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Sushi at Totoya
Sushi at Totoya
Ramen  at Totoya
Foods from Totoya

2012 Mar 5
This restaurant is now closed.

2010 Sep 21
i'm not giving u a thumbs-down, but whoami, i certainly disagree with your contention that "they had no ramen on the dinner menu. That was ok."

Its not OK!

A city closing in on 1 mill needs a restie serving proper ramen for dinner! Ok, maybe that's not Totoya's fault, entirely. But, still...

2010 Sep 21
Stopped by for dinner with the intention of having as authentic a bowl of ramen as I can find in Ottawa. I've been craving one since a 2 month stint in Japan during which ramen was just about a daily part of my diet, after having been hooked a few weeks in and then feeling compelled to find the best bowls in each town I visited.

All that said, they had no ramen on the dinner menu. That was ok, since another Japanese staple food of mine, gyoza, was available. Ordered that with some edamame, which were exactly the way they should be.. fresh, cool, crisp, and seasoned perfectly on the outside.

The gyoza, unfortunately, didn't quite meet expectations. I don't know if it was because of the lack of a traditional spicy sauce to mix with the soy (I didn't ask once they had arrived) or the filling itself, but they seemed a little bit salty. They lacked the crispiness of the gyoza I had enjoyed overseas, and the flavour just didn't do it for me. Then again, the ingredients in the filling were a little different than what I was used to.
If I hadn't been spoiled by meals overseas, I probably would have liked them just fine. I still did.. maybe my expectations were too high.

A friend got cucumber sushi rolls.. I don't remember exactly what was in them, but they were great.

Will surely go back for a bowl of ramen at lunch sometime.

The service was really friendly, and the staff spoke in both Japanese and English to us, which was nice.

2010 Mar 16
Tempted by the ramen bowl (hard boiled egg floating in a bowl of soup? count me in!) I dragged the boyfriend down here for a taste.
I had the ramen, and he had one of the teriyaki dishes. The food was great, and the service was amazing.
My main praise, and what surprised me most, was the salad dressing. It was considerably lighter and less creamy than any other ginger dressing I've tried. It was amazing! Like the difference between coleslaw with the traditional vinaigrette and the gross mayo version that's so common. I can't wait to go back sometime and get a bento box.

2009 Aug 13
We miss this place a ton after having moved out of the neighbourhood. We stopped by last night to remind ourselves what we are missing.

Our dinner was amazing as usual. These folks just make good, honest sushi. None of the silly frippery of Kinki or the variable quality of the AYCE places.

The ingredients are super fresh, they take a great deal of care when making your dinner and the staff is great/attentive.

My only complaint is that they aren't on Preston Street...

2009 Mar 2
Went this past Friday with a dear friend.
To make a long review shorter, the service was quite good, and the sushi was grande. My only complaint is that for $20 for an AYCE, I feel as though they should make cyclical rounds with the trays. For those who haven't been, they bring around trays with sushi rolls and ask how many you would like. However, what they don't say is that after they have gone through the 16-20 types, they stop. So, for example, I don't like egg or tuna in my sushi. Had I known that there was only one go around, I might have had a few more of the other kinds. Overall, the quality of food was outstanding, but I was left hungrier than I had anticipated.

2008 Nov 19
Originally from Vancouver, I have spent the last three years in Ottawa continually disappointed by the offerings of the various "Japanese" restaurants in this city. Turned off by either the exorbitantly high prices (Like KINKI or Suisha Gardens) or just plain awful (like MHK), I was weary of ever finding good sushi here in O-town.
This changed a few months ago when (for another reason) I found myself inside the Japanese Embassy talking with several diplomatic officials from Japan. In a break in the conversation I asked them where they go to seek out authentic Japanese food here in Ottawa. (knowing that I'm from Vancouver and have been to Tokyo) they grimaced at the question but then suggested a little restaurant called 'Totoya' and recommended their AYCE as a good opportunity to stay cheap and enjoy some good traditional sushi.
Weary but intrigued I made a reservation for my girlfriend's surprise birthday party.
Walking into the place I was a little worried, it was small and DIY decorating (I think I spied IKEA lights and room dividers), but noticed that the man behind the sushi bar looked very Japanese, very old and very professional. Needless to say they handled our large party with grace and exceptional hospitality (including taking a cake baked by another guest and hiding it in the back, followed by turning out ALL the lights in the restaurant and bringing it out for my girlfriend while singing happy birthday). The sushi was awesome. It was fresh (a common problem with AYCE places in Vancouver who have turned to pre-making sushi during the day, letting it go soggy under saran wrap.) and not slathered in Mayo, nor did it deviate from the traditional forms by including unusual ingredients in a tacky effort to be "innovative" or "fusion". It was just simple, traditional sushi done extremely well (for Ottawa standards).
I haven't had a chance to go back yet, but rest assured, when I get another craving for sushi this will be the top of my list.

2008 Oct 29
I'm almost positive that the sign advertising the AYCE on Fri/Sat specifies that it's just maki rolls.

Like others have said, Totoya isn't exclusively an AYCE restaurant, it's offered only on Friday and Saturday and the quality of their dishes, I think, is much much higher than other places - I doubt doing a "true" AYCE would be detrimental to their profits.

2008 Oct 27
Maybe it's done differently elsewhere, but here in town "AYCE Sushi" is understood to be a full menu, not just rolls.

This includes appetizers (edamame, tempura, katsu, udon) as well as sushi rolls, nigiri and sashimi. My understanding is that Totoya was never a purely AYCE Japanese restaurant, unlike others in the city where you pay a flat fee to eat anything on the menu (outside of drinks and dessert).

Perhaps the original poster can elaborate on their comment?

2008 Oct 27
In defence of Totoya's AYCE Sushi, the reviewer might have misunderstood as to what Sushi is.

Sushi is flavoured rice so tempura, or sashimi cannot be categorized as sushi.

Correct me if I am wrong (or being too strict) with the term "Sushi".




2007 Nov 28
The platters in which they present the sushi. The don't just set it down, that would be to coarse. They explain the two selections on the platter and you say how much you want of each.

2007 Nov 28
Went to Totoya last weekend, and it was really good. I usually cannot all you can eat sushi, as it usually guarantees bad quality, but Totoya's all you can eat experience is really unique. They bring out two types of sushi rolls at a time (pictured). Its feels very classy for all you can eat, the sushi is exceptional, and you get to try out some of their very unique rolls while still enjoying the classics. I highly recommend this place if you're looking to go for sushi for dinner, even in place of Genji (Totoya may be my new favourite). O, and the nigiri is excellent too, I tried tuna and scallop, and they were top quality.

2007 Feb 4
My boss sprung for sushi for our staff party. It was nice and fresh, nicely presented and tasty (although it didn't look as good as the picture of the sushi from Genji). Unfortunately there were a couple of kinds I couldn't try (allergic to shrimp) but my 11 year old daughter liked them. We also had some oysters from the Whalesbone and some curried tofu from the Thai place down the street, but the sushi trays disappeared the fastest.

I think I'll have to try some sushi at Genji to compare.


2006 Nov 20
I've been to Totoya a few times and always enjoyed what I ordered. My favourite item from there is their bento box. It's a nice mixture of some of my favourites (tempura, sushi, teriyaki, etc).

I've also found the same problem as Duckfat; Totoya is never really busy when I've been in or walked by. I'm hoping that business starts to pick up in the next few months with the holidays and all that.


2007 Oct 5
I treasure the ramen at Totoya, too. Now, let me qualify that it's not the best I've ever had, and it's wayyy too expensive at $12, but like you said, Duckfat, there's only one ramen source in Otown and we gotta keep it in business! It's too bad ramen's so rare here, because it's one of my fav Japanese dishes. This summer I gorged on it while on vacation in Calgary and Vancouver. There's ramen at restaurants all over the place in these cities for under $10. Those lucky westerners!

2007 Feb 24
Here is the Totoya Ramen, which I finally got around to trying while spending a fun father-and-son half-day in the Market with my two year old. I quite enjoyed the soup except that the broth seemed kind of boring -- basically simple dashi with a heavy dose of soy sauce. To spice things up, they offered a shaker of pre-ground pepper rather than the chili-sesame-orange sprinkle that has accompanied udon/soba soups at other Japanese restaurants. I don't know if this is a universal difference between ramen and udon/soba or if the shaker of black pepper is unique to this restaurant. I do make a tastier broth for breakfast at work using chicken bouillon powder, tom yum paste, sesame chili oil, dried chives, and fried onions, but then I don't call it ramen. ;-)

As for the other ingredients, the noodles were excellent and I especially liked the pink slivers of pickled ginger. The homemade BBQ pork wasn't my thing -- in fact, when I first bit into it my impression was of a tough slice of overcooked salmon.

2006 Nov 19
Is there another place in Ottawa where you can get authentic ramen? If so, I haven't found it. The sushi I've had at Totoya has been just okay, but the ramen is fantastic: chewy fresh noodles topped with homemade BBQ pork, hard-boiled egg, seaweed, bamboo shoots, spinach and pickled ginger, in a super-tasty soy-based broth. I've eaten ramen at noodle counters in Tokyo, and this stuff would hold its own. It is, unfortunately, not cheap--about $12 for a big filling bowl--and available only at lunch time. But it's worth it. I'm also a bit worried that this place might not stay in business for long--it's often empty or near empty when I've gone. I would hate to lose my ramen source, so I encourage everyone to go slurp a bowl!


2007 Feb 24
The edamame were of good quality, served piping hot and sprinkled with a light dusting of snowflake-like salt. My son is a big fan of these and charmed the server by telling her, "I love edda-mommy!" when she brought them. :-)