Upon entering Meiji Sushi, a host will ask, “traditional or modern?”
Regardless of seating choice, Meiji offers a little of both.
This sushi corner on River and Osborne has been anchoring one of the city’s best shopping and dining neighbourhoods for the last decade and a half. The reason for its longevity is evident in the blend of creative specialty rolls and pared back traditional bites, a study in contrasts that works as well together as the restaurant’s famed martinis and sushi combo.
Opt for traditional floor level seating on tatami mats and settle in to the plush, lounge-like space for a parade of fresh delights and packed out rolls.
A lengthy selection of nigiri will thrill sushi purists. Well seasoned rice is draped with a generous slice of fish, like rich butterfish or lively salmon.
Bracingly fresh sashimi is equally rewarding. Ordering an assorted selection brings the kitchen’s best cuts of the day, from firm, pink-tipped hamachi to fatty tuna belly. Meaty slices of octopus are slightly sweet and pleasingly firm.
Playful creativity shows through on the massive menu of specialty rolls. The sweet and salty mango tango roll livens up the plate with fanned slices of mango and avocado, fusing tropical flavour with the sweet pop of barbequed eel. The salmon-covered red dragon roll gets crunch from shrimp tempura, served with a housemade spicy sauce that, though light on initial heat, leaves a deeply savoury, tongue tingling after burn.
The non-sushi side of Japanese cuisine gets plenty of play on the menu for those willing to think outside the nori wrapper. A variety of teriyaki plates or a heaping helping of panko-breaded chicken katsu are perfect late night hunger saters, while flavourful starters beg to be shared. Baked oysters are a must have item, the gooey mix of sweet kewpie mayonnaise and funky miso paste proving to be a match made in seafood heaven.
Dessert is easily found in liquid form, with many of the libations from attached G Martini Bar’s comprehensive list providing a sugary rush. For those stalwarts sticking to 007’s preferred rendition, sweetness in the form of warm, crispy tempura banana and grassy green tea ice cream is a more than adequate alternative.
Meiji Sushi is open for lunch Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2 pm, for dinner Sun-Thu 5 pm-10:30 pm, Fri & Sat 5 pm-11:30 pm.