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REVIEW | Kingyo Izakaya in Toronto’s Cabbagetown

I don’t often find myself at Cabbagetown even though I’ve heard of Kingyo Izakaya many times from other food bloggers that I’ve met. The brand originated in Vancouver and opened its Toronto doors in 2012, so my visit is way overdue.  To my delight, Yuki (PekoPekoLife) organized a menu tasting that I wouldn’t dare miss out on!

 Yuzu Orange Mojito / Doraemon Punch / Pineapple Punch

The restaurant was pretty busy when I stepped in but greeted quickly and taken to the table to join the other foodies. We had the big table that held a water tank with a few shy goldfishes. Kingyo izakaya isn’t a really loud spot, it’s a bit more intimate for each table – well, if you’re not sitting in one of the bigger group tables. I’m comparing with a certain other izakaya in Toronto for reference sake 😉

After downing a few cocktails and a sake bomb, the never ending menu started rolling out!

Taki Wasabi, Kyuri Kimuchi & Spicy Pan Fried Lotus Roots 

Deep fried prawn with chilli mayo sauce

Beef Tataki Salad with Ume Dressing
Searched beef sashimi salad dressed with plum dressing & garlic chips

Spicy Shopped Tuna Battera & Aburi Shime Saba Battera
Spicy shopped tuna pressed sushi with tempura bits, green onion & flying fish caviar
Flame seared mackerel battera box sushi with arima sansho

Garlic Tuna Tataki & Ponzu Jelly
Seared albacore tuna with ponzu jelly

Famous Karaage with Magic Powder
Deep fried chicken from “O-sho,” a popular restaurant in Japan

Kingyo Style Death Chicken
Deep fried chicken tossed in Diablo chili sauce

Cabbage Town is Sprouting
Deep fried brussels sprouts & bacon with homemade special spiace

Stone Grilled Beef Tongue
Served with a hot stone on your table, lemon, cilantro sauce & yuzu pepper

Stone Bowl Seafood Sea Urchin Don
Sauteed prawn, squid scallop and ikura salmon roe on rice with sea urchin & ginger sauce

Stone Bowl Mushroom Tofu
Sizzling & thick mushroom soup poured on fried tofu cubes

Diced Beef Tenderloin Steak
Served on a sizzling hot plat with grated daikon radish, shiso leaf & Japanese style steak sauce

 Bone Marrow

 A Big Kingyo Short Rib
Grilled “kurozo vinegar beef” short rib
My favourites of the night? Tuna Tataki, Karaage, Stone bowl Dons (both kinds) and the brussel sprouts. I didn’t expect bone marrow and kingyo short rib from an izakaya, but it was definitely a nice surprise.

There were also some bento box specials that are popular amongst the regular diners and it changes quite often. It’s something I would love to go back for since it seems like I’ve already had most of their other menu items!

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