Kinka Izakaya North York

The Kinka Family in Toronto run some of my favourite restaurants including Guu, Kinton Ramen and JaBistro. Guu first arrived in Toronto from Vancouver in 2009 under a franchise model operated by Kinka. As of November of this year, that franchise agreement ended and all the Toronto “Guu” locations have been renamed to “Kinka Izakaya”. When I heard of this change, I was curious what kind of changes this would mean for my favourite izakaya. Kinka was prepared for the questions and hosted media events at each of their izakaya locations to celebrate their re-branding and to show customers that the change was in name only. Dinner at Kinka still had the same great food, lively atmosphere and friendly service.

Disclaimer: All food and drinks reviewed below were provided complimentary. All opinions expressed below are wholly mine.

On a Monday night, the North York location of Kinka filled their restaurant with bloggers and Instagrammers. Chef Ippei Iwata treated everyone to a 9 course meal of Kinka’s most popular dishes. These are the dishes I usually order when I visit and the ones I’ve always wanted to try. Needless to say, the meal was delicious and the sake sweet. A similar Tasting Menu is offered regularly at $33/person for groups of two or more.

Takowasabi – Marinated octopus with wasabi root, my favourite starter at izakayas.
Gyu Carpaccio – Seared beef sashimi with ponzu sauce and garlic chips, super thin slices with a great citrus flavour.
Kaisou and Tofu Salad – Marinated seaweed and tofu on greens, a refreshing cold dish. I love cold tofu salads and this one used fresh ingredients and highlighted the subtle flavours.
Karaage – Deep fried soy sauce marinated chicken with garlic mayo, still the best in Toronto and omg that mayo.
Kakimayo – Baked oyster with spinach, mushrooms and cheese. This was my first time trying this dish (The Hubby doesn’t like mushrooms so we usually don’t order it) and I am jumping on the bandwagon of fans. The oyster filling was creamy, rich and with a cheesy topping, perfect.
Tontoro – Grilled pork cheek with yuzu pepper, I thought this was the weakest dish. The pork cheek was tough and more yuzu pepper was needed.
Gindara – Grilled miso marinated black cod with miso sauce, one of the dishes I always order.
Salmon Oshizushi – Blowtorched salmon presses sushi, another classic. Kinka was the restaurant to first introduce me to pressed and blowtorched sushi.
Hojicha Brulee – Roasted green tea creme brulee

It’s safe to say that Kinka maintains their reputation as one of the best izakaya’s in the city.

Kinka Izakaya North York
Kinka Izakaya North York
Kinka Izakaya North York
Kinka Izakaya North York
Kinka Izakaya North YorkKinka Izakaya North York
Kinka Izakaya North YorkKinka Izakaya North YorkKinka Izakaya North YorkKinka Izakaya North York
KINKA IZAKAYA NORTH YORK Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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