Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ninki - Disappointing Overpriced Lunch Sushi - Toronto Financial District

Leather Chewy Cold Handroll Combo -  Ninki Sushi
When my cousin asked me if I were up for Sushi for lunch, my answer was swift, concise and completely true: "Always".  You can always ask me if you need someone to eat Sushi with and I am there.  I may have just eaten Sushi and you could ask me and I will say 'I am there'.

I had a busy day at work and it was OPPRESSIVELY hot out so I asked H to pick a place on the 'Path'.  The underground network connecting most of Toronto's downtown core.  She picked Ninki but then retracted after reading some of the bad reviews.  She sent a couple more suggestions over but they were either too far for this busy day and or 'off the Path'.  We caved in under the circumstances and my stubbornness about not wanting to sweat in my work clothes and chose Ninki.

Unfortunately, H mapped the destination whilst walking down instead of reading our email thread and went to the other Ninki kiddie corner from the one on King Street.  Since I get lost in the Path very easily, H came down to me.  Too bad.  I really should have gone to her.  She had already had time to sit and read the menu and we discovered that even though they are the SAME chain, SAME menu, ACROSS the street from one another, the one I was waiting at had prices 20-30% higher.  H had already picked the Hand Roll Combo and was shocked to see the price differential.  If we hadn't already ordered our drinks, we would have walked out.  Grrrrrrr.

Bland Pinenut Roll - Ninki Japanese Cuisine
This is the shopping level of the Scotia Plaza so it is incredibly loud. Not only is the concourse noisy but since the restaurant doesn't have proper walls and is crowded for lunch, it is extra loud.  That is exacerbated by the tight seating.  I'm fine with having to share tables if that's the concept but what is the point of having separate TEENY TINY bistro tables that you practically have to balance your Tea on your lap to have one plate, if you're going to be 1 inch away from your neighbour?  Seriously.  We were in each others laps and conversations.

Salmon Sushi Pizza on a old cold Rice patty - Ninki Japanese Cuisine
After grumbling about the sky high prices for lunch Sushi, we ordered.  H had her Hand Roll Combo and I had the Pine Nut Roll and Salmon Sushi Pizza.  You would think that since they are so busy, that it would be good for the customer.  That the high turnover that the food would be fresh and made to order.  Nope.  They went the other way with it.  They over prepare ahead.  Booo.  The Handrolls were wrapped in soggy, leather chewy Nori, which happens when the Nori sits next to moist Rice too long and the Rice was dried out. The Pine Nut roll sounded like a good idea but the Nori was equally chewy, the Rice was bland and the sauce was unnecessary.  The Salmon Sushi Pizza was the biggest disappointment.  It seemed like a great idea at first.  Vancouver's idea of a Sushi Pizza is basically a deconstructed or 'unravelled' Maki Roll, laid flat.  Ninki uses a crispy Rice puck as the crust.  Sounds yummo right?  Well not when it's STONE COLD and old.  It had clearly been made early in the morning or even the night before.  The tempura coating was not crispy at all and the rice was 'hard'.

I may always be up for Sushi but I will never be up for Ninki again.

Service:  indifferent and slow
Price: $$$-$$$$
Ambiance: as loud as a train station
Kid friendly: NO WAY, barely enough room for my purse which sat in my lap.

Ninki Japanese Cuisine
40 King Street West
Scotia Plaza Concourse Level
Toronto, ON M5H3Y2
(416) 368-7333
Ninki Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon


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