Saku, An à la carte Sushi Experience

All-you-can-eat sushi always sounds like a good idea, but the hard truth is that it rarely is. Often, you leave feeling like you could literally roll out of the restaurant. But, that post-dining feeling doesn’t have to happen every time you go out for sushi—that is, if you opt for an à la carte sushi experience.

While the thought of providing an unlimited amount of food for a fixed price seems like one heck of a deal, the problem is that it creates a competitive mindset. Essentially, you need to eat so that you get a bang for your buck. To add insult to injury, if you bring an appetite, you’re also likely to overindulge.

The other issue is that all-you can-eat sushi is never as good as made-to-order sushi. That’s because when sushi is à la carte, you can be sure that you’re eating the freshest bites possible. Not to mention that there’s a greater chance of the menu including unique fare like fatty tuna or even sea urchin, rather than the usual salmon and tuna found at iPad-decorated locales.

While all-you-can-eat sushi spots are around every corner lately, I probably won’t stop frequenting them but there are some things I tend to keep in mind. I like to order just one of everything, rather than multiples. I also avoid ordering any fillers that aren’t sushi, namely tempura, but even fizzy sodas.


But, sometimes it’s nice to break out of your routine. Finally deciding it was time to have an à la carte experience, I headed to ultra aesthetic and quaintly cozy Saku Sushi on Queen Street for a Saturday night sushi session.


A Japanese fusion restaurant, they promise fresh and seasonal ingredients, along with some creative takes on traditional dishes. After studying the menu for a bit, I have to admit that the choices were hard. Saku boasts all sorts of sushi staples along with notable mentions like the lobster truffle futomaki and uni sashimi.

Ultimately, I decided to go for an order of California rolls (basic, but a personal favourite), along with a seaweed salad and the crispiest, spicy salmon sushi pizza. I’m happy to say that everything was delicious, especially my salmon pizza. And since I wasn’t scarfing it all down before the next round of plates came flying out the kitchen, I was actually able to appreciate my meal that much more.

Since Saku also functions as a bar, they have tons of sake on hand—I couldn’t let that go unnoticed, could I? So, I ordered myself a fancy dancy cocktail called a Nigori in the Sky, which was made with nigori sake, gin, pineapple juice and mint. The umbrella-clad beverage was super delicious and super punchy, just how I like my cocktails to be.

Overall, the à la carte sushi experience was one that I think I’ll do again…and again. Given that all-you-can-eat runs quite pricey these days (upwards of $30), the $40 I spent on an à la carte dinner and cocktail was well worth it based on the calibre of my meal. Plus, I kinda like taking my time to really savour good food.


What’s your take: Are you an all-you-can-eat sushi person or an à la carte sushi person?

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