Friday, March 9, 2012
Hitoe Sushi - A Third Place and a Home Away From Home
Hitoe Sushi is tucked at a little corner at West 4th Avenue. It is a unpretentious family run restaurant with good and solid Japanese sushi. The ultimate litmus test for any sushi place is to order the California roll - the ingredients were fresh and the sushi was pretty firm. The sashimi were simply divine - I highly recommend it. I think the price was pretty reasonable - around CAN$13-$18 (before tax). Of course, you can always get cheap, on-the-go sushi elsewhere but for this quality, you get a pretty decent deal.
One downside - the menu is mainly sushi and sashimi. Not much selection of cooked items such as yakitori and my favorite tempura - As you can tell, I am a BIG fan of fried and crispy food!
Can't remember what set was ordered. The California roll was good - firm and not too soggy.
I remembered liking the salad dressing.
The presentation of the boxed set was elegant.
The proprietors of the shop were a couple - very friendly. Noticed that they had a lot of take-out orders from residents and people working around the area. The lady boss was a good host - she constantly refilled your tea and you never really had to ask her for more tea.
Why third place? Ray Oldenburg said that third places are an informal social gathering places for local communities. Hitoe is definitely a third place - I saw families ordering take-out and the lady proprietor chatted with them and gave candy to little kids. There is an air of ease and familiarity between customers and the proprietors. I can imagine the little kids will grow up to be teenagers and young adults and will still come back to Hitoe. The lady proprietor even displayed a little plasticine model of little sushi and other Japanese food delights done by her daughter.
Deco: 3.5/5 . Its a family run restaurant, so not much of a wow factor. But I give them high marks for great presentation and their lovely little tea set. They tried to create a homely environment.
Quality of food: 5/5
Price of food: 4/5
Overall experience: 5/5. I love this place!! I wanna try their version of fresh crab California roll the next time