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Review: Yakitori Bar, Toronto


I first met celebrated restauranteur Sang Kim this past Spring at Reel Eats Goes Sideways. Since then he has been busy as ever doing research for the launch of his new restaurant on Baldwin, Yakitori Bar. He actually chronicled the restaurants opening with a blog entitled “How To Open A Restaurant In 30 Days.” Slogan: 30 days. 1 post a day. 10 steps at a time. You do the math.

I was one of the first to arrive at the restaurants Media launch on the evening of December 3rd. I spent two hours chit chatting with fellow food writers many of whom I hadn’t seen in ages. I enjoyed a few sake and soju infused cocktails and a few of the bites that were circling the room but made a point to return for a proper review of their menu the following week.

On my second visit I was joined at the table by Mila who works in Marketing and Communication for WorldStage. I arrived early to chat with Sang and then studied the menu while K-pop beats played on the flat screens throughout the dining room. Mila and I spent the evening sampling Sang’s innovative fusion cocktail list (interesting ingredients here like korean yogurt, walnut bitters and my favorite maple syrup) and the majority of the menu.

Yakitori Bar serves up a fantastic array of yakitori right off the grill. I have a feeling Sang’s new restaurant will become a fan favorite with those looking for snacks easily shared between friends over the cocktail hour. My favorite yakitori were the pork belly, beef short ribs and chicken wings all served with a trio of sauces: sesame, soya and hot sauce.

Yakitori Bar showcases a playful and creative list of menu items (Bulgogi Cheeseburger, Kimchi Poutine, Squash Dauk Bok Ki) as well as the classics (Baby Bibimbap, Mundoo, Jap Chae and BBQ Pork Bun). Sang makes his own kimchi in house which has been branded as “Sang’s Kickass Kimchi,” an effort worth celebrating and taking home.

Yakitori Bar is a welcome addition to Toronto’s ever growing Asian food obsession. Sang’s innovative menu offers a refreshing opportunity to adventure through a thoughtful cocktail list and menu perfect for sampling between friends.

I sampled (* notes my favourites)

Soju Infusion

orange and mixed berry

Bombay Sake Jubilee *

sake, gin, muddled berries, organe frizzante

Gangnam Style *

soju, korean yogurt, orange frizantte

Konglish

soju, rye, ginger, lime leaves, apple cider

Ninja Borracho *

sake, tequila, muddled cucumber, plum bitters, elderflower press

Samurye

sake, rye, black walnut bitters, maple syrup

***

Today’s Banchan *

fresh marinated vegetables

Bulgogi Cheeseburger *

marinated ribeye with cheese

Baby Bibimbap *

brown rice, daily veg, quail egg

Yakitori from the Grill *

pork belly, beef short ribs, chicken wings, shrimp

Pork Kakune *

slow-cooked pork belly

Deep-Fried Chili Pepper *

stuffed with ground pork

Kimchi Poutine

caramelized kimchi, cheese and gravy

Mundoo *

seared kimchi and pork dumpling

Squash Dauk Bok Ki

buttercup squash, spicy rice cakes, fish cakes and cheese

Jap Chae

sweet potato noodles and vegetables

BBQ Pork Bun *

chasu-style in steamed rice bun

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

Yakitori Bar on Urbanspoon

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One Response to “Review: Yakitori Bar, Toronto”

  1. Natalie
    December 28, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

    I work right near this place and have been meaning to try it out!

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