What’s on the menu at Skippa, a casual sushi and sake bar on Harbord Street

What’s on the menu at Skippa, a casual sushi and sake bar on Harbord Street

Name: Skippa
Contact: 379 Harbord St., no phone, skippa.ca, @skipparestaurant
Neighbourhood: Little Italy
Previously: The Roxton
Owner and chef: Ian Robinson (Sushi Kaji, Grand Electric)

The food

Refined small plates influenced by the slightly sweeter flavours of Japan’s Fukuoka region that Robinson became familiar with when he trained under Mitsuhiro Kaji (Sushi Kaji). Skippa’s daily-changing menu features a selection of Ocean Wise fish and produce from small-scale Ontario farms. Prices are market-driven, with plates ranging from $2 to $20. Guests can order a single piece of sushi or go all out with an omakase dinner, the most expensive of which is $50.

Aka ebi sunomono: red shrimp from Argentina with cucumber, Ontario peas and shoots, vinegar and dashi.


Maitake salada: black maitake mushroom, house-made caramelized miso sauce, mizuna (from the Skippa garden), turnips and sea asparagus.


Grilled shishito peppers from Leamington with yakitori sauce and sesame seeds.


Goma saba: mackerel, small-batch aged tamari, sesame seeds and shiso. (This dish is popular in Fukuoka izakayas, but Robinson wraps each piece in shiso as a shout-out to Grand Electric.)


Left to right: maguro (bigeye tuna from Hawaii) brushed with soya sauce and yuzu kosho, hay-smoked bonito (Portugal) and tako (octopus from Morocco).


Kaki: Tuxedo oyster from PEI, topped with shoyu and a yuzu kosho sorbet.


Left to right: masu belly (ocean trout from BC) with tomato-basil, and Madai (seabream from New Zealand) with salt and preserved lemon.


Hirame: fluke from Hokkaido with shiso and yuzu zest.


Tamago: sweet egg roll.


Mcbachi: bigeye tuna hand roll with house-made chili koji.


Kathryn Firanski is responsible for all the daily made sorbet and ice cream. This one’s made from scratch using Ontario corn.


Toasted Ontario oat ice cream topped with Ontario blueberries.


Chef Robinson.


Robinson and his team prepare the the hay-smoked bonito.


The drinks

Large-format and single-serving sake, shochu, plum wine, draft and bottled beer, plus a few organic biodynamic wines.

Sake in adorable single-serving containers.


The space

Named after their father’s sailboat (and their cousin’s wife’s father, who was a skipper), the 30-seat space and most of the furniture in it was built by Robinson and his sister, Kati, who is Skippa’s general manager. The restaurant’s street-side patio (where a limited menu is available) seats 20.

This harvest table was custom-made from a fallen sugar maple trunk.


Sous chef Dylan Vickers (Miku) tends to the restaurant’s organic garden. The delicate herbs like shiso and mizuna are grown using traditional Japanese methods (including shou-sugi-ban, a method of charring siding boards to preserve the wood) that he learned from his grandmother.