It's a shame. I have heard such great things from a few friends (including Ed) and random people about Solo Sushi Ya, Solo Sushi Bekkan's parent restaurant in Newmarket. To back that up, Solo Sushi Ya received 3.5 stars from Toronto Star back in 2006 (I know it's a bit dated) and pretty decent reviews from Toronto Life in 2007 and 2010. The most recent review was in December 2011 by Joanne Kates from The Globe and Mail titled "Rocky Start, Perfect Finish". Evidently, all the reviews were for Solo Sushi Ya and not Solo Sushi Bekkan so maybe it was silly of me to assume that I will experience the same kind of quality at Solo Sushi Bekkan?
Solo Sushi Bekkan is very small. Our table was against the window and what you see in the above picture is pretty much the entire restaurant.
Ed and I ordered from the menu:
Soft Shell Crab - Deep-fried soft shell crab served with ponzu sauce ($10.50)
Sashimi Open - Chef's Special Selection ($28.00 Up)
Octopus Fritters "Takoyaki" ($6.50)
Sushi-Ya Maki - Shrimp, asparagus, lettuce & smoked salmon ($13)
Black Sesame Ice Cream
Lackluster plates, every single thing tasted and looked extremely dull. Zero effort on presentation too. Taste wise, if I had to choose, the best thing would be the soft shell crab. Served sizzling hot, the soft shell crab was fresh and meaty with a nice crispy/crunchy exterior. The rest? Here goes. The chef's special sashimi selection only had four kinds of sashimi, the takoyaki was more dough than anything else. And the signature maki? You would think that a restaurant's signature maki, Solo Sushi Bekkan's being "Sushi-Ya Maki", would be a lot more interesting than just shrimp, asparagus, lettuce and smoked salmon. I mean, come on, seriously??? Look at the signature rolls from Yuzu, Ginza or Sushi Couture...those are legit signature rolls! "The Sushi-Ya Maki" is probably the saddest signature maki I've ever seen in my whole life. Not exaggerating.
And then there was dessert. I asked our server if they had any dessert and our server apologetically said they didn't. That in itself was a bit surprising to me but whatever, I only asked because I was hopeful that maybe, just maybe, our meal would end on a high note with a kick-ass dessert or something. Anyway, the sushi chef (owner?) heard our conversation and indicated that no, no, they actually have black sesame ice cream. YES! I love black sesame ice cream! But man, this black sesame ice cream was repulsive. It was extremely hard, crumbly with freezer burn all over it! It was drenched in this gross strawberry sauce too (probably used in an effort to hide the freezer burn). I was appalled. The ice cream looked like it was stored at the back of the freezer from the beginning of time. I immediately complained to our server, telling her that the ice cream was inedible and I will not be paying for it. It was disgusting! Writing this post six months later, I still could not believe they served that ice cream to me...