Le Cafe Michi

Le Cafe Michi is located in a quaint plaza on Pharmacy and Sheppard in Scarborough. Nothing on the exterior really indicates that this is a Japanese restaurant; it just looks like a small cafe shop so you’ll actually have to look for it or you’ll miss it passing by.

I was quite excited to check this place out. Many friends have raved and highly recommended certain menu items and after reading many positive reviews I knew exactly what I was going to order.

Le Cafe Michi is a small and narrow restaurant. The front of the restaurant holds a long fridge displaying their daily assortment of fresh desserts. There is extra seating located in the back of the restaurant where the sushi bar is.

Before actually making it to their menu items, I was stuck reading a list of “rules” on the first page which slightly annoyed me.

  • We do not take reservations for cakes and beverage only, and we do not serve cake and beverage only during peak time of lunch, and after 5:00pm
  • Our course menu and lunch, dinner specials include coffee or green tea only. If you share the drink and had both, there will be a charge
  • Please not that there is a minimum order charge of $5.00 per person during peak dining hours
  • Sushi Bar is closed between 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm from Tuesday to Saturaday
I have never seen so many rules and constraints on a menu before – a little pretentious don’t you think?

Garden Salad to start; just average. I prefer the creamier Japanese salad dressing served at some restaurants.

Sushi Sampler ($19.95)

  • From Left to Right – Magura (Tuna), Ika (Cuttle Fish), Ebi (Shrimp), Uni (Sea Urchin), Sake (Salmon)
  • I didn’t bother trying the sushi sampler as my meal came with a sashimi platter

Unatama ($22.95)

  • Barbequed eel, green onions in simmered egg on rice
  • served with regular green tea or coffee, side garden salad, miso soup and a choice of cake
  • My friend ordered the Unatama for his main. The eel wasn’t particularly amazing but still good.
  • What I really enjoyed was the rice that fully absorbed all the flavours from the eel

Chyo-chin Bento ($23.95)

  • Karaage (Deep Fried Chicken), Assorted Sashimi, Unajyu (eel) on sushi rice
  • The neat thing about this particular bento is the way its assembled. Each layer was stacked ontop of another.

Karaage (Deep Fried Chicken)

  • The first layer was quite delectable
  • The karaage is battered and deep fried to a crispy light brown colour – lightly drizzled in a spicy mayo sauce
  • The chicken itself was quite tender and juicy- served piping hot!

Assorted Sashimi

  • The assorted sashimi included a total of 6 slices – salmon, tuna and hamachi
  • I was quite disappointed with the sashimi – it was served warm and had this weird “fishy” aftertaste
  • If i had to pick – my favourite slice would be the sake (salmon)

Unajyu on Sushi Rice

  • The bottom layer is eel on sushi rice. Contained 2 slices of eel, seaweed, shredded omelette, and vegetables.
  • I preferred my friend’s entree of Barbequed eel on rice a lot more because it simply had more “juice” and flavour to it
  • As per mine – aside from the eel and the bit of rice underneath it – everything else in this bowl was really dry =S

English Truffle

  • a slice of cake / dessert came with the combo that we ordered.
  • My friend ordered the English truffle and loved it – covered with whipped cream and fresh fruits

  • the sponge cake inside was quite delicious with chunks of berries giving it some texture
  • it reminded me of a better version of a simple sponge “birthday” cake found at Chinese bakeries.

Japanese Green Tea Cake

  • The Japanese green tea cake was the highlight for me
  • Asian desserts are known to be less sweet and heavy compared to Western counterparts
  • The green tea cake was very light and palatable – the mousse was very airy
  • It also infused with some red bean filling – the cake definitely lived up to the hype

Some foods were pretty good but overall it was nothing particularly amazing. I personally didn’t think it lived up to the hype. Though, I can understand why many rave about this place – this restaurant provides a different concept – with the vertical bento boxes and a galore of Japanese home made cakes and desserts. I did leave this restaurant craving for more Japanese Green Tea Mousse cake but with all the time constraints placed on certain menu items & their not so friendly service – it gives off a pretentious vibe-  I wouldn’t be rushing back here anytime soon.

Le Cafe Michi on Urbanspoon

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1 Comment

  1. mooken
    May 28, 2012 / 5:04 pm

    I think the other draw of Le Cafe Michi was that chef Kaji (of Sushi Kaji) worked at the sushi bar during weekdays lunches. I’m not sure if that’s still the case. I think it’s also the idea that this is a proper Japanese owned/run place, compared to the scores of chinese/korean-owned Japanese restaurants in the east end.
    I found the quality of the fish was good, but the price tag was a bit high.

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