June 16, 2024

Hay Sushi is a Japanese restaurant and izakaya bar that’s known for its creative approach to Japanese cuisine.

First coming onto Toronto’s culinary scene in September 2020 with the opening of their first location at 41 Spring Garden Ave. in North York, Hay Sushi recently opened its second location in Forest Hill.

With warm wood-panelled walls, green velvet dining chairs, wood-wickered hanging lamps, and plenty of live plants, the indoor dining space is cozy and inviting, and provides the perfect atmosphere for any occasion, whether it’s a quick catchup with friends or an intimate date.

The dining room at Hay Sushi’s new location.

The Food

Hay Sushi’s fusion menu includes popular Japanese favourites like assorted sushi and sashimi sets, healthy poke bowls, and steamy, comforting bowls of ramen soups.

Alongside old-time favourites, Hay Sushi has added Japanese tacos to the menu, using crispy seaweed (nori) as a base instead of the traditional Mexican method which features ingredients enveloped in a corn or flour tortilla.

The tuna nori tacos.

Hay Sushi’s signature tuna nori tacos were the first ones on the menumerging both Japanese and Mexican flavours, the crispy nori (seaweed) tacos are stuffed with delicate chunks of tuna sashimi and fresh pico de gallo on top of a bed of rice that’s drizzled with salty soy sauce.

The salmon nori tacos feature salmon, crab meat salad, and garlic mayo, while the tuna nori tacos now include diced jalapeno.

The final product looks similar to a deconstructed hand roll, which is another popular item at many Japanese eateries in Toronto. After much success with the tuna tacos, Hay Sushi now offers a spicy salmon or regular salmon sashimi version, as well as a vegetarian option that’s done using fried eggplant, diced tomato, fried onions, and a secret veggie sauce.

The veggie taco.

More than 15 different kinds of sushi and sashimi can be ordered a la carte, or in sets. There are 10 signature sushi rolls on the menu which come as six or eight pieces and 25 classic rolls, which can all also be ordered as a hand roll. Signature rolls include classics like the Green Dragon (Dynamite roll with sliced avocado on top), as well as more intricate creations, like the Sakura Blossom (fried shrimp, avocado, cucumber, mayo crab, spicy sashimi mix, nori powder and bubu arare wrapped in soybean paper).

The Sakura Blossom roll.

Hay Sushi also offers a wide selection of sushi, sashimi, or maki party trays, ranging from 27 to 100 pieces.

Hay Sushi’s beautiful Maki Party Tray which comes with six pieces of salmon roll, six pieces of California roll, and six pieces of Hay Melt Roll (a deep-fried roll with cream cheese, yam, avocado, and kani).

Recently, Hay Sushi also started offering Moriawase, which are set tasting menus for several sashimi and sushi combos that include classics like tako (octopus) and salmon, and chef specialties like blue fin tuna or kurodai (sea bream).

An example of Hay Sushi’s available Moriawase sets.

If you’re in the mood for something a little bit different, don’t miss Hay Sushi’s wafu pasta. With five different options available, diners can enjoy anything from the classic Italian Napolitan pasta with Italian sausages, paprika, arugula, grape tomato, house tomato sauce, jalapeno, parsley and grated Parmigiano, or opt for something different, like the sukiyaki pasta which is a rich garlic oil pasta with mixed mushrooms, green onion, egg yolk, and thinly sliced beef brisket marinated in yakiniku sauce and garnished with shredded nori and sesame seeds.

The sukiyaki pasta features a freshly-cracked egg yolk atop a bed of sesame and garlic oil noodles.

Hay Sushi’s new location is located at 530 Eglinton Ave. West.

You can stop by Hay Sushi from Wednesday to Sunday from 12 to 10 p.m. Hay Sushi’s Eglinton location is currently closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but guests can stop by the North York location on Tuesdays instead.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *