Dinner · Drinks · King West

Welcome to Wabora

Let me preface this post by saying that I’m not a sushi connoisseur by any means. In fact I’m probably more than likely to opt for the commercial places versus the authentic ones. Some of the fancy rolls are just so pretty you feel bad eating them! Welllll okay not really, I never feel bad eating sushi. I can pretty much eat sushi anytime, anyplace and have learned a very valuable lesson: when opting for “all you can eat”, dawning anything with an elastic waistband is highly reccomended 🙂

I’ve been to quite a few places ranging from the popular (Sushi on Bloor) to the high end (Blowfish) to the local favorite (Crazy Sushi) and the random (Asa Sushi on College). My favorite roll of all time (so far) has been the Snow Corn Roll from Crazy Sushi – NR I know you appreciate this one because I think we’ve shared enough snow corn rolls to last a lifetime! If you’ve never had it then make your way to the Winston Churchill AMC plaza and indulge in flaky white fish blanketed over an avocado and crabstick maki, baked in sweet garlic cream sauce and garnished with scallions and masago. Feel free to invite yours truly 😉

Back to the topic at hand! On this special night the posse finds itself at Wabora in the Thompson Hotel. I had never heard of Wabora but since I subscribe to one too many “Dining in Toronto” newsletters I seem to have the finger on the pulse of all the new hot spots in the city – so dangerous.

This was not just any night though. One of our very own has taken the plunge and is embarking on an extremely exciting new adventure in her life. MY LITTLE TR IS ENGAGED! Without making this entry too personal, this night was set up to celebrate this monumental occasion in her life and kick-off the many many events that are soon to come! Big yay! Since most of my sushi excursions are shared with her I figured this place would be perfect and the Thompson Hotel location just added that extra little something 😉

Wabora (the Korean word for Welcome or “Come in” actually first opened to acclaim in Bracebridge circa 2005 and chef Minsoo Kim has now brought his franchise to the T.Dot offering up to 60 different rolls, yup that’s right 60! Many of the specialty rolls also feature 5 of Wabora’s secret sauces and the restaurant also features a Robata Grill which burns with bincho – a highly sought after white charcoal from Asia which burns longer and more evenly.

There were 11 of us tonight so needless to say A LOT of sushi was tried, indulged and plates were completely wiped clean. Even Miss BK went for seconds and if SHE goes for seconds then you know the sushi is GOOD!

On Mine (and NR’s) Menu:
Crispy Valentine Roll – California Roll topped with spicy salmon and shredded crunch potatoes along with wabora sauce
Firecracker – Spicy Tuna Roll topped with Fresh tuna and shredded crabstick, drizzled with creamy wasabi sauce and dynamite sauce

Both rolls were to die for and literally melted in our mouths. You would also think that for being housed in the Thompson Hotel, the servings would be small and size would be meager but each of our rolls were 8 pieces and very hearty. My fave was definitely the Crispy Valentine Roll, there was just so much going on at one time that every bite was different! The textures of the crunchy potatoes with the soft rice and then the blend of sweet and with spice made for a perfect roll (pictured below). Firecracker was also amazing and all the fish was very fresh. I’m not the biggest fan of the raw tuna so I probably wouldn’t get this one again . Two of the other diners were vegetarians and they also thoroughly enjoyed their rolls because the chefs were very accommodating with “customizing” their rolls for them. There were definitely some other crowd favorites – The Yonge Roll, Titan and the Mango Roll. I wish I could list the ingredients but there’s no website and I could only make so many notes on my Blackberry! Service was definitely very hospitable and attentive – they even offered our table of 11 separate bills which almost NEVER happens. The décor and ambience was beautiful, dark and dim with modern furniture and original artwork. High-class place without the high-class prices and snobby service.

On the Menu Next Time:
Crispy Valentine Roll (let’s be honest!)
Sundae Roll – crabmeat, cream cheese, tempura shrimp in the roll and topped with shredded crabmeat and four different Wabora special sauces
On the Border Roll – Tempura fried on the outside, yellowtail, cream cheese, jalapeno served with lemon ponzu dipping sauce

Address: Thompson Hotel, 550 Wellington Street West (at Bathurst)
416-777-9901 (reservations recommended especially on weekends)
Parking: Parking garage in the hotel or street parking on any of the surrounding streets
Price: $$ – prices of rolls vary from $8-15
Service: 8.5/10
Food: 9/10
Ambience: 9/10

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One thought on “Welcome to Wabora

  1. You have got me very curious! I'll be hitting up this joint very soon. The best sushi I've had is Sushi Samba. Not sure if you've heard of it but if you haven't then Google it.

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