- Away from the hubbub of the Annex and Little Korea, sushi joints become fewer and further between. On a relatively quiet stretch of Bloor West, between Dovercourt and Dufferin, sits Mazz Sushi.
An unassuming neighbourhood favourite for years, Mazz Sushi has been one of the few sushi options for Bloorcourt and Bloordale residents. Each time I visit, I am amazed by how bustling a place it is with the constant turning of tables and the rapid fire filling of take-out bags.
On a recent weeknight excursion, the small dining room was full, with a great mix of students, parents with young children and older couples; a typical audience for Mazz. Soon the servers were trying to accommodate extra guests and pointing out that it would be a ’10 to 15 minute wait’ for a table.
Seated, with menus in hand, the server soon appeared with the tea that was barely just ordered. Mazz’s tea is very earthy in flavour with a hint of barley. Moving on quickly to another table, he left us to continue to ponder the menus, not returning for quite some time.
Upon his return, we quickly placed our order for various maki and sashimi hoping that the busyness of the place wouldn’t slow the normally lightning-quick service.
After a moment, he returned with a bowl of congee and an amuse-bouche of marinated tofu. Don’t be alarmed, these are Mazz’s welcome dishes. I find the tofu pleasant enough, but the congee seems a little too heavy and porridge-like to start a meal.
Before these two were done, he was back again with the ubiquitous Miso soup and house salad. The soup was seasoned and flavourful with lots of nori and tofu. The salad was a small mixture of iceberg lettuce with some vegetable shavings and slices: by the book, but not out of this world.
Just as we were finishing our appetizers, the first of our rolls arrived. We ordered a Spicy Tuna maki: tuna mixed with crumbled tempura and hot sauce. My guest, not a fan of spicy food, likes Mazz’s version, as she doesn’t normally find it too spicy. Unfortunately this time they were a little too spicy for her. Good for me, but bad for her. A minor thing, but consistency means repeat business.
Next, the rest of our food arrived: a sashimi dinner and Dynamite roll. The sashimi dinner is always a joy at Mazz, and this time was no different. The plate usually contains a nice selection of tuna, white tuna, salmon and possibly mackerel, and always has more pieces than advertised. This time was no different, and the fish was very fresh. The only complaint, and I’ve found this happens quite regularly in Toronto, is that the white tuna was served too cold. The Dynamite roll was large, but a little tasteless; seemingly prepared in too much of a hurry, a couple of pieces unraveled and fell apart on the plate.
Overall, Mazz Sushi let us down a little on this visit. The staff seemed rushed and unable to provide the consistency that we have come to expect. Not once during our meal were we offered more tea, a slight unheard-of in a sushi restaurant. The food, although served quickly, wasn’t up to their usual standards, and the wait to order was long. And although it remains quite inexpensive.
- Guest Contributor
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