[Downtown UofT] Japango
I was heading uptown from Metro Convention Centre one day and was able to swing by Japango for a quick lunch.
I have heard and read about Japango numerous times but never had a chance to try it. Having walked along Dundas West frequently, I never noticed this small establishment until a few weeks ago, when we were on our way to Santotei Ramen. Sandwiched between a Chinese restaurant and another building, the storefront is quite small and somewhat inconspicuous.
I was astonished by how small this 20-seater establishment was. The space was tight but cozy and welcoming. I was able to get a one-person table in a tiny nook by the door without any wait.
The sushi chefs were busy making sushi and slicing up fresh sashimi. Food was delivered pretty fast despite how busy it was.
I ordered their famous Japango roll, because almost every review I read talked about how amazing this roll was. It is a California roll topped with seared scallops, salmon sashimi, fish roe, and drizzled with sweet soy sauce and some kind of spicy sauce.
The Japango roll did not disappoint. The scallops were slightly seared to make the outside a bit warm but the inside still raw. They tasted really fresh and sweet, and went well with the fatty creamy taste of the salmon. The sushi rice was cooked and seasoned perfectly to have a nice sticky texture with a good balance of acidity and sweetness. The spiciness added a nice kick that I enjoyed with every bite.
I was full but not satisfied. I wanted to have something with shrimps so I ordered the tempura hand roll. The handroll was brought to my table promptly after it was made. The nori was crisp, but overall the handroll lacked taste. The tempura shrimp tasted good by itself but was bland when paired with just sliced cucumber and sushi rice. This was definitely not worth with $6 price tag.
The atmosphere at Japango was very warm and inviting and I really enjoyed the Japango roll. I thought it was a bit pricey but the fish was melt-in-your-mouth fresh and tasty. I would definitely go back to Japango to try more menu items in the future.