Just Opened: Hashimoto comes to Toronto proper after years of wowing Japanese food fans in Mississauga
“There’s nothing else like this in Toronto, maybe even Canada,” kaiseki chef Masaki Hashimoto explains over tea at his newly opened location at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in North York. “The Hashimoto in Mississauga was the first step, and this is the second.”
The difference—aside from a $300 price tag on a nine-course meal (the original location charges $250 for eight)—is that the new menu is a blend of kaiseki and what Hashimoto calls traditional Japanese home cooking. Expect a first course of rice soup to sate appetites so that hungry diners won’t hastily scarf down the dishes that follow, such as slices of sashimi and stewed, steamed and grilled seafood. Like a fine prix fixe with wine pairings, each course here has a matcha tea pairing courtesy of the Ko-no En tea shop next door (the teas are imported from Kyoto). Of course, since the ingredients are shipped from Japan each week, the menu is set in stone. Hashimoto has given full control to his suppliers to send whatever is fresh and in season across the Pacific.
The restaurant is a recreation of the dim alleyways and tea houses of Kyoto. After being greeted by Hashimoto’s wife (who runs the front of house) and son (who also helps out), diners walk by portable shrines hanging on the walls and sit at one of the three tables in the dining area for their meal. After eating, satisfied customers are shepherded into the adjoining tea room.
The space here is bigger than the Mississauga location, but Hashimoto keeps the capacity down to 10 people each night to ensure quality control in his food. “And if one restaurant is open, the other is closed. I want it in my control,” he says. No wonder he requires reservations a week in advance.
Though the price tag and mandatory reservations may sound intimidating, Hashimoto has a cult following among foodies (it was his local fans who coaxed him to open a Toronto location), and diners swear it’s a full-on culinary excursion rather than a mere meal. “Torontonians tend to eat for the sake of eating, rather than enjoy the experience of eating,” Hashimoto says. “They have to enjoy all the five senses.”
Hashimoto at Toronto, 905-670-5559, 6 Garamond Ct., kaiseki.ca.
3 thoughts on “Just Opened: Hashimoto comes to Toronto proper after years of wowing Japanese food fans in Mississauga”
Not worth the $300 price tag.
Booked reservation for 8 people at 7pm. They didn’t open the doors for us until 7:30pm saying that our reservation for 7:30pm not 7.
Also no cameras are allowed so according the staff and owner, they would take photos inside the kitchen and e-mail it to me. I gave them my e-mail address and reconfirmed with them to e-mail photos. Never arrived, they lied to my face. I still managed photos from the blackberry though.
Food quality was decent enough, but again not worth $300. We were still so hungry after the meal we had to get McDonalds. You can have almost 3 $100 meals at Sushi Kaji instead and would be a lot more satisfied.
I visited the Garamond location during the summer and found the food and service to be impeccable. It seems like the above customer did not do his research properly and perhaps became disappointed. I think that if one is to pay $300.00 for a meal and to convince 8 people to pay the same and not understand what they are paying for is totally insane. First of all Hashimoto is a culinary artist which means that one is paying for his creative talents which includes his years of practice and experience in the culinary art world. If one out of the 8 people who went to eat at his restaurant had to pay $300.00 for a piece of art in Yorkville it would NEVER happen. As we all know art is paid in the thousands and for what? it’s beauty is admired and the artist by experience grows in fame and higher demand. What’s in it for Hashimoto? For $300.00 you are paying for his ARTISTIC skills and not value. Yes if you want value then go somewhere else to eat! I am an artist and I charge thousands of dollars for my paintings so to pay a few hundreds of dollars-you are not the right client for his restaurant. It disappoints me when I have to read such garbage and negativity about fellow artisans. This is buyer beware know what you are going to by and this just shows me Peter’s lack of appreciation for the arts! In addition, why would you want to have pictures of your meal-if you go into a gallery do you think that the gallery owner would let you take pictures of the art displayed-grow up! Be present with your meal you’re acting like a spoiled brat-taking pictures-this is not what kaiseki is about. If you want to be a tourist you have again chosen the wrong venue. You sound like you need to research Japanese culture and stop acting like a child who needs to cling onto memories.
Unique to Toronto, but pales in comparison to kaiseki in Kyoto.
Will I return?
Comments are closed.