My friend heard that this place was really good for AYCE hotpot and sushi, and after much speculation and anticipation, the six of us went to try it out for the first time. Prior to our visit, I was obsessively reading my fellow Urbanspoon-er’s (Did I really just do that?) reviews to know what I should be aware of. So thank you, fellow reviewers for giving me the heads up! We came prepared 🙂 I should also mention that I only took pictures of the hot pot items before it got cooked. Also, I only took a picture of each item once, since we ended up ordering multiple rounds of food.
Previous reviews warned us that Toyotomi was a bit confusing to find, especially their parking and entrance. They were correct. They were pretty strict about parking in the right area, and you had to put down your license plate number or risk getting towed. Toyotomi is located on the bottom floor of an office building. I noticed that the lobby of the building smelled really nice, like laundry. When we walked in, we were greeted by an elaborate table of empty alcohol decorations. Whoa!
We made reservations for 7:30, since people said that this place gets really busy. It was probably about 1/2 full when we went. Our table was very awkwardly placed. On one side of the table, was booth seating and then there were four other chairs. However, the table was shorter than the booth and the chairs were awkwardly placed, so that the person sitting at end couldn’t really reach the hot pot. They also didn’t have a built in stove like most hot pot places, just the portable ones which I guess makes it more flexible for them, incase customers don’t want hot pot.
We were also well aware of their strict food wastage policy, so we ordered very carefully. It kind of became a laughing joke throughout the night since we joked that each mini slice of cucumber wasted, or onion garnish, would cost us $1. The menu above is their AYCE menu. We chose deluxe since people said that’s the best value, because you get sashimi and more hot pot items. You can also get AYCD (drink) which cost an additional $4, but I think everyone at the table had to order it. Sauces, and extra toppings cost $0.5 approximately as well.
For an extra $1, you can get two soup bases. We decided on getting the Japanese chili and Japanese bone. The servers were really good at coming by frequently to make sure our soup didn’t run out. Both of the soup bases were really flavourful. The chili one had a mild spiciness to it, while the bone broth was like a standard, lighter broth. Both tasted pretty different from each other.
Our first round of meat! We ordered AAA prime rib, sirlon beef, fatty beef, lamb, and lean beef. All of them might not be pictured here, as I mentioned in the intro. All of the meat was really juicy,tender and delicious!
Next up, came our other hot pot items served under a bowl of ice. We ordered pork blood, prawns, beef omasum, pork dumplings, and shrimp dumplings. The pork dumplings were disappointing because they tasted exactly like the frozen ones that you buy at TNT. I also didn’t taste or see any shrimp in the “shrimp dumpings”, but just some sort of seaweed and other meat in it instead. Other than the dumplings, the rest of the items in that bowl were tasty.
My gosh! Look at all that sashimi! The sashimi made it worth the deluxe for sure. Each piece of salmon and tuna was so thick, sweet, and juicy. They definitely did not skimp out with their sashimi.
This next bowl was kind of random. I’ve never seen onion rings, fries, or sausages offered at an Asian AYCE but hey, it was good! We completely devoured this bowl. My friend couldn’t even wait for me to finish the picture before digging in, as you can see from the chopstick. The onion rings and fries were really crispy. The fries reminded us of Costco fries, which are the best! The takoyaki balls were also really delicious, the skin was pretty crispy. The fried chicken was really juicy, crunchy, and seasoned well!
Up next were our rolls. We ordered california rolls, and a special house roll. I didn’t try the california roll, but the special house roll was amazing. The shrimp tempura inside was super crispy and juicy. The topping was tuna sashimi, with crunchy flakes and special sauce. We ended up ordering so many more of these after because they were simply delicious!
This was the beef sashimi. I don’t eat beef sashimi, but David said that the beef was extremely tender and they ordered many more rounds of this. It also came with a ponzu sauce which complimented the beef perfectly.
Behold! The spicy salmon and tuna sashimi. I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be this delicious, especially for AYCE. The spicy sauce had a mild sweetness to it. The sashimi was also really thick, like the non-spicy sashimi. It came with a crunchy topping mixed inside which I loved, it gave the sashimi a good crunch. The onions on top were also a tasty garnish.
This was our seaweed salad. Nothing too special about it. It came in a really, really small bowl (think soya sauce sized) and with a small quantity. It was pretty crunchy and flavourful, but I wouldn’t order it again just because their other dishes are so much better.
After ordering many rounds of each dish I mentioned, we were ready for dessert. Again, I’ve never seen frozen pineapples offered as a snack/dessert before so I was intrigued. The pineapples came rock-frozen, but eventually melted so that only the inside was frozen. This was a great, healthy (non fattening), and light dessert to an overwhelming indulgent and gluttonous meal. The pineapples were very, very sweet, and did not have any freezer burn taste to it. They were the cherries to the top of a fabulous cake!
Overall, we had a really pleasant and worthwhile visit to Toyotomi. Each person ended up paying $25 (not including tips). Since it was our first time, we didn’t know what to expect but I was impressed with their service, and the quality of their food. What stood out the most was their sashimi and the quality of beef. I can’t wait to come back here again! I also can’t believe I’ve never heard of this place until recently!