perfect sushi at skippa

dip…don’t dip

amazing sashimi platter…in the homemade soy sauce. Follow Ian’s instructions; enjoy perfect morsels of sushi heaven.  Eat each piece in one bite with your fingers as soon as it arrives. Why? because makes for a better experience and the rice doesn’t have a chance to change and harden (one reason sushi is horrible as left overs)

ian robinson, cheeky and hard at workIan Robinson, Skippa’s owner, is infectiously charming, energetic bordering on hyper and very talented. And not the least bit Asian. His family is from Barbados and England, he grew up in Toronto. The restaurant is named after his father’s boat. But he does love all things Japanese, including the pots he cooks with, the culture that inspires him and the girl he will marry in August.

a perfect biteCan’t believe I was so out of the loop. I’m supposed to be a foodie. Yet I’d never heard of Skippa until Toronto Life chose it as their top new restaurant of 2018. I booked the counter within hours of the magazine coming through my mail slot.  Our meal was amazing. I’ve already been back.

The restaurant is small (30 seats) as is the menu. It has to be. He is a stickler for perfect fish, exotic and fresh. It comes mainly from Kyushu, Japan; he doesn’t know what he’s getting until it arrives.  I nearly died for the Madai fish garnished with a sauce made from olive oil, preserved Meyer lemon and salt. So simple in preparation, delightfully complex in the mouth. As was the Fluke cured in Hokkaido seaweed with a Kyoto plum dressing. Adventurous but not challenging.

tiny grilled fire fly squidAs seems to be the case with every restaurant I love, ingredient sourcing is key. The vegetables are mostly organic from local farms or their own backyard. The Maitake salada was so much more than grilled mushrooms. I couldn’t get enough of the watermelon radishes, big, colorful and so much flavor. The caramelized miso dressing was perfect on the charred mushrooms, salty with a hint of sweetness.

While Ian is taking care of the food, his sister Kati makes sure everything else runs smoothly. Her degree is in hospitality and it shows. She keeps an eagle eye on the perfect yet friendly service, handles the bookings and makes sure the food is served seconds after it is prepared.

rhubarb and coconut ice creamAsahi beer is on a tap. A fresh keg arrives weekly from, yes, you’ve got it, Japan. The tubes of the machine are cleaned every day. A total pain, but worth it for the consumer. They also have a good selection of sakes and a small wine list. The dessert ice creams and sorbets are worth saving room for. Ian makes them himself. His very first job was in an ice cream parlour. I had rhubarb and coconut, garnished with pickled rhubarb, toasted sesame seeds and Japanese cherry blossom. The sour vinegariness of the pickle combined beautifully with the coconut creaminess of the ice cream.

Skippa did not disappoint. All the accolades they have been receiving are so well deserved. Add it to your list!



  1. Great…like always> Will try it on my next trip to Toronto! Big hug…..are you on the boat?

    From: julie a broad <> Reply-To: julie a broad <> Date: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 5:42 AM To: Sabine Wood <> Subject: [New post] dip…don’t dip

    julieannavogel posted: “…in the homemade soy sauce. Follow Ian’s instructions; enjoy perfect morsels of sushi heaven. Eat each piece in one bite with your fingers as soon as it arrives. Why? because makes for a better experience and the rice doesn’t have a chance to change and “

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks fantastic – you get the res and it will be my treat next time I am there!

    Beth Allard*

    Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP / S.E.N.C.R.L., s.r.l.
    1800 – 510 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 0M3 Canada
    T: +1 604.641.4962 | F: +1 604.646.2541
    *Law Corporation

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another excellent post, thank you. I have been eating sushi in a single bite since my first visit to Fujiyama Mama in 1985. Each delicate morsel was dropped undivided into my Cookie Monster-like maw, always causing an immediate stoppage of the conversation. A single bite also avoided the collateral damage of failing to bite completely through the eel or octopus or whatever, and having the remaining balance crumble onto my lap. Who knew that, in the brief moment between bites, the rice would suffer ruinous degradation. Or that fingers with all their body oils, lotions and uninvited microbes would be better than chopsticks? Since your words have been shared on the internet, they must be true!
    Keep on posting!
    P.S. I have never been a served a digit on a sashimi platter; that can’t be cheap!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I probably should have cropped the photo!
      Fortunately they provide a warm cloth with which to wash your hands before you start eating which I have assume removes some finger contaminates.
      You will love the restaurant and must go!
      Thank you for your encouragement!!


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