45 Carleton

Daio is a small and cosy restaurant, located right at Yonge and Carleton, across from Carleton cinema. It is composed of one main dining hall with tables and some enclosed booths for more privacy. Traditional Japanese doors separate enclosed booths from one another. Booths have sliding doors at all sides. Some booth have doors that can slide open to expose neighbouring diners beside them. I rally found that this idea of enclosed booths makes it all quite romantic and tranquil.

Most of the menu is not vegetarian, most items are sushi dishes, either rolls of 6 or hand rolled. Some vegetarian sushi dishes include the cucumber and carrot, avocado and cucumber roll. Other sushi rolls include tuna, crab, salmon, and BBQ eel. For my mian dish I ordered the tofu hot plate with an assortment of vegetables ($14). I got a pathetic assortment of vegetables- 4 pieces in total. a mushroom slice, a green pepper sliver, a red pepper sliver, and an onion sliver. I was expecting a medley of stir fried vegetables. I did get a generous portion of stir fried silken tofu in a delicious teriyaki sauce. As it was not firm tofu, it was not filling at all. Rip off central, I say. I had to order 6 pieces of avocado roll ($6.50) and it came with a generous serving of pickeled ginger and wasabi sauce (green horseradish). Rockin’ good.

My friend had the same dish as myself but it was Beef Teriyaki and it came with steamed rice ($12.95). He found it more filling. As well he ordered the sushi rolls (6) with cucumber, sticky rice, and fish eggs (red caviar). Both of our dishes came with free salad (about the dish of a baby portion) and a tiny portion of miso soup. Accepts all cards.

350 Fahrenheit-closed Jan 2005

First off, though I liked the food I ordered, I completely disagree with the concept of this restaurant which caters and dare I say fosters eating disorders. Whatever happened to eating for pleasure? Food should be an enjoyable experience, not dictated by caloric and carb counts on every item. The diet focus really turned me off. Eat balanced & be happy & love what you eat is what I say.

So now I’ll get off my soapbox & review.

Mark & I walked into this place at about 9:45 pm. The employee wasn’t sure if we would be able to stay as it closed at 10:30 despite at least 5 tables being full of dining patrons. After consultation, they let us stay. The menu, despite the dieter’s commentary was relatively varied for a place that caters to the Atkins’s diet, Dr. Bernstein & the Canada Food Guide to name a few. The pricing was not cheap, but not expensive. Most main courses started at $11.95 & went up from there. Wine could only be ordered by the bottle, not by the glass. Every table was dressed with a bottle of water & a bottle of wine, but you’d pay quite a bit if you dared open them. They provided hummus & pita chipy things instead of the usual bread & butter. Of course.

We started each with a smoothie type drink a la Fresh/Juice for Life, which came in an extremely generous portion. I had the Triple A – Carrot, celery, apple, beets with greens, wheat grass & parsley at $4.95 If you care, there were 189 calories, 4 grams of protein, 41 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fat & 30 of fibre. I believe the fibre count, it was a rather pulpy drink, but tasty & pretty.

After consulting with our waitress over the portion sizes, (it appears many of the meals are small portions, which should have meant smaller prices, but alas I digress). I told her my concerns; I did not want to leave feeling ripped off, so after we vetoed my first meal choice, I decided on a fish dish instead.

I had Lime Grilled whitefish with spicy sweet potato & Kale. $15.95 If you care, Calories: 385 Protein: 29, Carbs: 38 Fat 13 Canada Food Guide:2 fruit & veg counts, 2 meat & alternatives, South Beach Diet, phase 2, Atkins Diet ok, Suzanne Somers diet ok, blood types B AB & O ok – BUT Atkins, Somers & blood type folk should eliminate the sweet potato.

I’m glad I don’t belong to those groups, because the sweet potato was great, very yummy with plump raisins macerated in spices scattered throughout! My fish was very tasty & I got a very nice sized piece. I guess the waitress warned them not to be stingy with me & so they weren’t. I liked the Kale & roasted peppers which were prepared straight up. My portion was so big I had to take a doggie bag back with me. Too bad Mark didn’t get more food.

The weird surprise came when the bill came & not all items matched what was listed in the menu, nor were we warned about the increase, so thankfully our waitress agreed with us that charging the unpublished price was unethical, so she lowered the bill. It pays to look it over… She then told us how the menu posted on the lcd that passers-by see is not current as the menu had recently changed, so some people order food that isn’t available. Poor way to begin customer relations in such a competitive field… If you are going to change your menu, then make sure the patrons are only presented with the accurate one. While you’re at it, run it through the spell checker.

So, for me, the concept is horrific, the service was ok, and the food I had was awesome. They spared no expense in the decor, it was really nice. They are a newer establishment, so they are probably working out the kinks – I hope.