Check out the Latest Posts:

This tiny Omakase-only restaurant has seen a lot of recent fanfare after a glowing review from the Globe and Mail’s Chris Nuttal-Smith. Being a big fan of sushi, I had to check out all the hype.

Yasu (@yasutoronto), located on Harbord St. in a converted house, only seats 12 people at a time (10 at the counter and 2 at the private table by the window) during 2 seatings: 6pm and 8:30pm. As you can imagine, it’s not easy getting a weekend reservation, so book early! You can book online up to 30 days in advance – just ensure that you have a credit card handy to secure your reservation.

Sitting at the sushi bar

The space, while modern, is quite minimalist. It’s a two-story building but they only make use of the main floor which centres around a long sushi bar.

For $80 per person, you’ll be served 18 pieces of sushi (chef’s choice) and dessert.  According to their website, “We use classical methods to draw out the umami of seafood. Our fish is freshly sliced and placed atop warm, loose rice then brushed with a touch of nikiri soy for a perfectly balanced bite. In short, Yasu is all about capturing the essence of sushi. The seasonal ingredients are prepared at the sushi bar and served immediately for maximum flavour and freshness.”

Our dinner!

It’s quite the opposite of an all-you-can-eat experience. The two chefs (one of them being the owner, Yasuhisa Ouchi), prepare the sushi, one piece at a time. We were famished when we arrived so it was a little torturous in the beginning!

Here’s a recap of what we were fed:


Fluke (Boston)

Medium Fatty Tuna

Scallop (Boston)

Sardine (Portugal)

Spot Shrimp (Vancouver)

Greater Amberjack (Japan)

Horse Mackerel (Portugal)

Spanish Mackerel (Florida)

Monkfish Liver (Boston)

Seabream (Greece)

Sea Urchin (Vancouver)

Salmon Roe (Alaska)

Yellowtail (Japan)

Toro (Spain)


Sea Eel


Green Tea Panna Cotta

My personal favourites were the sardine (definitely not the stuff you get from a can!), shrimp, monkfish liver (they don’t call it the foie gras of the sea for no reason) and scallop.

The fish is undoubtedly fresh and its simple preparation really let the flavours of the fish shine on its own. Most of the sushi is presented au naturel with a light brush of sweet soy sauce or fresh wasabi.

But like I mentioned, for the price, it’s definitely not a ton of food. While I enjoyed the sushi, I didn’t leave full. At the end of your meal, they ask if you want to order more pieces (which isn’t included in the $80). We noticed most people ordering extra, so I wasn’t the only one who was still a little hungry.

Bottom line: while I wouldn’t say it was a mind-blowing experience, I still think it’s worth a visit if you’re willing to pay!

At a glance:
• Omakase-only restaurant – 18 pieces of sushi + dessert
• $80 per person
• Delicious sushi but you might not leave full (it’s essentially 18 bites of food)
• Featuring fish sourced from around the world
• 12 seats only; 2 seatings per night (6pm and 8:30pm)
• Reservations can be made online up to 30 days in advance
• Located on Harbord, just west of Spadina

Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 3.5 stars
• Service: 4 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars

YASU on Urbanspoon

  1. It‘s quiet in here! Why not leave a response?