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For some of the best Japanese cuisine in Ottawa, Shinka Sushi Bar fits the bill

    By Mike Cohen
    By Mike Cohen

    Profiling restaurants in Montreal and Beyond

    Being a regular visitor to Ottawa these days, it did not take us long to zero in on one of the best sushi restaurants in town.

    Shinka Sushi Bar (previously known as New Generation Sushi) is located on Laurier Avenue West near Elgin. It has been around since 2004. When the COVID-19 pandemic, it pivoted exclusively to take-out and delivery. Their clientele responded in strong numbers so they have stuck to this format. A second location will open later this year at a location to be determined.

    This was the first time in many years when we got to enjoy our sushi dinner omakase-style. The phrase omakase, literally means  “I leave it up to you,” and it is most commonly used at Japanese restaurants where the customer leaves it up to the chef to select and serve seasonal specialties. A big thanks to Shinka owner|chef  Peo “John” Diep for making such a superb selection.

    Everything came neatly packaged, with a neatly personalized description of the omakase selection on glossy paper. 

    We started out with some appetizers.  The carpaccio mix – salmon and red tuna (three pieces of each) served with their homemade ponzu sauce topped with scallion, cilantro, tobiko and fried garlic was just delicious. The same goes for the salmon belly aburi, topped with Hokkaido  Ikura.

    The large box of sushi was a thing of beauty, with such a nice mixture. There was the Ora King Salmon Rainbow (eight pieces), lobster meat, shredded kanimi, scallion, tempura mixed with sweet sesame sauce; the  Rainbow Aburi (Torch) ( eight pieces), roasted seaweed, rice, sesame seeds, tempura shrimp, crabstick, avocado topped with spicy Japanese fish of the day lightly torched, chef’s sauce, soya glaze, truffle oil and topped with julienne fried sweet potato; Hamachi | Yellowtail Nigiri; the Rising Sun; Shinka’s Rainbow (eight pieces) features Torched Hokkaido Scallop on top, with Maguro, avocado, tempura, micro cilantro and spicy mayo, wrapped with soya bean sheet; and the Akami | Bluefin Tuna Nigiri topped with Sturgeon Caviar.

    For the three of us, this was quite a feast and more than enough to save for the following day’s lunch. Sifting through the menu, there are so many tempting choices. They have a Montreal roll, containing roasted seaweed, rice, sesame seeds, salmon, cooked shrimp, avocado, tempura, masago and spicy mayo. The Shinka’s Crudo presents the Japanese fish of the day served with yuzu soya sauce topped with shiso (Japanese mint) fried garlic and scallion. The Salmon Tempura Sashimi is a Flash fry tempura salmon topped with homemade chef sauce, soya glaze, sesame seeds, tobiko, scallion and truffle oil.

    Mike Cohen

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