Just the most kawaii food of them all

Sushi lovers, be­hold the doshi

Midtown Post - - Food | Eat THis Minute - by Karolyne El­la­cott

Toronto has an in­sa­tiable ap­petite when it comes to food trends. Al­ways on the look­out for fresh terms like “plant-based,” “poke” and “ka­mayan,” we never tire of the new. How­ever, these trends never seem to start in Toronto, trick­ling down (or rather up) from Amer­ica’s in­flu­encers, like New York City and L.A., or even fur­ther afield. But at Queen West’s new eatery Square Fish, the goal is to lead the charge. En­ter the doshi.

TREND-SET­TING WAYS

Dur­ing a stint liv­ing in N.Y.C., Square Fish co-owner An­drea Zhang found her­self po­si­tioned in the heart of trend ter­ri­tory. Wit­ness­ing the pro­gres­sion of trends first-hand, she vowed to even­tu­ally do some­thing for T.O.

“As proud Toron­to­ni­ans, we wanted to cre­ate some­thing unique and put Toronto on the cre­ative food map,” Zhang says.

This past sum­mer, Zhang be­came en­am­oured with mo­saic sushi, the Ja­panese trend that sees wee cubes of tile-like sushi fit­ted seam­lessly to­gether like a work of art. Zhang and her part­ners got to think­ing. They wanted to open a shop serv­ing mo­saic sushi but were also in­tent on in­tro­duc­ing their own cre­ation to the menu. With the goal of cre­at­ing an eye­catch­ing grab ’n’ go item with hy­brid ap­peal, there was plenty to con­sider. Af­ter three months of test­ing dif­fer­ent it­er­a­tions of sushi, they came up with the magic item: the doshi.

THE DOSHI’S DE­BUT

The doshi trans­forms sushi in to the shape of a dough­nut. Avail­able in a clutch of vari­a­tions (in­clud­ing shrimp, tuna or veg), the salmon out­shines them all in terms of pop­u­lar­ity. This su­per kawaii ( Ja­panese for cute) dish be­gins with the base: a deep-fried patty of white rice that re­veals a ched­dar cen­tre when bit­ten into.

“The cheese-bot­tomed ver­sion won ev­ery­body’s heart!” notes Zhang, re­fer­ring to the test­ing days. Imi­ta­tion crab makes way for let­tuce, ker­nels of corn and sea­weed salad. Slips of cuke and mango are tucked into the mix, along with edamame, a smat­ter­ing of crunchy tem­pura bits, to­biko and black sesame.

Two lay­ers of salmon are found tucked just un­der and atop the sec­ond rice patty (made with sushi rice) as well as av­o­cado. The in­sane mound of in­gre­di­ents also gets a slather­ing of their sig­na­ture spicy aioli.

One thing to note: although they rec­om­mend chomp­ing into it burger style, be fore­warned. This gets real messy. Square Fish, 461 Queen St. W., 416-603-7888

Square Fish’s adorable cre­ation

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