This is #DishingIt – where we give you the inside scoop on what’s new and downright finger lickin’ good in Canada’s culinary scene. As tricky as it can be to achieve, we like to believe that maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet is all about balance. And though we like to top you up with tips and tricks that’ll help you achieve optimal wellness, we love sharing about one of our favourite hobbies: eating all the things. If you like trying different cuisines and discovering the next best hole in the wall as much as we do, than let’s get to talkin’. Oh, and make sure to dish your dining suggestions right back to us in the comments.
Located in the heart of downtown Toronto’s Entertainment District stands JaBistro: a warm and modern oasis surrounded by our bustling city. Since its doors opened in November of 2012, JaBistro has offered a sophisticated take on traditional Japanese sushi and sashimi.
When we were offered the chance to try their summer cocktail menu along with some of their signature items, we jumped at it! Friends had spoken quite highly about the restaurant before, but our team was excited to try it for themselves. And boy, did JaBistro deliver!
The vibe: It was a perfect September evening the night we were set to visit JaBistro, so we took the opportunity to dine on the restaurant’s rooftop patio. With its wood detailing and greenery, it gave off a warm and modern feel. As the temperatures drop, the patio will remain open as long as the weather permits.
Inside, JaBistro’s still got you covered. With its exposed brick wall and open kitchen (which is currently enclosed in glass), almost every seat in the house offers a look at the chefs at work.
The service: The team at JaBistro has to be one of the nicest we have encountered in a long time. To say they took care of us is an understatement. They were super knowledgeable and explained all the features of the dishes we had, made the perfect recommendations, and were beyond attentive.
Though we plan to return for more delicious food and drink (more on that below), we would probably still come back for the service alone, even if the food was mediocre.
The food: Where do we even start? It’s not often that you get five star food quality and five star presentation. JaBistro delivered both. The fish was fresh and the menu was bold with an attention to detail like no other. The star of our meal was the sashimi lobster platter (pictured below). When it came to our table, my immediate reaction was “wow!”.
Honourable mentions go to the lobster furai (a deep fried lobster dish with tartar sauce) and the aburicious (a daily selection of fresh pieces). Oh, and I couldn’t forget the dessert – we went with the NEO chocolate matcha lava cake and yes, it was as good as it sounds.
Fun fact: JaBistro is affiliated with NEO Coffee Bar, where their desserts are made.
The drinks: If there is one thing we like just as much as good food, it’s a good cocktail. Unsurprisingly, JaBistro’s drink menu offered the same level of creativity, quality ingredients, and presentation as the food.
This summer, JaBistro launched six seasonal cocktails and our favourites were the Sakura (an asian pear sake with lychee, grapefruit, and sparkling wine) and the Raspberry Sake Lemonade (with SOTO junmai, daiginjo, sparkling wine, fresh lemon juice, raspberry, and simple syrup).
Luckily for you, JaBistro’s cocktail menu is constantly evolving with seasonal updates. If you plan a visit this fall/winter, it’s likely you’ll be treated to something new that’s just as delicious. Needless to say, we’ll definitely be back for something in the spirit of the cold weather.