Spring marks the arrival of cherry blossom season in many parts of the world. In Japan, cherry blossom viewing (known as hanami) is a beloved annual event, traditionally celebrated with picnic parties beneath the trees and evening light displays and blossom illuminations.
Beyond appreciating natural beauty, the pretty pink petals, called sakura, have deep meaning in Japanese culture with the brevity of their blossom honoured as a reflection of life’s own fleeting joy.
In Toronto, the beautiful blossoms will reach their peak in areas like High Park this week, but we’ll have to enjoy them from a distance since the city is fencing off popular viewing areas to discourage crowding.
Although this means we won’t be able to get up close to admire the cherry blossoms this spring, one Toronto sushi restaurant is hoping to help us get into the joyful spirit of the season with a special sakura-themed menu.
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Tachi, sister restaurant to Shoushin and Sushi Masaki Saito, is offering a limited-time omakase box in honour of sakura season. Modelled after the fast but high-quality experience offered by Japanese sushi shops, Tachi is known for its stand-up omakase sushi experience in 30-minute time slots. Amid the pandemic, the restaurant has shifted to offering omakase takeout boxes.
The sakura omakase set features nine pieces of assorted nigiri sushi and a fatty tuna hand roll. The restaurant has partnered with Sasaki Fine Pastry to include a piece of freshly-made sakura mochi, a chewy Japanese rice cake, for dessert.
There’s also the option to add Japanese beer, sake, or whisky to complete the at-home hanami experience. Everything is packaged in a light pink box with an origami rose and a sleeve that outlines the importance of sakura in Japanese culture.
The special omakase menu is available from now until mid-May. Orders can be placed via Tock.