Restaurant Review: Shoushin – A delightful omakase journey
|3328 Yonge Street
|Omakase for two with sake
Walking into Shoushin, I can already sense the gastronomic experience that awaits me. As the door opens, the minimalist decor and the tranquil ambiance transport me to a zen-like state. Soft, ambient lighting illuminates the minimalist decor, creating a soothing atmosphere that urges one to focus solely on the gastronomic experience ahead. The hushed conversations and the rhythmic sound of the knife on a cutting board in the background set the stage for what’s to come—a masterful display of culinary artistry.
Located in Toronto’s Bedford Park neighbourhood, just north of Yonge and Lawrence, Shoushin, which translates to “craftsman’s house,” was awarded one Michelin star in Toronto’s 2022 guide. It’s renowned for its exceptional omakase experience, where the skillful hands of Chef Jackie Lin and his team masterfully craft each piece of sushi with precision and passion.
At Shoushin, sushi is more than a dinner out—it is an art form—with a steep price tag to match! The sushi bar’s hinoki wood countertop is the centerpiece of this culinary sanctuary. As I take a seat at the intimate counter, I eagerly anticipate the culinary journey that will unfold before me.
Omakase, meaning “chef’s choice” in Japanese, is the epitome of trust in a sushi master’s expertise. It’s a harmonious collaboration between the chef and the diner, where the chef curates a sequence of dishes that showcase the freshest seasonal ingredients and flavours. I eagerly surrender because this is where the magic happens.
While my guest and I sip on some sake, we commence with a parade of delicacies—from water octopus with salted plum sauce to grilled bluefin tuna with teriyaki. But the big-eyed sea bream sashimi glistens on its plate, showcasing the sheer mastery and precision that defines Shoushin. Each piece is a work of art, effortlessly marrying vibrant flavours with impeccable technique. Before proceeding, a bowl of aromatic miso soup gently warms my soul, serving as a comforting transition.
Chef Jackie Lin continues to unveil his culinary prowess through an assortment of nigiri sushi. With each piece, he showcases his mastery, transforming the simplest ingredients into transcendental culinary experiences.
The sushi rice, a fundamental component of any exceptional sushi experience, is a revelation in and of itself. Each grain, perfectly seasoned with a delicate balance of vinegar and sweetness, is the perfect canvas to elevate the pureness of the seafood. It’s a testament to the dedication and years of training that Chef Jackie Lin has invested in perfecting this essential element.
As part of the nigiri section, we sample three cuts of tuna, ranging from lean to fatty. The akami (lean tuna), showcases the chef’s expertise in balancing the flavours. Its deep, ruby-red colour and clean taste make it a true testament to the quality of the ingredients. On the contrast, the fatty and buttery Otoro melts in my mouth, leaving behind a lingering richness. The subtle wasabi, grated right before my eyes, adds a gentle heat that complements the flavours harmoniously.
As the evening progresses, I am introduced to lesser-known delicacies, such as the tender and succulent gizzard shad, a small fish that’s a mainstay of edomae sushi, and the creamy, umami-packed sea urchin. The flavours unfold like a symphony, with each bite building upon the previous one, creating a sensory experience that is nothing short of extraordinary.
The final act comes in the form of delightful desserts—a delicate matcha ice cream, complemented by a luscious red bean paste, as well as a squash crème brulee—which brought a satisfying end to the meal. There’s also an option to add on a pricey crown musk melon if you dare.
Chef Lin’s artistry extends beyond the top-tier ingredients he sources. His precise knife work, displayed with finesse and grace, elevates each piece of sushi to new heights. The attentive yet unobtrusive care provided by our knowledgeable server further enhances the experience, ensuring every need is met. This Michelin-starred establishment is a testament to the craftsmanship and passion that contributes to an unforgettable dining experience.
Shoushin is not just a restaurant—it is a sensory voyage that immerses you in the artistry, passion, and reverence for tradition that defines true culinary mastery. For those seeking an unparalleled omakase experience that transcends mere food, Shoushin is an absolute must-visit—that is, if you’re willing to look past the steep price tag.
Mme M. xoxo
La rubrique de Madame Marie
1 étoile – Run. Before you get the runs.
2 étoiles – Mediocre, but nothing you couldn’t make at home.
3 étoiles – C’est bon, with some standout qualities.
4 étoiles – Many memorable qualities and excellent execution. Compliments to the chef.
5 étoiles – Formidable! Michelin Star quality. Book a reservation immediately.