Toronto Discoveries

Although my habit when I go to Toronto is go re-visit favorite restaurants time and again, on this past trip we discovered two new gems!

Ninki Sushi is downtown on Adelaide St., just off of Yonge. BW and I stumbled across it on Thursday night when we just wanted something small to munch, and the Irish bar across from our hotel was jam-packed. OMG, so incredible!! From the outside it looked like a fast-foodish take-out joint, but was actually a very hip little sit-down place with a nice atmosphere. Since I’m not realy big on dead fish and seaweed, what I really liked was their non-traditional approach to sushi. Yes, all the traditional types were there, and were probably excellent if you like that sort of thing. But they also had tons of more creative and funky things as well that really appealed to me. I wish the website above had their menu, so you could be amazed by the vast variety. We didn’t get a full meal, just a selection of sushis and apps, but judging by those everything is probably awesome. We had Teriyaki Chicken sushi (tasty and fabulous for the non-fish eaters), tempura yam (OMG! Drool! And they also had my hard-to-find favorite: tempura yam roll sushi!! *swoon*), and get this…sushi “pizza.”

They had a few varieties of this “pizza”, but we got the salmon. What it was is: a little rice cake, about 1 inch thick and 6 inches in diameter…deep fried so that the exterior is brown and crispy while the interior remains soft and fluffy…topped with finely shaved salmon, spicy sauce, sprinkles of red cabbage and onion, and roe. I keep saying this but OMG! Words fail to describe how tasty that thing was. It also came in Eel or Tuna.

Besides sushi, the menu also had soups, noodle bowls, curries…all manner of Goodness. I have a feeling that from now on, Ninki Sushi will become one of our must-visits in TO.

The second new place we tried was called…are you ready for this? Mildred Pierce!! Yup, as in THAT Mildred Pierce! How fucking cool is that? Basically, as soon as I found out this place existed, I was going to go to it, regardless of what kind of food they served or anything else.

It wasn’t centrally located; we had to drive there. But it was well worth the trip! What we found was a tiny, elegant little place hidden away in an unassuming neighborhood. The decor was understated and lovely, and the food was amazing. Ms. Crawford would have been so proud. :) I had sea bass, BW had rack of lamb, and my mother had an Indian-flavored chicken biryani dish. They even knew how to make a Manhattan correctly.  You can check them out here. 

I was a tad disappointed because I’d expected some nod to Crawford other than the name.  Maybe a poster, or a photo hanging up in the ladies’ room, something.  But alas, no.  Which got me to thinking how’d I’d love to open my own Mildred Pierce restaurant.  Decorate it like the one in the movie as much as possible, create a menu that mimics what would have been on an ‘upscale’ menu in the 40′s, serve only REAL old-school cocktails (no Girlscout Thin Mint Martinis!).  Basically create an upscale-casual retro-theme dining and drinking haven, and of course have a photo of Crawford on the matchbooks. :)   I even have a great location in mind for it, just a ten minute walk from my house.  Any investors out there want to donate start-up capital?

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