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Review: Noka, Toronto


I was recently invited to a media tasting at Noka a Japanese restaurant which recently opened up in the Annex. Before you roll your eyes at the buzz words,” Japanese, new, Annex,” take a few moments to digest the menu. While Noka’s tasting was by no means perfection, the heart of its intentions make it a welcome addition to the neighborhood which is already jam packed full of cheap sushi spots.

As soon as I arrived I was greeted by a rep at The Kensington Brewing Company. We would be sampling their Augusta Ale throughout the evening. I moved around the room to say hello and catch up with some bloggers I haven’t seen since the Spring. Media tastings are always good fun as they allow me to connect with similar food obsessed weirdos. We are interesting creatures, a colourful tribe.

I sneaked out of the restaurant just before 10pm and while zooming on the subway back home I flicked through and edited some of my pictures from he evening. Noka defines itself as a Japanese restaurant that goes beyond the typical Annex sushi offerings. It is clear that Noka’s chef is looking to position the restaurant as an Annex establishment that offers an elevated dining experience. Each of the sushi rolls we tried were delicious and showcased creative flare. While the Green Ocean dish was visually appealing it could have used a bit more salt as the overall flavour in the mouth was bland. The tofu dish also had good intentions but was entirely soft in the mouth, in dire need of some additional crunch components. The Basil Lamb Chop was flawless, perfectly cooked and complimented by a hot basil sauce with a nice zing to it.

Media dinners are a great way for restaurants to test out their food on foodies who eat far more than the average diner (I like to refer to this as my culinary repertoire). While Noka still needs to make adjustments to their menu it is definitely a cut above its neighbors and worth popping into.

We sampled:

Salmon Sashimi

Green Ocean

fava bean, yogurt, sweet shrimp, edible flower

Stuffed Tuna Roll

tuna, spicy scallop, leek

Ex-Girlfriend Roll

mango, tuna, asparagus, avocado

Vegeterian Delight Roll

avocado, beets, mango, papaya, asparagus

Ai-Tofu

tofu, mushrooms, teriyaki sauce, dill

Basil Lamb Chop

baby lamb, eggplant, basil chili sauce

Bacon Buta

pork belly, carrot, pickled cucumber

Creamy Bacon Roll

bacon, avocado, whipped cream, chocolate

Noka Chilean Sea Bass

Chilean sea bass, mango, miso, elderberry

Mochi Sorbet

red bean rice cake, strawberry, chocolate mint

#345 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010. 

Noka Contemporary Japanese cuisine & sushi on Urbanspoon

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2 Responses to “Review: Noka, Toronto”

  1. raymi
    August 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    TGIFungry

  2. Ken Samuel
    September 3, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Wonderful post Andrew, thank you for the honest feedback!

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