- This sushi restaurant at the corner of Queen and Caroline is a take-out superstar. You can walk in to place your order or call ahead for pick up or delivery; they add a reasonable $3.00 delivery charge for the area nearby and $5.00 + for further surrounding areas, depending on the distance. If you call with special requests or large party orders, the chefs will accommodate you in a very timely manner – if it’s not on the menu, just ask!
Just like the fish, the interior is raw. There is actually one very small table with some chairs around it by the front window, but I’ve never seen anyone sitting there. There’s a display that sits just to the left when you walk in, covered with bags of Japanese snacks for purchase and, on your right, you’ll find shelves filled with a few groceries; dried sheets of nori is one recognizable item that jumps out immediately.
Chef John Lee has been serving up fresh and beautiful sushi platters at this location since 2005. It is impressive to note that he worked under the iron chef himself, Morimoto. There is something soothing about the fact that they prepare your food behind the counter in full view. It’s that commitment to preparing and presenting the freshest ingredients that has built their dedicated customer base.
Lunch combos range from $15 to $25 and dinner combos from $15 to $35. If you choose the sashimi – individual pieces of raw fish with no rice – it does bring the price up a bit, but it’s well worth it for something so delectable. If ordering a la carte is more your style, there are unique rolls to choose from, including: nigiri sushi (fish on rice), small rolls, inside out rolls and special rolls with everything from eel to sea urchin to marinated dried pumpkin.
Our dinner for two was easily fulfilled with the vegetable sushi combo, which includes miso soup, and adding one Una Tekkyu roll (eel, tuna, cucumber, fish roe) and, my sushi must, an order of edamame. The vegetable rolls are prepped delicately to appear as if they too are made with tender slices of fish, the cucumber rolls are a refreshing addition and there is even a roll with an orange, crunchy vegetable called Burdock – carrot-like in appearance and texture, but with a different and unique flavour.
Their fresh ingredients are really the highlight. Nori can easily become chewy and tough, but Marche’s is tender and graces the palate without even a hint of the unappealing sea-scent that you might get from a lesser sushi establishment. I have to say I‘m not the biggest fan of the cold edamame they serve, but I wouldn’t want to trek my raw fish home with something steaming hot resting on top of it anyway, so I don‘t mind this one pre-prepared item.
If your only sushi experience is picking up a pack of that generic grocery store stuff, with the fake green grass insert, Sushi Marche is really the place to discover all the glory of raw fish.
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* Lead photo credit to Sifu Renka