These spectacular restaurants offer exclusive dining experiences for the meal of a lifetime in Toronto.
Planning an unforgettable anniversary weekend getaway or milestone birthday celebration? If your Toronto vacation calls for a showstopping dinner, we’ve got you covered.
These exquisite Japanese restaurants offer unforgettably elevated dining experiences (some of which have been recognized in the 2022 MICHELIN Guide).
From superb service to hyper-seasonal ingredients, dishes that require years of chef training in specialized cooking techniques, to meticulously curated artisanal tableware, these restaurants take dining to the next level.
If you don’t have a special occasion, simply snagging a coveted reservation is celebration-worthy. Seatings are typically limited to one per night, with only a handful of spots available in these intimate spaces.
The exclusivity alone is worth the foodie bragging rights… although you’ll be too enraptured by your mind-blowing dinner experience to think about anything other than savouring the moment.
The art of Kappo, a traditional Japanese cooking method defined by a style of boiling and cutting, demands 10–15 years of training, with an understanding of both tea ceremony and flower arranging.
Bearing witness to your omakase meal coming together in the hands of an expert Kappo chef will give you a deep appreciation for the artistry behind your meal. Take, for example, Chef Takeshi Sato shaving dried bonito from Kagoshima Prefecture onto your plate.
It’s just one of the cinematic-worthy moments during the 12-dish seasonally inspired omakase menu, which includes Wagyu beef and rice cooked in a special copper version of a traditional hagama pot.
The famous fish markets in Japan are on every food lover’s travel bucket list, and with the fish imported daily from Japan to Sushi Kaji in Etobicoke, you’re just one degree of separation from this seafood wonderland across the world.
Chef Mitsuhiro Kaji has perfected his sushi skills since the age of 13, and his meticulous care in preparing the dishes served at his 30-seat restaurant starts with only-imported-from-Japan fish, condiments and garnishes.
With two omakase menus (the second includes a Kagoshima Wagyu sukiyaki course), your appetite for next-level Japanese cuisine is in expert hands.
Kaiseki Yui-Zen Hashimoto
The Japanese word gochisousama means “thank you for a wonderful meal”; you’ll want to add this to your vocabulary, so you can honour those who’ve prepared an elegant kaiseki feast for you at Kaiseki Yui-Zen Hashimoto.
This MICHELIN-starred experience in North York is centred on omotenashi, the ethos of wholeheartedly caring for guests. Rooted in the serenity of a Japanese tea ceremony, the kaiseki meal celebrates flora and fauna throughout the precise progression of courses.
Take note that Chef Masaki Hashimoto focuses primarily on cooked dishes (save for one sashimi course and dessert), carefully balancing the textures, flavours and aromas of ultra-seasonal ingredients.
The Japanese say we eat with our eyes, an adage brought to life in moritsuké, the art of food presentation. Serving a feast for the eyes and palate is something MICHELIN-starred Aburi Hana takes to heart.
Chef Ryusuke Nakagawa’s Yorkville establishment offers a modern Kyo-Kaiseke menu that wows with its sophistication and harmony. Multi-course menus are inspired by the season, with ingredients transformed by umami-enhancing flame-searing and served on stunning Arita dishes.
This artisan porcelain traces its roots to the 1600s and is a fitting canvas for dishes like seared A5 Kuroge wagyu or fresh California sea urchin flown in that morning. Elevate the entire experience with an eight-course beverage pairing curated by the sake director and sommelier team.
TIP: Book a Kakurega (“hidden gem”) dining room for a private meal for two to six people.
Although Yukashi was only established five years ago by executive chef Daisuke Izutsu, he has been honing his craft for decades cooking Japanese cuisine for royalty and world leaders.
Dishes in this seasonal, nine-course kaiseki meal include a mix of elaborate plates composed of multiple labour-intensive ingredients like hay-smoked hamachi to the simplicity of sliced Japanese melon as a refreshing finish to your meal.
Score one of the 15 seats in this unassuming, MICHELIN-starred Mount Pleasant darling and expect to laugh and bond with your fellow diners, thanks to the convivial atmosphere created by the personable chef. (Note: Yukashi is closed for summer break and reopens September 7, 2023)