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Ta-ke or Leave it

Ta ke sushi, sushi in KingstonWell, I must say, we sure have a lot of sushi in this town considering our size. That is not by any means a complaint though! Yes, another sushi review. I can’t help it, I’m an addict!

Harvey and I hit Ta-ke Sushi last week and I have to say I was not impressed. It was his first time but not mine. I had been there once for lunch (this was before I was starting to get adventurous so I only has some avocado rolls, tempura and a few dumplings) and then I ordered take out from them once or twice because Asha and Discover Japan were closed. The take out was OK but pretty expensive – almost twice as much as I pay elsewhere.

Last week’s experience was enough for me to write it off completely now. I won’t go back. We went on New Year’s Eve. I want to give them some slack since it was a holiday but…no, they still have a job to do if they’re going to choose to be open. (I say “choose” because Sima and many other restaurants were closed that night. Sima was my first choice for our last meal of 2009.) When we arrived we were pretty much the only people there and that was just fine with us. Our waiter came immediately and took our drink order. Then the hammering started. Seriously. I guess the owners decided that since it was a quiet night, it would be a good time to fix any wobbly chairs in the restaurant and having customers was no reason for them to stop. So we endured hammering and drilling through pretty much our entire meal. I was ready to leave but then, where would we go in Kingston at 10pm for food on NYE?

Our waiter took our order: 8 pieces of spicy tuna (only 6 came), an 8 piece Dynamite roll, edamame and veggie and shrimp tempura. Pretty straight forward. The food came quickly and despite our dwindling drinks, we were never offered more. In fact, our waiter didn’t come back to the table again until it was time to clear our plates. There was no salad or miso soup as one would expect at a sushi restaurant, which was strange since it was provided in my previous visits.

The rolls were mediocre at best. I found the tuna rolls to be particularly fishy tasting, and not in a good way. The Dynamite roll had a nice crunchy texture and a far less fishy taste but still didn’t compare to the magic I’ve experienced elsewhere. The tempura at Ta-ke is really light – too light. It was so flaky that it crumbled all over myself and the table making it very hard to eat with any kind of grace.

Harvey and I were in pretty good spirits though (who needs to wait ’til midnight to have champagne?) so we just went with the flow, knowing we had a party to get to and this was just a short blip in our evening. Before we headed into the cold, I made a trip to the bathroom. That sealed the deal. YUCK! It was dirty and very poorly maintained. I think the state of your bathroom says a lot about the state of other parts of your home or restaurant – like the kitchen. I don’t even want to imagine what it’s like back there.

All in all, I would say skip Ta-ke. I know it was a quiet night but if you’re open, you’re open. You never know when someone is going to come in to review you.

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Danielle Lennon

Danielle Lennon is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. She was the Editor, Community Event Coordinator and Contributor at-large (2008-2018). She is otherwise employed as a section violinist with the Kingston Symphony, violin teacher, studio musician and cat lover. Learn more about Danielle...

16 thoughts on “Ta-ke or Leave it

  • January 7, 2010 at 9:56 pm
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    It’s too bad to hear that you had a bad experience at Ta ke. We go there almost weekly and have always had a good experience. It’s always been great service and great food.

    But I do agree with your statement about it being a holiday and you gave them some slack, but they did in fact choose to be open, so things should be up to par.

  • January 8, 2010 at 11:03 am
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    I think there has been enough sushi restaurant reviews now. We get it. You guys like sushi.

    • January 13, 2010 at 4:34 pm
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      Ha! I kind of have to agree with you that we've gone a bit over board on sushi as of late, but this review just goes to show that not all sushi is created equal. I promise that our next review of local cuisine will not be sushi…or pizza. Any suggestions? I'd love to give something decent in the township a try.

  • January 8, 2010 at 2:31 pm
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    If you are looking for something outside of town to try I’d suggest Bella Bistro (Bath Rd @ Collins Bay Rd.). I’ve been there a bunch of times and have never been disappointed.

    Owned by the same people as Olivea but a VERY different atmosphere. Very reasonably priced, excellent food & very good service.

  • January 9, 2010 at 7:46 pm
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    I have been increasingly underwhelmed by Kingston’s supposedly great restaurant scene: the ersatz ‘sushi’ is just one example’ another it that just about all of the South-East Asian places basically use tinned or pre-made sauces (you can taste it)…. the harsh truth is that there’s a whole lot of mediocre international eating in Kingston.

  • January 10, 2010 at 1:07 pm
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    Handful in the west end we like:
    Fasooli’s (Gardiners & Progress Ave)
    Copper Penny (Bayridge & Taylor Kidd – mostly same menu as downtown, way different atmosphere, owned by … downtown owner’s brother, I believe)
    Rose & Crown (Bayridge & Princess)
    Bella Bistro (Bath & Collin’s Bay Rd)
    Lee Garden (Chinese buffet, Bath & Gardiners)

  • January 11, 2010 at 8:24 am
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    If we are talking ethnic food, I went to Darbar with a group not too long ago and had a great evening. Same experience with Curry Original.

    I don’t go out to the west end much anymore since it is all pretty much generic restaurants that are standard in any city.

    Went to Fasooli’s once and they brought us a completely wrong entree (ordered capaletti, got canneloni!), then did not offer to take anything off the bill. I will never go again, the customer service stunk. I think it is one of those long time Kingston institutions that new residents don’t understand the appeal of. Plus the building looks like a mobile home trailer.

  • January 11, 2010 at 11:25 am
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    Darbar = fantastic. Especially when you consider the discount for take-out orders!

    • January 13, 2010 at 4:38 pm
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      Darbar and I are lovers! It all started a few years ago when I became so addicted that they could recognize my voice on the phone, and were able to dictate my order. You can't beat customer service like that! I used to go there weekly when I lived near Queen's, and although we don't order from there as often, they still remember me, and my order. My mouth is watering, and I'm sweating just thinking about their Chicken Madras. So good!

  • January 11, 2010 at 1:01 pm
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    Rahim’s Cuisine has great food. Big portions, discount on take-out, free delivery for students.

  • January 11, 2010 at 2:18 pm
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    I haven’t been yet, but I keep hearing rave reviews for Pat’s Cambodian restaurant on Division. I definitely want to try it out soon. Anyone been? And yes, Darbar is one of my personal favourites for sure. The food is always delicious and the people who work there are awesome.

  • January 13, 2010 at 6:37 pm
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    This review was surprising for me, considering how many times I have been to Ta-ke I have always been very impressed with the food and the service especially. Maybe it is just me, but the waitresses at the sushi places in town (Mainly Asha and Sakura) are very insulting in their mannerisms.

    I do agree however that it is strange that they would not bring soup or even check up on you as usual. These are things I can imagine are all attributed to the fact it was NYE, but you're right, if you're open, you're open!

    As for the restrooms, I always found them clean and tidy, though not at all decorated, though I have never seen the men's washroom, of course! :)

  • January 13, 2010 at 7:49 pm
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    Haven't dug through the archives yet, but have you folks checked out Sushi Ya! …? Out of the few places I've been to so far (Ta-Ke and Sakura), it's been the most pleasant.

    I was pretty doubtful about them based on their location (being next to a mechanic shop and all), but I did hear good things about them and decided to give it a shot. Was definitely impressed. Great food, fantastic service (despite there being a party of 12 or so Queens students at the time), and very reasonably priced.

    • January 13, 2010 at 3:53 pm
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      We are stupid about sushi! We haven't featured every sushi joint in this city, but Sushi Ya is one we've enjoyed! That said, I've never stepped inside the place! Regardless, I would order from there in a second.

  • October 26, 2010 at 11:48 am
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    My husband and I recently stopped at Ta-Ke Sushi after a movie and decided on take out. Although our waitress was helpful and timely and we enjoyed a drink while we waited, we walked out with our food thinking that it was ridiculously over priced. But we were excited for to get home to eat. Our order included two Miso soups, an order of Gyoza, Soft Crab Roll, Spicy Salmon Roll and a Dynamite Roll. We enjoyed our soups and Gyoza. Both still hot and fresh, but that is were it ended. The first bite of our Spicy Salmon was incredibly fishy! Not fresh at all and not worth the money. It immediately turned my stomach. Moving onto the Dynamite we found them to be bland and we were unamused by the lack of freshness. Even the rice seemed to be getting old and avocado turning brown. Needless to say, more then half of the sushi was wasted. I wouldn't say we are sushi foodies, but I will never go back. And the Sushi was nothing compared to that at Sima or Akira.

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