An Etobicoke sushi restaurant is proving that one of Japan's national dishes is best served sustainably, and the Toronto Star approves. Just Sushi, opened last month by Evan Clifford, Gabrielle Charlesbois, and Ian Clifford, is the "world's first 100% Ocean Wise sushi restaurant," a historic distinction from the Vancouver-based not-for-profit designed to "educate and empower consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood."
As the Toronto Star reports, the menu pulls at the stomach strings and each item has a story: Hailing from a small fishery in B.C. "the Taro… is ridiculously fresh and buttery… and mercury-free;" the "firm, sweet tiger shrimp" from Vietnam was harvested "by locals among the mangroves."
Ocean Wise's mandate to promote sustainable fish to restaurants and diners is gaining traction across Canada, but a couple hurdles remain: one is the price point. Then, there is the level to which diners will choose sustainability over selection.
Surprisingly, though it's true that sustainable fishing is a costlier process, Just Sushi's prices are on par with any mid-range sushi joint. And while some menu mainstays are impossible to source responsibly, Head Chef Kevin Han, formerly of Edo, is determined to find a tasty work-around. Forced to drop unagi from the menu, he is experimenting with eggplant. As Han says: "It may be just be the unagi sauce that people really like anyway."
When it comes to being environmentally conscious, the restaurant doesn't just stop at sustainable fish: Just Sushi uses Bullfrog Power, has an ebike delivery service, and consoles around the restaurant are loaded with added information about each fish on the menu. The owners may be newcomers to the restaurant trade but they have already altered the way Toronto diners can experience sushi.
· Just Sushi Is The World's First Ocean Wise 100% Sustainable Sushi Restaurant [Toronto Star]