, shrimp tempura, and what seemed to be squid tempura? The sauce that was drizzled overtop was delish and with a bit of soy sauce & wasabi, it was near perfect. Yes, I still miss my Chicago roll with salmon sashimi and unagi…
|Store Special Roll ($12.99)|
My brother had ordered the Alaska Roll ($9.99) which in essence is a bigger (twice the size) version of the California roll topped with salmon sashimi. I didn’t try any but my brother seemed satisfied. He said he was really full by the end and that it was “fresh”. Haha He’s just as apt with words as I am! (we’re not the most articulate siblings I must say).
|Alaska Roll ($9.99)|
Now this is is fresh picked ginger! Notice how its moist and not dry in appearance. Definitely a good sign :)
At the same time, the dish I had chosen for my grandma, “Hwe Dup Bap” ($10.95) arrived. The description said "assorted fish with vegetables, spicy sauce and rice". Well, my grandma prefers fish and she can handle heat (and brandy lol…I did not inherit that…I can like a room with my asian glow) like no tomorrow so this seemed like a good idea.
|Hwe Dup Bap ($10.95) <-- beautiful presentation & fresh but not what we were looking for|
What came seemed like the Korean version of Chirashi but with the rice in a separate bowl and the sashimi cubed rather than served as slices. The cubed assorted sashimi were red tuna, hamachi or yellowtail, and salmon.
|Everything mixed together. So colourful!|
Unfortunately, my grandma does not do raw food/fish. :( ahh noo!!! My dad switched dishes with her and she enjoyed the bean sprouts from the Salmon Teriyaki with huge grins in between chews. So CUTE!!
The owner also came around and gave us comp vegetable tempura. So many extras I thought! There were sweet potato, broccoli, and squash tempura. The batter was light but a little too greasy. The dipping sauce is pleasant and gives the tempura a slight sweet flavour.
|The best word to accompany "Vegetable Tempura" or anything for that fact is "FREE". ;D|
|Guess what I am? :)|
We were so focused on the conversation and the dishes we ordered that this lonely piece of silk tofu was ignored until the very end...
Worry not little one! I am coming to eat you! And then my dad's chopsticks swooped in and took it. :( I see how it is! haha
As the dishes were cleared from the table and we all sat with bursting tummies (we got surprisingly full), “dessert” came. It’s really cool how they served the orange. The way they had cut/sliced it was easy to serve and nicely presented.
|Creative way to present orange!|
The bill came up to almost $63 / 5 people. Not bad but a little pricier than what we’re used to from this restaurant.
Verdict: Under new management, the staff and chefs have changed. Only fragments of the old menu are kept but the quality is still there. The portions are more generous but are reflective of the higher prices. I’d come here again, but would definitely try new things and ask for recommendations!
Check ‘em out! (unfortunately they don’t have their own site nor are there any reviews regarding the “new” Oshio) At most, I can only provide reviews of the “old” Oshio. Sorry! :(
4 out of 5 NOMs