No-Carb, Low-Carb Sushi at Toro in Montclair

by Melody Kettle

No Carb: Naruto RollIt’s October, between apple pie and beer, we’re loading up on carbs.  Once in awhile, it’s good to take a break from the glycemic spiking fare, and enjoy a delicious low-carb/ no-carb meal.  So how about sushi?  Sounds great, but what about the rice!? Toro Sushi Bar, 44 Upper Montclair Plaza (behind Starbucks on Valley Rd.), is now offering no-carbohydrate and low-carbohydrate sushi options.

Toro Sushi Bar is a family business, owned and operated by husband and wife team, Andy Hayasaka and Amy Chen.  The couple came to America from Tokyo in 1992.   Amy was a nurse, always conscious of healthy eating, and Andy has been a chef since he was eighteen years old.  Previous to opening Toro in 2008, Andy and Amy operated three other restaurants including, Sakae in Ridgewood.

Toro is committed to traditional Japanese cuisine, and offers simple, healthy and light preparations.  Local Montclair photographer, Linda Bohm, introduced me to Amy, who was kind enough to invite me to Toro for lunch to sample their no/low carbohydrate sushi. 

No Carb: Escolar, endive, capers, yuzuLunch began with a low-carb Asian Spring Roll with shrimp, kani, and avocado wrapped in rice paper.   Next, I enjoyed a striking no-carb sushi made with Escolar, endive and capers with a Yuzu sauce.  The capers added just a touch of briny goodness; delicious and highly recommended.

Tuna NutaHowever, my personal favorite, and the favorite of my dining companion,  was the delicious Naruto Roll (pictured above).   A no-carb, double-decker, that is best eaten in traditional fashion, by hand, to facilitate consuming both layers simultaneously.  The top portion is yellow tail tuna with endive, and the bottom is hollowed out daikon with kani.  When eaten together the flavors are absolutely complimentary and remarkably vibrant!

Next we enjoyed the low-carb Memory of Sake Roll, with tuna, avo, crunchy, and a bright homemade sauce with a kick of heat. 

Another sure to please no-carb  option is the Tuna Nuta.  A delicate, yet satisfying dish with cucumber, traditional Japanese Nuta sauce and Japanese bean sprouts.    

Tuna DumplingI also tried the signature item at Toro, the Tuna Dumpling.  This very creative appetizer is the shape of a traditional dumpling, filled with blue crab, avo, and crunchy, then wrapped in a thin sheath of tuna.

Andy Hayasaka and Amy ChenThe Gan Mai Tea at Toro, is among the best I’ve ever had in a sushi house.  The green tea is roasted with brown rice and jasmine flowers, giving it a deep roasted flavor with soothing floral notes.

In addition to the no/low carb sushi, Toro also offers a Build-A-Bento-Box dinner special on Sunday through Thursday from 5 pm – 7 pm for only $16.  Simply make a selection from the sushi bar, the appetizer menu, and the kitchen menu and voila! It’s bento, baby!  

Visit the Gallery for more photos.

Toro Sushi Bar

44 Upper Montclair Plaza

Montclair, NJ 07043

(973) 746-8555