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LAUNCH | Toronto’s popular Japanese izakaya rebranded as Kinka Izakaya

Guu Izakaya has been in Toronto quite a while now and Torontonians are probably used to being greeted by the servers’ “irashaimase” every time they enter the restaurant. All three locations have been rebranded as Kinka Izakaya as of late but fear not, as they’re still serving their signature dishes, and being attentive as ever. I haven’t been for a few months and for this visit, I got to taste all my usual favourites and then some.

The best things about izakayas are the liveliness and the noise and boy, do they do this well at all the Kinka locations! From the moment you’re greeted to leaving the restaurant, the servers are so enthusiastic. Gotta love the Japanese servers’ attentiveness. I also love sitting by the bar and watching all the items being made.

I didn’t know until this visit that they offer a tasting menu at $33 per person with 8 dishes and a dessert, which is what I had. Note that this is only available for seatings of 2 of more people… so as long as you’re not there eating by yourself, it’s available!

The menu consists of their more popular dishes like the Japanese chicken, bibimbap and the cod with delicious crispy skin as well as Kaki Mayo, the baked oysters – mmm! The Sake Tiramisu was not really memorable, I don’t remember what it tasted like, frankly! I wish they served the almond tofu in its place.

Blanched spinach with sesame sauce

Deep fried soy sauce marinated chicken with garlic mayo

Kaki Mayo
 Baked B.C. oyster with spinach, mushrooms & garlic mayo, topped with cheese

Grilled miso marinated black cod with yuzu miso sauce

Kinoko Bibimbap
Rice, mushrooms & cheese with seaweed sauce in sizzling stone bowl

There’s a lot of Japanese izakayas in Toronto now but it’s always a good time when I do end up going to this place. There are three locations: Bloor Street, Church Street and a new one in North York, so go ahead and give it a try!

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