ROASTED !, Toronto

:: Japango

And yes. We had japanese food again. hehe.

Today, we had dinner at Japango since JW and I were still recovering from the cold we caught last week. Japanese food is always the way to go when you don’t feel well and want something refreshing.

We started off with agedashi tofu. The crust of the tofu was too hard to be harmonized with the softness of the tofu. The shape of the bowl completely soaked the tofu into the sauce so the last two tofu was not even crispy anymore after we finished off the first two on top.

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We then ordered some sushi

- Japanese Saba

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Saba is naturally not very fatty as it does not have a lot of fish oil in the meat. Therefore, this sushi was very refreshing and had a crisp texture. It was very different from normal sushi like salmon and tuna. The amount of green onion and ginger layered on top really helped to bring out the flavour while did not overpower the taste of the fish.

Last time when we visited Japango, they had an Aji(Horse Mackerel) dish that was served in two ways; most of the fish was served as sushi and then the rest of the fish including the fish head was fried.

photo 1

Aji served as sushi

photo 2

Fried Aji.

The sushi was absolutely delicious and fresh and the presentation was very appealing. Although there was not a lot of meat left in the fried fish, the bone of the body of the fish was very soft and crispy after deep fried so we could eat the entire fish including the bone. It was the first time I realized that Aji could be served like this and became one of my go-to fish when going to authentic japanese restaurant. Unfortunately,  we did not come across this dish this time. We asked the owner and he said they actually serve this dish a few times a week. I think we will call next time to see whether they have it before we go!

- Hotate (Scallop)

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Overall, the Hotate was not satisfying. We could not taste the freshness of the scallop. The fact that it was seared did not help to elevate the taste and richness in the fish oil like it does in most fishes (i.e. salmon). Instead, it gave it a hint of burnt taste which we suspected was one of the factors that took away/covered up the freshness of the scallop. It also increased the temperature and slightly changed the texture of the scallop so it became firmer than raw scallop. It felt like a tasteless, burnt scallop that was uncooked in a pasta. I think we enjoy raw scallop on its own much better.

- Hamachi (Japanese amberjack or yellowtail)

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The hamachi itself was rather refreshing like Aji but had more fattiness in the fish. However, the sushi I had had too much too green onion and ginger on it that it outcompeted the natural taste of the fish. Nevertheless, it was phenomenal.

-  Anago (salt-water eels)

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Last summer, JW and I visited Japan and we had the most amazing Anago sushi ever. Compared to Unagi which is the freshwater eel commonly found in all Japanese restaurants, Anago is naturally very rich in flavour and has a firmer texture. It is always served warm and does not require as much sauce to create its flavour like Unagi because the taste of Anago itself is very delicious. Whenever I see Anago on the menu in Toronto, I will always order it because of the experience we had in Japan. So far, the one I had at Taro Sushi was, even not in par with one we had Japan, quite satisfying.

The one I had in Japango was quite disappointing. They used too much sauce and covered up all the flavours it should have in Anago. The texture was just…not Anago. Overall, it totally tasted just like Unagi.

We also ordered their signature Japango roll. Needless to say its DELICIOUS. The California roll had seared Salmon and scallop layered on top, drizzled with Japango’s secrete sauce and a little bit of spicy oil. Compared to the spicy rainbow roll from ND Sushi, Japango roll was definitely not as spicy and easy in the mouth. The secrete sauce was sweet and tasted a little like Teriyaki sauce and went very well with the fish oil that came out from the salmon after seared. With a hint of spiciness, the sauce was not as overwhelmed as it would be on its own. If we can only recommend one dish from Japango, it will definitely be the Japango Roll.

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We finished off the meal with Sashimi Don. 

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This highly resembled the spicy sashimi bibim from ND sushi. We are not saying that this copies that but they just taste and look pretty simliar. Unlike the ND sushi one, the greens was replaced by cucumbers but we prefer having greens because of the harmonizing and refreshing texture of the greens, rice and sashimi. However, I believe that by not having greens, the sashimi don became an entree on its own instead of a salad or appetizer. Overall, the sauce tasted like bibimbap sauce yet sweeter and went pretty well with the freshness of the fish and the rice. The portion was huge. It was definitely more filling and heavy than the one from ND which was seen more like an appetizer.

conclusion: 

roasted! 

We enjoyed it! Definitely one of the authentic japanese restaurants in Toronto. Yet, I believe there is room from improvements in terms of the creative ways that Japango wants to put in into their sushi. We will definitely go back, especially for the Aji dish that we missed out this time.  Please be noted that the restaurant is extremely small and it is best for 4 people at maximum.

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