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One of my co-workers had been raving about Japango for the longest time, so one day, when I managed to leave work a reasonable time, Mike and I made our way over. Located on Elizabeth street, just off of Dundas, between Bay and University, you probably would never notice it if you weren’t looking for it.

Japango exterior

Despite reading about how tiny this place is, I was still really surprised. It fits maybe twenty people so I wouldn’t recommend coming with a lot of people. However, they do take reservations, which is a big plus. There is no seating at the sushi bar, and I noticed the servers having a hard time squeezing between the tables to serve us our food.

We could tell there were a lot of regulars here since the servers and chefs knew many of the customers by name. From what I’ve heard, if you become a regular, they’ll keep a pair of chopsticks for you behind the bar, reserved for you to use every time you drop by. I wonder if my co-worker is one of these “regulars”…

Mike and I always start off with a seaweed salad when we eat at Japanese restaurants and this time was no different. Their seaweed salad – wakame seaweed salad with a sesame vinaigrette ($5) was delicious. Although, I can’t say I’ve ever had one of these dishes I didn’t enjoy. My only complaint is the size of this portion. Like the restaurant, the portion was tiny and at $5, I don’t think I would order this again here.

Seaweed salad

Mike and I ordered the Sushi Sashimi Moriawase – Chef’s choice of sushi and sashimi ($40). It came with a green salad with a ginger dressing, a bowl of miso soup and a sunomono. In all honesty, they weren’t really anything to write home about. The real stars were the sashimi. The first plate served was a sashimi platter consisting of salmon belly, fluke, Big eye tuna, butter fish and sea bream. All the sashimi was incredibly fresh and it all just melted in my mouth. The butter fish was served with a garlic sauce which just elevated it to a whole new level. My favourite though, was the sea bream, which was lightly seared on top and had a sweet taste to it.

Sashimi platter (part of the Sushi Sashimi Moriawase)

Since we weren’t sure if we’d have enough food, we also added an order of hamachi sashimi, which was served along with the rest of the sashimi. Like the rest of the sashimi, it was really fresh and delicious. You really can’t go wrong with fresh fish!

After polishing off the sashimi platter, we were served the sushi platter. Unfortunately, Mike and I were so eager to dig right into it, we forgot to take a picture. So, my descriptions will just have to suffice. The platter consisted of two pieces of each of the following: mackerel, big eye tuna, salmon, sea bream and uni. Similar to the sashimi platter, everything was incredibly fresh. I was glad they gave us uni too, since it’s one of my favourites. Mike’s not a huge fan which just meant more for me!


The last dish we ordered was the spicy scallop roll ($8). Again, this is one of my go-to dishes at Japanese restaurants. The roll at Japango had avocado in it, which was definitely something different. Again, I can’t help but reiterate the freshness of their fish, which makes all the difference. Simply delicious! Given the size of the roll, at $8, it is a bit on the high side, but the quality makes it worth it.

We ordered the perfect amount of food – not overly full like how we leave some other restaurants. The service was great – the servers were all very warm and hospitable. When serving us the sashimi and sushi platters, our server was happy to explain in detail the different kinds of fish to us. I’ll definitely be back… my co-worker was right about this place!

Spicy scallop roll

At a glance:

  • Prices a bit higher than average, but incredibly fresh sashimi
  • Tiny (seats 20 people MAX)
  • Open for lunch
  • Ratings (out of 5):

  • Food: 4.5 stars
  • Service: 4.5 stars
  • Atmosphere: 3 stars
  • Japango on Urbanspoon

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