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Got Sushi?

sushi restaurant, Kingston, OntarioWithin the past year, the Limestone City has experienced a small surge in the number of new sushi restaurants opening up.  Fresh establishments including:  Sushi Q (409 Johnson), Sima (66 Princess), Sushi Ya (766 Princess), and Arisu (185 Division), have been established to either balance out or tip the supply and demand equation in Kingston.  These new found purveyors of nigiri, maki and wasabi have given Kingstonians ample choice, which in turn has made deciding where to dine, all the more difficult.  Prior to all these new openings, our household alternated between Asha and Ta Ke, but now, many options are also being thrown into the mix.  While I have somewhat of an adventuresome palate, I also do not enjoy wasting time or money on poor diner decisions.  With this in mind, I’m reaching out for advice as to where you get your sushi.  Furthermore, what do you consider to be the best, or worst, sushi spot in all of Kingston?  Thanks to Barron for the great photo of the bunny sushi.  Don’t worry, I doubt that it’s actually made from real bunnies.

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Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

17 thoughts on “Got Sushi?

  • October 21, 2009 at 8:58 am
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    If my friends and I are ever in the mood for sushi, Sapporo on Bath Road is always our first choice. It has the best tamago and unagi, which is a great way to judge how the rest of the sushi will be. Because it’s out of the downtown area, there are usually seats available, despite its small size. Get the bento or all-you-can eat for the best deal, but I usually go a la carte so I can get their famous unagi or delicious spider maki.

    My second choice would be Sakura, also on Bath Road. What it lacks in service it makes up in decent, cheap sushi. I think you can get all-you-can-eat for something like $13 on a weekday for lunch.

    I’ve found the worst in town to be Arisu. I’ve had sushi there twice and I will never go back. It was mushy!

  • October 22, 2009 at 12:32 am
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    The real question is where do these places get their fish? How fresh is it?

  • October 22, 2009 at 8:14 am
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    I have been repeatedly impressed with Sushi Ya’s takeout, always fresh and reasonably priced.

    As for a sit-in place, I have very good things about Sapporo, just a crap location!

  • October 22, 2009 at 9:58 am
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    @That Guy I honestly don’t know what to say to that. Where does Tim Horton’s get their doughnuts from, and how fresh is McDonald’s meat? Not to compare local sushi places to fast food establishments, but obviously we don’t live on the coast, so the fish has to come from somewhere. It’s as fresh as we can expect in Kingston, and the taste does not suffer as a result.

    Otherwise, great recommendations thus far. I would never have thought to try Sushi Ya, and although Sapporo is a bit out of the way, I might also give it a shot.

  • October 22, 2009 at 3:57 pm
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    My husband loves sashimi, and says that the best quality sashimi he has had in Kingston is at the hole-in-the-wall Discover Japan on Princess. For a nice atmosphere, friendly service, sushi that is very good but not great, and amazing tofu teriyaki, we and our friends often head to Akira, on Counter. It’s not a great location, but worth the effort if you have a vehicle. Also, if you’re traveling between Kingston and Toronto and feel like a break from fast food, Toro Sushi in downtown Belleville is worth a visit.

  • October 23, 2009 at 1:30 pm
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    Don’t forget Mr. Sushi (also lovely slections of Korean food) at Princess and Division! Definitely a great atmosphere; a nice ma-and-pa establishment.

  • October 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm
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    Discover Japan (Princess and University?) is the best place for authentic sushi in Kingston, though it is a little run down.

  • October 24, 2009 at 6:36 pm
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    As part of an Anglo-Japanese couple, I can tell you that there are no authentic sushi places in Kingston (that is, places run by properly-trained sushi chefs). That’s not the end of the world, but if you are looking for the real deal, you can’t find it here. And sushi in Canada generally seems to be a world away from what Japanese people expect in terms of quality, freshness, variety, care in preparation and attention to detail…

    That said, the best we’ve found in downtown Kingston is Sima (which should be written ‘Shima’ because it is supposed to be the Japanese word for ‘island’, but never mind…). Partly at least this is because it isn’t quite such a tacky dive as some of the places around. We’ve also heard good things about Sapporo, and since we have to be out that way next week, we’ll check in out and tell you what we think!

  • October 28, 2009 at 7:07 pm
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    oh dear. Sapporo is really not that great. The conveniently-located adult video store isn’t their fault but it didn’t bode well. The owners were really welcoming and the menu looked potentially good at least. My wife had a salmon teriyaki which was basically salmon on a bed of oily onions vaguely tasting of something that might once have had a passing acquaintance with teriyaki sauce. It wasn’t inedible, but if you get something in a restaurant that you know you can do far better at home without much effort then things are not good. I had a sushi and tempura combo. The tempura was adequate although I am not quite sure what kind of flour they were using – it wasn’t a colour I normally associate with tempura and there was a bitter after-taste of old deep-frying oil. The sushi was good though. Not great, but not bad. But what is the point of the ersatz miso-shiro and that strange salad that all ‘Japanese’ restaurants seem to serve here. It’s more like a minor ordeal that a side dish. So Sapporo isn’t really worth the trip. I have one question – there were a couple of Korean dishes on the menu and the owners were Korean so why aren’t Korean-Canadians proud of their heritage and why don’t they serve Korean food, which is really rather excellent and would certainly suit the cold Canadian winters?

  • October 29, 2009 at 12:58 pm
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    I am very fond of both Akira and Sushi Ya!

    I haven’t been to Mr. Sushi or Discover Japan in a while but I would recommend them, too.

    I wouldn’t rush back to Asha (nothing particularly wrong with it, just better options out there) or Ta Ke (seems a little pricey).

    Too bad to hear about Sapporo. I went fairly frequently when it was beside Pizza Hut (which was..what..at least 6 yrs ago) and really liked it then.

  • August 15, 2010 at 6:37 pm
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    We just tried Akira (on John Counter near Sir John A) last night with 4 other couples, and I have to declare it the winner of my own personal Kingston Sushi challenge.

    Very traditional, very fresh, very delicious and very economical. Who could ask for more?

    • August 16, 2010 at 11:11 am
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      Great sushi but I've always had problems with their service. For such a large space, they always have way too few servers and I find it a struggle to stay hydrated during my meal! I wonder how your experience was with 5 couples?!

  • November 6, 2010 at 11:50 am
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    Akira has excellent sushi but the service is terrible. I've been a handful of times and I've finally given up on going there. The best sushi in Kingston is hands down, Jina Sushi in Portsmouth Village. Although it's very small, only 4-5 tables, the sushi is always fresh and good fish/rice ratio. If you haven't been yet, I'd suggest you try it. I think it's much better than Sima and Akira.

  • December 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm
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    For the freshest fish in town, Izumo is the place to be. No where else in Kingston can you get fresh Uni!!
    Getting their fish 2 -3 times / week in small portions makes a big difference freshness and quality.

  • December 29, 2010 at 3:49 pm
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    FYI Izumo = Discover Japan. DJ closed just over a year ago. Not sure if Izumo is just a new name or if the owners changed as well. Anyone know? I ate there weekly when I was in university. Such amazing sushi.

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