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JaBistro (lunch)

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I met up with a friend for lunch and we decided to check out JaBistro. It’s a restaurant that’s been on my radar since I read reviews of their soft opening in December, but never had the chance to go until now. We settled on 11:30 for lunch, right when it opened.


JaBistro - outside
How cute is that logo? They’re luring you in to eat…


The Atmosphere

As soon as you walk in, you’ll notice how sleek the place looks. A small place, but beautifully decorated with attention paid to detail. The stone wall on one side is beautiful with soft lighting. A small host table greets you, then you notice the bar which is right next to the chef’s counter. A seating bar is right in front of the chef’s counter with tables and chairs at the opposite wall. I noticed that the table tops had a really nice leathery texture. My friend and I sat right up at the chef’s counter so we could see everything. If you have a chance to, sit there. It’s amazing just watching them do their work.


The Food

Since it was lunch, I couldn’t order too much. But what I did end up choosing was incredibly delicious.


JaBistro - green tea
Green tea – $3

We started with green tea to sip in. Served in a glass mug, the tea bag was humongous and kept in place with a large wooden pick. A small empty dish was served alongside the tea so you could take the teabag out when you felt it had steeped enough. This was good green tea, and not too bitter. I liked that they repeatedly asked if I wanted more hot water and refilled my mug, and I could put the teabag back in to steep some more.


JaBistro - demi katsu
Demi katsu – $18

My friend ordered the demi katsu, which is a tonkatsu sandwich. It was served with a cup of soup which we were told was made of burdock fish. The first thing I noticed was how large the demi katsu was. That pork cutlet was at least an inch thick, and you could see the juices running into the bread. That is one moist piece of meat! According to my friend, the sandwich was so incredibly good that he was starting to slip into a food coma.

The soup was creamy with slivers of carrot at the bottom of the cup. There were no fish chunks in it, and my friend says it’s like a bisque.


JaBistro - fish bowl
Fish bowl 1/2 – $23

I ordered the fish bowl. Despite its name, all the fish was served on a large plate with the rice in a separate bowl. Let’s talk about the fish first.

Holy freshness batman! I watched the chef as he took each fillet of fish out and sliced my portions out of it, then put that fillet away. I could recognize salmon, tuna, and toro (fatty tuny) but the rest of the fish I am not sure of. I did ask, and cannot remember. Sea bream I think was one of them. There were also two pieces of fish terrine made in house. At the end of the plate were two sauces: house made soy sauce and sesame dressing. Underneath the fish was a salad of greens, but I was too stuffed to eat it.


JaBistro - fish bowl - rice
Fish bowl 2/2 – $23

This was the rice portion of the fish bowl. A large bowl of fluffy sushi rice, topped with red fish mash, then white fish mash, ikura (salmon roe), then finely shredded seaweed. I asked what type of fish was in each of the fish mashes, but the waiter could only tell me it was assorted fish. I guess it’s made of whatever they happen to have that day. I like how in addition to the sashimi you receive on your plate, you get a bit of a bonus in your rice bowl.


JaBistro - peeling daikon
Watching him peel a daikon round and round

After eating, we settled in to chat and watched what our chef was up to. This was particularly neat: he had a piece of daikon, which he peeled the entire thing lengthwise round and round until there was a long ribbon of daikon attached to a small core. Then he rolled it all back up and packed it away. I was immediately brought back a memory of my sister and I trying to peel an apple in one piece and failing miserably at it. We could never match our mom, hahaha.


The Verdict

This place is amazing. The quality and freshness of seafood you get here is amazing. The attention to detail is amazing. Stop reading and go make plans to eat there. They will not disappoint you! I need to come back for dinner.


The Place

222 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON

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Written by Jessica

March 8th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Posted in Food,Restaurant