Edoko

A quest for something to eat last weekend in Ottawa, landed us in Edoko Japanese Steakhouse. They have Teppanyaki and a regular menu. We opted for the regular menu because we weren’t sure if we had a lot of time to spend there.

I had the Terriyaki Steak cooked medium rare served with noodles, hibachi shrimp and vegetales. The steak was so tender and flavourful. There was also a lot of it.

It also came with a Chicken Soup and classic green salad.

I also had a glass of plum wine.

The restaurant was very hospitable and the owner came to greet us and make sure everything was to our liking. We had a very nice evening at Edoko!

 

Edoko Japanese Steak House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Don Don Izakaya

dscf3942 I recently went to Don Don Izakaya near Yonge and Dundas. It is a place with sharing plates and there were tons of things on the menu, including tons of drinks.

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The first thing I got was Jaja Beef. There was a mini grill where you cooked your own beef, asparagus, oyster mushroom, and zuchini that you could dip in a bbq sauce with miso and ponzu vinegar. The sauce was really good though you had to watch it because if there wasn’t enough butter or got to hot it would stick easily!

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My favourite was this Torched sushi made with salmon, orka, green onion and mayonnaise. I hate okra normally but this one was not slimy and gave a nice texture. The whole thing melted in my mouth.

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Next I had a BC tuna Smoky Hay Sashimi, which is literally seared over burning hay. According to our server it was to be eaten with a piece of radish, garlic and some salt. It definitely delivered on the smoke! It almost reminded me of ham but was a fresh fish.

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To drink I had a Oolong Hi-Tea which I think had shochu in it.

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For dessert I had a Brûlée Style Pudding, which was essentially a creme brûlée. The top was hot and crunchy but I found the middle cold.

While I found the food decent, it was quite expensive. The bill came out to about $70 for such small portions of food. I left feeling like I still needed a snack!

Don Don Izakaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kinka Izakaya (North York) Tasting

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I attended another Kinka Izakaya tasting, but this time at their North York location. Located at Yonge and Shepherd, it is tucked away behind a tall fancy condo. We were a bit confused and walked around the entire condo before we found it. It’s slightly smaller than the Bathurst location but expands to a patio when there is warmer weather. We started our night with some drinks. I had a Cherry Blossom consisting of red wine, cassis liqueur and sprite. My friend had a virgin ramune mojito.

DSCF6605The night’s menu had a few repeats of the previous location’s dishes, but they did spice it up for those who attended both. Our first dish was Takowasabi, marinated octopus with wasabi stem eaten with seaweed. The taste of this came as a surprise as you are hit with wasabi right away! At the same time, we couldn’t stop eating it but prepare for a bit of a mouth burn.

DSCF6606Next I was reunited again with the Kaisu and Tofu Salad.

DSCF6607 The Gyu Carpaccio was one of my favourites of the night and beautifully presented. It was a seared beef sashimi with ponzu, wasabi mayo and garlic chips. It was so delicate, fresh and flavourful.

DSCF6608Karaage is always welcome and my friend who didn’t come with me last time highly enjoyed it.

DSCF6610I had no problem eating the Gindara again. It’s melt in your mouth texture is to die for.

DSCF6611The night continued with Kakimayo baked oyster.

DSCF6612Tontoro grilled pork cheek filled our stomach. It had a side of yuzu pepper that could be used a dipping.

DSCF6613Our last savory dish was another favourite, the Salmon Ozisushi, a blowtorched sushi. This was a bit different than JaBistro’s version as it had plenty of ginger for flavour.

DSCF6614Dessert was a green tea creme brûlée very similar to the one at Yakitori Kintori (a sister restaurant).

We left the tasting with full and happy stomachs. Best of luck to all Kinka Izakaya locations!

Kinka Izakaya North York Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This meal was complimentary, but views are my own.

Kinka Izakaya Tasting (Bloor Street West)

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After a franchise contract ended, all Guu Izakayas were renamed Kinka Izakaya, explained the owner after we sampled a delicious meal on Monday. A bunch of bloggers were invited to a tasting with a guest and I was lucky enough to be one of them!

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We started our meal with drinks. I had the Cassis Peach Oolong: cassis liquer, peach liquer, oolong tea.

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Nash had the Sake Highball: sake, whisky, cointeau, soda and orange.

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Our first dish was the Gomaae: blanched spinach with sesame sauce. It was seasoned generously.

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Maguro Tataki: seared BC tuna sashimi with ponzu and garlic chips. This was super fresh and one of my favourite dishes as the sides were perfectly seared to leave a soft pink middle.

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The Seaweed & Tofu salad was a refreshing palate cleansing part of the meal.

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Their Karaage was nicely fried, moist in the centre and served with a garlic mayo. I liked it more without the mayo personally as the batter had a soy sauce touch.

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Kaki Mayo: Baked BC oyster with spinach & garlic mayo topped with cheese.

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 Karubi: grilled miso marinated short ribs.

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Gindara: grilled miso marinated black cod with yuzu miso sauce. This was my favourite dish. The fish was melt in your mouth and the skin was to die for!

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Lastly (before dessert), in case I wasn’t already full (which I was) there was a Kinoko Bibimbap with rice, mushrooms, cheese and seaweed sauce.

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Dessert was a piece of Sake Tirimisu. The alcohol was subtle but would sneak up on me! It worked will in a tirimisu.

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Our delicious meal concluded with a gift bag, and they lived up to their logo of “serving people happiness”. Our night was full of fresh, delightful food and superior service.

This meal was complimentary but views are my own.
KINKA IZAKAYA BLOOR Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hanmoto

DSCF6055Hanmoto is a super cozy izakaya just off Dundas West on Lakeview Avenue in Toronto. You could walk past it’s slight red glow if you weren’t specifically looking for it. The place is small and seats about 30. I was lucky enough to walk in and get a table for a friend and I. As I waited for my friend, I sipped a North Town Nashi, a fruity drink with mizo shochu, lemon, asian pear and shingo pear bitters.

This is a sharing restaurant so we ordered a bunch of dishes.

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Hot Hot Tofu: Cold silken tofu, chili oil, pickled cucumber, onions, nori. I enjoyed the melt in mouth texture of the tofu very much. They added just the right amount of chili oil and it wasn’t too spicy or salty.

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Hamachi Tartare: Sweet chili ponzu, shiso, cilantro, avocado. The yellowtail was very fresh and paired well with the avocado and the texture of the other toppings.

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Uni-Bomb: sea urchin roe, chicken skin chips, sushi rice. I rarely ever have sea urchin (because finding it fresh is hard in the city) but I really enjoyed this bomb! The chicken skins were super crispy and looked so enticing that my Jewish friend (who doesn’t eat chicken) took a bite out of one. Oops.

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Enoki with Miso Butter arrived on a hot plate looking like a steak. The mushrooms were cooked together as one piece and flaked like meat. You can never go wrong with cooking anything in butter.

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My second drink of the night was an Arisaka Sour with green tea, cucumber infused gin, uzu, soda, lime bitter. I was surprised to actually taste the cucumber.

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For some reason even though I usually hate okra (when my mom cooks it), I decided to see if I would like it when it was done properly. This was cooked with parmesan and topped with bonito flakes. The flakes kind of felt like eating paper so I wasn’t relaly a fan. I also think I just hate okra in general and can’t get over the slithery texture (to no fault of Hanmoto).

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Lastly, we ordered the Salmon Aburi with torched salmon and sushi rice. It resembled a deconstructed version of the blowtorched sushi we loved at JaBistro.

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Who leaves without trying the Miso icecream? I haven’t eaten much savoury ice cream but this one was super refreshing and topped with nori powder and toasted rice balls. Picture miso soup except frozen and in block form. The miso soup of the future.

A visit to Hanmoto is definitely a must! But good luck getting a seat if you are more than two people.

Hanmoto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato