Where to eat lunch this week: Solo Sushi Bekkan
After the excellent donburi bowls at this tiny Yonge and College spot, we may never go back to the bento box
The place: Patience is a virtue here, where service is slow and slightly disorganized. Hunger pangs are stoked by the promising scents wafting from the back kitchen into the tiny ochre room up front.
The crowd: Suits and post-workout diners from the nearby YMCA. Regulars trickle in after the lunch rush for one of the room’s 19 seats, and a steady stream of takeout orders moves at the same slow tempo as the staff.
The deal: The menu lists a number of cheap lunch options, including daily specials for $8.95. We splurge on the traditional family-style donburi bowls, which are more expensive but easily feed two people.
The dish: Our meal starts with a complimentary cup of belly-warming miso dotted with scallions and tofu. Instead of the lifeless iceberg lettuce common in lunchtime sushi rituals, we receive crisp ruffles of mixed greens, shredded cabbage and carrots dressed in a tart ginger dressing. Chirashi don ($17) is a generous pile of gossamer sashimi, including buttery raw Hokkaido scallops, silky ahi tuna and a fiery nugget of chili-infused minced yellow fin tuna that steals the show. It’s all stacked on perfectly seasoned sushi rice and sided by the chef’s delightfully syrupy homemade soy sauce.
The time: 48 minutes whether you’re in a rush or not.
The cost: $22, including tax, tip and bottomless cups of green tea.
Solo Sushi Bekkan, 3 Grosvenor St. (at Yonge), 416-925-3388, solosushiya.com/solo_sushi_bekkan.