Shiso Tree Cafe is located in J-Town (Japanese centre) in Markham. I am confident that the restaurant rocks the market in Toronto serving Japanese-style pastas. JaBistro sells a creamy uni pasta at lunch, but there are not many restaurants specializing in this unique fare.
The inside is casual with most tables set up to seat 2 to 4 people. The restaurant had a drum set in the restaurant that did not really flow with the simple décor. The good news is that the set will be removed in the near future to make way for more seating.
I had many Twitter friends who frequent the restaurant, so I followed their recommendations on my first visit. We upgraded our meal to make it a combo which came with soup, salad, garlic bread and house-made desserts for an additional $8. That was well worth the price!
We started off with the Okonomiyaki-style fries. The fries were crispy and the toppings that are typically on Japanese pancakes were fabulous on the fries. This was a filling start and a must!
For my main, I ordered the special ‘uni tagliolini’ which is a creamy sauce made with Vancouver uni in a house-made pasta. The sauce was spectacular with uni (sea urchin) incorporated in it for extra creaminess with a large uni on top. It was delicious! The pasta dish is seasonal and currently available on weeknights and weekends.
My husband ordered the shiso clam vongole with an olive oil and white wine sauce with bacon, tomatoes, clams and shiso. It was tasty but I would have preferred more clam flavour in the sauce.
My friend ordered the shrimp okonomiyaki pasta with shrimp and okonomiyaki toppings including Japanese mayo and bonito flakes. The dish was beautiful and the shrimp was perfectly cooked and well seasoned.
For the desserts, the waiter brought out a tray for us to choose from. I paid an extra $1 to my combo price to get the black sesame creme brulee. It was creamy goodness and had a subtle black sesame flavour. The combination was brilliant!
It’s worth the drive to Shiso Tree Cafe to try out the Japanese style pasta. The prices are reasonable and the food is unique and delicious! The uni pasta pasta is seasonal so do make a trip out soon. Remember to make reservations.