Hey, welcome to another episode (yes, I just called this an episode) of Eating Toronto. Hope you all enjoyed El Trompo from last time. I am thinking of making a set schedule for these Eating Toronto posts. I’m still figuring some things out as to how to do this and then I’ll get a firm day to pump these posts out. Hope you guys stick with me!
Le Cafe Michi
1802 Pharmacy Ave, Toronto, ON M1T1H6, CA
This time I went to Le Café Michi. Don’t be fooled by the name, this was actually a Japanese restaurant café style. My friend, Anita turned me to this place and glad that she did. This is a great little find, another hidden gem. It’s located in Scarborough at Shepperd ave. E and Pharmacy ave. I wasn’t too sure about this place at first as it is a really random area for a Japanese restaurant and quite hidden. This is a small joint owned by actual Japanese people, which is good to see. Its a nice shift away from all the generic all you can eat “Japanese” restaurants around the city.
Reading comments online, the number one thing I read was this place is tiny and if you don’t make reservations, its going to be hard to get seats. So of course made reservations. As I walked in, I can see what people were talking about, there is no real space to move around once you’re in your seat. There are 2 tables behind me, the ones you see here and some in the bar area in the back room (bottom picture).
At the front they have this cute little display case showing off their alcohol and desserts. I heard the cakes here were good and I was starving because we were running a little late so I was tempted to just grab a whole cake and just start eating away. On top of the counter they had some jewelry for sale, not sure if it was homemade or not, I was there to eat, not to buy jewelry =P!
I thought it was cool to have the menu, and then a side booklet of the menu items with pictures. Just thought it would be good to take note of this feature.
What about the food, Casey?! We want to see the food! I hear ya, I hear ya! And on that note, cue the food!!
Café au Lait Chirashi – What I ordered – About 30$ CAD before tax
This meal started off with a light seaweed salad. Not much to say other than that, the salad was just that, a salad, nothing out of the ordinary.
Look at this bowl of treasures! Assorted sashimi on sushi rice. I don’t know about you but I love Uni (Sea Urchin), there was another meal similar to this with sashimi on rice but without Uni, I had to go with the one with Uni!
At first I just picked off some of the assorted sashimi with my chopsticks. I got to say the quality of the fish was pretty decent, but I mean, being in Toronto, we aren’t going to get the best quality fish out there, so don’t be expecting that. With that said, the quality is much much better than what you will find in the all you can eat joints you find popping up around the city.
The best part about this dish was that its the bowl that keeps on giving. As I picked off enough sashimi to see rice, I started eating some of the fish with the rice (probably how it was meant to be eaten since it came with a spoon). I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. I was thinking it was just rice under but instead there was a layer of eggs and then some Unagi (eel) and sauce. Mixing all that with some of the fresh sashimi was very good. Imagine getting some Uni, a little bit of rice, some of the egg and a bit of the Unagi and its sauce; the perfect bite. The sweetness and creaminess of the Uni goes well with that bite of rice with a little bit of the Unagi, YUM!
Chyo-chin Bento – What the ladies ordered (both went with the same thing) – about 24 CAD before tax.
This meal also started with a salad but this one was a regular green salad. Again nothing out of the ordinary, good to get in some veggies I suppose.
This was the Chicken Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken) portion of the bento. The batter wasn’t too thick, it had a very good crunch to it, not soggy at all. The chicken under was cooked perfectly, tender and moist, good flavor. The spicy mayo on top provided a nice kick, not overly spicy.
How is this a bento you ask? I was thinking the exact thing myself.
Look, there’s more! Now that’s how you innovate a bento box. Under the chicken was some assorted sashimi. I didn’t try this since I had my own sashimi in my bowl. I’m pretty sure the same applies here. The only problem I’m guessing is that the sashimi might be a bit warm because it was sandwiched between some warm dishes.
But wait, there’s more! ( I sound like a late night infomercial) Under the sashimi, there was some Unagi (eel) on rice with the sauce. It was quite a surprise for us to find out how their bento worked, very innovative and different from what we’re use to.
Chocolate Sake Cake
The meals above comes with dessert which you’re allowed to choose from the front display. I went with the chocolate sake cake. The cake was pretty good, you will like this if you like chocolate. Its not a super sweet chocolate, a little bit like dark chocolate, big chocolate flavor but not too sweet. So if you’re looking for a sweet chocolate, this might not be for you. Also you could really taste the sake, so if a little alcoholic flavor isn’t your cup of tea, you might want to pass on this one. I enjoyed it, though.
Green Tea Cake
The girls went with the Green Tea Cake because one of them has had it before and says it is amazing. I went with the chocolate just to get a little more variety. I wish I had went with this cake instead because this cake was absolutely delicious. The cake was moist, the mouse was light and creamy. Similar to the chocolate cake, this cake was not overly sweet but definitely satisfies your sweets craving. The red bean filling inside compliments the green tea so well and adds that extra sweetness you might be looking for. This cake is a must try when you visit.
Overall I think this place is definitely worth checking out. A hidden gem in the middle of the city. I have not had the chance to try more of the menu, but the items that I have tried, I would recommend. The sashimi bowl for me was good but wouldn’t mind having a little bit of the fried chicken. Maybe you could be like me and order the bowl and have others get the bento and steal some chicken.
Pricing wise, it might be a little bit on the pricey side for some but not overly. The green tea cake was the star and is the must have item here. A great little joint, definitely go check it out.
Le Cafe Michi
1802 Pharmacy Ave, Toronto, ON M1T1H6, CA