- Address: 584 Bloor St W., Toronto
- Visited: 09/13/2016, Dinner, 6 people
- Cuisine: Korean
- Rating: 4.0 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $$$ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: http://www.arisu.ca/
When it comes to Korean BBQ, my preference has shifted to appreciate quality over quantity. Back during my university days I loved AYCE spots, especially ones with a late night discounted menu. These days with a little more disposable income, I’m look for beautifully marbled beef and fresh seafood. Arisu’s tabletop cooking fits the bill with premium Angus Beef, a bevy of authentic Korean entrees and an expansive selection of sake and soju.
Disclaimer: All food and drinks reviewed below were provided complimentary. All opinions expressed below are wholly mine.
Organized by DKLo of DKLoEvents, the menu tasting at Arisu was an event. The restaurant’s hospitality shined through with the sheer volume of food pouring out of the kitchen. There was more food than anyone could possibly finish and everyone went home with lunch for the next day. At one point, the plan was for each table to order from a list of entrees to taste, if they were still hungry. The restaurant instead served up every entree on the list, to allow us to try it all.
For appetizers, we tried the Veggie and Seafood Salad, Seafood Pancake, Sweet and Spicy Korean Chicken and Twi Gim (Korean tempura). Between the four, my favourite was the seafood pancake, which was packed with shrimp, squid and big pieces of green onion. With so many fillings, the batter of the pancake itself did struggle to stay hold its form. I also enjoyed the salad and liked the addition of thinly sliced avocado and cucumber to the wakame.
We tried two BBQ set menus. The first was the Korean Classic, which came with short rib galbi in a light seasoning and marinated, bulgogi, boneless seasoned short rib, pork belly and a basket of fresh lettuce and shiso leaves. Each person also had a small tray with 3 different seasonings and sauces to try. From this platter, my favourite cuts were the pork belly and lightly seasoned short rib that was beautifully marbled and very flavourful.
The second BBQ set we had was the Aberdeen Black Angus with locally raised, grass fed, aged beef. 5 different cuts were included, tenderloin, rib eye, boneless rib, flat iron and petit tender. Every piece was buttery soft and had a clean beefy flavour. I barely touched any of my dipping sauces with this BBQ set.
After filling up on BBQ, we sampled 5 entrees from Arisu’s lunch and dinner menus, My favourite was the Ox Bone Rice Noodle with its savoury, rich broth that clung to each noodle. This was the dish I claimed to take home leftovers of. This was followed closely by the Sushi Lunch Box set’s cold soba noodles.
- Aburi Oshi Sushi and grilled Black Cod marinated in miso – Served together on a large square platter, the dish was pretty and delicious.
- Spicy Sashimi Bibimbap – $14.99 Classic bibimbap ingredients with the addition of crab, chunks of tuna sashimi, ikura and tobiko.
- Ox Bone Rice Noodle – $12.99 Rice noodles and steamed beef in a thick bone marrow broth.
- Korean Lunch Box Set – $15.99 Tofu stew and Tteok Galbi, minced and seasoned beef rib patties on a sizzling plate.
- Sushi Lunch Box Set – $19.99 Soba noodles, tempura, salad and Galbi Roll
To wash down the meal, I sipped three kinds of sake and soju that night. One was ginseng infused, another raspberry and the last oak aged.