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Dai Ichi Sushi in West Mississauga

After reading some random reviews for good value sushi, we decided to try Dai Ichi sushi, in southwest mississauga, on Winston Churchill, same plaza as Longo's. It is operated by Koreans and serve some korean dishes too, on top of their sushi menu. We ordered a 16 pcs sushi dinner and a 16 pcs sashimi dinner. It cost approximately $1 per piece before tax. The free appetizers weren't worth it. The salad with iceberg lettuce had too much dressing and was sour; the miso soup had too much miso and was too salty.

However, the quality of the fish was fresh, especially for its price. The ratio of fish/rice was balanced too, and well crafted (unlike T&T ones); the fish covered all 5 sides of the rice except the bottom. We were even served 2 pcs of toro fat belly tuna sushi. We could tell because it was more pale than the (dark red) tuna on sashimi dinner and the texture inside the mouth was noticeably different too. However, its not Kaji toro since we didn't pay $100 for the meal, but it is still decent in GTA standard, and even more surprising that it was included in a sushi dinner. Maybe because it was sunday night, end of weekend, so they decided not to waste it and satisfy the customers. Because they did that, we will return again.

The service was not great though, the green tea, salad, and miso soup was served after the sushi. That being said, we didn't have to wait long for our main course either.

The place look nice and clean. They even have a TV broadcasting a baseball playoff game.

Overall, we find that it had good value and we would go back again. However, we would like to try other places in Mississauga first. Hinote sushi would be next. What other cheap sushi place in Mississauga is there that we should try?

Sushi Tei used to be our first choice, but we find that it's quality isn't what it used to be, hence lower value.
Although not in Mississauga, but supposedly best value in Toronto, we know there are higher value place in downtown, like New Gen, sushi on bloor, or on queen, but value is lower for us because it's a long drive and parking is hard to find. Their sushi might be cheaper, but we save more on parking, gas, car mileage and time if we stay in West end.

your input is appreciated

CG

Looking for good take out in Etobicoke

I have some recommendations that I don't think is mentioned yet.

1- Bom Apetite Churrasqueira on 1176 The Queensway. Small rotisserie serving Portuguese Chicken, basically the same chicken as Swiss chalet but with a creamy spicy sauce served on the side. Their potatoes are good too.

2- The Musket on 40 Advance. German pub with excellent BBQ Pork Hox (leg). I tried take-out once, but the leg has crispier skin if eaten onsite.

3- Chodang soon tofu on 5310 Dundas West (East of Kipling). They make their own tofu, so it is very fresh. If you like Korean food, it is probably the best in the area without going to Korean town in Bloor, or the international food center at Dundas/Hurontario.

I agree that Royal Meat is a good take out place too, not ur typical burger joint. Newly opened place at Kipling/North Queen. it's nice that I can choose the piece of patty or steak I want on my burger. it gives it a sense of freshness, like I am in a butchery, and have it grilled immediately.

i hope this helps.

CG

Does Toronto have Banh Hoi?

Yes, Toronto do have restaurant that serve Banh Hoi, the DIY rice paper roll with various grilled meat. It's just that it is not a popular dish that people order. Most traditional vietnamese restaurant have it. For example, i've had it at Pho Dau Bo and Ben Thanh, both are chains that have various location across Southern Ontario. If you went to other restaurants, it should have a small section for Banh Hoi too. I think Pho 88 and 99 should have it too.

I think the reason for its unpopularity is that it is one of the more expensive dinner on the menu (still very affordable) and because it requires some skill to wrap your own roll properly and you have to use your hands. But if you dine with a friend of vietnamese background, they will show you the way it should be prepared.

I'm glad you like it because it is a very healthy dish.

CG

Colborne Lane

I went there on a Friday during the Toronto Int'l Film Festival with a party of 4, sitting on the central table. It was surprisingly not as fully booked as I thought considering the TIFF is in town.
The atmosphere had a good modern restaurant feel, kinda like a lounge.
The service is good, attentive. (all young men, good eye candy for girls)
The menu was unique: 2 pages. first page are "light dishes" and second are 'heavy dishes", so equivalent to appetizers and entree i thought. then the ingredients of each dish was separated with "+", like a math equation.
The food is ... don't know what to say; i've never had molecular gastronomy before and i don't know another restaurant in Toronto with that. I was expecting the waiter to explain to me why they chose to match my miso sauce cod with pana cotta, cos it's supposed to be scientific. But all i got was the dish explained like a math equation. Cod + miso sauce + pana cotta from the menu. so from that end, i was a little disappointed.
The presentation of the dishes was very nice though. small portion of food nicely positioned on a large white dish. The portion is so small that the waiter recommended ordering 5 dishes per 2 people and also did not recommend sharing between 4 people because the quantity of each ingredient was very small.
The ingredients were very fresh: the beef tenderloin was excellent. The cod was excellent (as is the case for most cod dish). but the heirloom tomato was a little sour, maybe due to end of season.
We're not avid wine consumers so I can't comment much on the wine. We enjoyed our night, but I didn't find that we got our money worth.
I think it is a very interesting concept, molecular gastronomy, and it has good potential. But the concept wasn't properly delivered to us. Maybe if they educated us more about their dish with a short summary of their analysis, it would be more enjoyable. Or maybe they didn't want to share their finding to us or the industry for free, hehe.

CG

Baldini on Queen St. E.

I went to Baldini yesterday with my girlfriend. We enjoyed the experience. Luckily we made reservation because the place was fully booked (weekend night). The owner had to turn away some walk-in customers.
The setting and atmostphere was nice and soothing: They dim the lights, lit a candle, played some michael bubble music. It's a small and cozy restaurant with about 38 seats and ~11 small tables. Good for small groups of 2 or 4. They can also stick some table together for a party of 10.
The service is good and bad. When we arrived at 7pm, it was about 20% full. There was the owner and another waiter who served us. The owner greeted us, listed today's special and took our order which we found very personal. However, by 8pm when all the guest arrived and it was operating at full capacity, they just didn't have enough people to serve us all so the service quality dropped significantly.
Food quality: varied but general good. First off, the bread is very good: fresh, good crust, whole grain, soft inside. We ordered grilled calamari, caprese salad, seafood linguini, and beef medallion with eggplant and pasta(special). The calamari was amazing, very fresh and very well grilled with flavour and served on greens. The caprese is just normal, so was the seafood linguini. But the beef tenderloin was very well made: juicy, flavourful, tender. That was a nice surprise. the pasta is good in Toronto standard (I have yet to find a pasta place as good as Italy standard in this city). We were served a lot of food that we could not finish it and didn't order dessert even though we wanted to.
Price: very reasonable for the amount and quality of food served. 2 appetizers, 2 main course, 1 soft drink and 1 glass of wine totaled to $79 incl tax excluding tip.
In sum (relative to cost):
Atmosphere: 8/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 8/10

Other notes and observations: Many of the customers are regulars, as the owner knew the guests by name, even the ones he turned away. they serve take-out and many people ordered pizza for take-out. Free parking on Queen after 6pm.

I hope this helps.

CG