Last night, My girlfriend and I were in the mood for our favorite…Sushi. Don’t ask twice, don’t say another word, the call was made. Having never been to Baldwin for dinner, we decided to give it to try, knowing that the critically-acclaimed ‘Etsu’ lay waiting.
Etsu is definitely a smaller scale restaurant, with an approx. 50 seats and a sushi bar at the far wall. As we walk in, smooth jazz ride the airwaves and the light glows purple. The matte black walls are decorated with Japanese artwork and the two shukunin (sushi chefs) are standing almost at attention with crisp white jackets. I actually found they looked like doctors, clean and professional.
The restaurant was quiet, four other diners shared the space, that being said, we were served rather quickly. Our server was polite, friendly and gave us great recommendations, which we took. My girlfriend did well to realize that the tables came standard with “Low Sodium” Soy Sauce, which we were happy about. Her other observation was quite interesting, regarding heated toilet seats and ‘Listerine’ in the bathrooms. I was impressed by the former, more so than the latter.
For dinner, we shared four “unique” house rolls. The ‘Snow’ roll ($11), which was essentially a dynamite roll with a delicious cut of lightly seared butter fish draped over the top and brushed with garlic oil. This was one of my favorites, full of flavor and well presented.
The ” Caterpillar” roll ($12) was pretty standard, and consisted of BBQ eel & crab meat accompanied by the generic cucumber and avocado. The roll was wrapped with avocado and dusted with tobiko. Although a tasty bite, not worth the price.
The “Three Musketeer” roll ($8)…a nobly suited name for this three-way treat and my second favorite of the medley. This is a sword-fight between the three major sushi grade fish. Get this…Salmon, Tuna and Butter fish wrapped in Salmon, Tuna and Butter fish. I could barely get this mammoth roll down, but was extremely pleased with the assortment of flavor in each bite! This was by far, the best value for the quality and portion size.
The last and probably most scrumptious of the lot, has got to be the “Rock Shrimp” roll ($15). This rock star of a roll is composed of spicy tuna, creamy avocado and mango. As the name implies, it is donned with a saucy, spicy panko-crusted rock shrimp…I wish I had ordered two of these rolls, they were easy on the sauce, which had a bold flavor but did not suppress the taste of the other ingredients. I especially liked how the crunch of the panko crust was contrasted by the smooth texture of the salmon, and the natural saltiness of the shrimp. All in all, it made for a rollercoaster of taste and is highly recommended!
…a bottle of Japanese ‘Asahi’ beer was my co-pilot. Fresh, Super “dry”….aaah!
This is a fine Japanese restaurant, and like most sushi restaurants in Toronto, has a western fusion. Clean, Professional and Polite, they executed in good form. I would definitely suggest this restaurant to my friends.
Etsu, doesn’t have a strong presence on-line at the moment but you can view their entire menu on Just-Eat.ca:
Etsu is located at 45 Baldwin Street, Toronto.
Fooze Rating: 8 out of 10.
- Keep Calm and Eat Sushi: Sushi – Ya (happytummyzzz.wordpress.com)