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)
orange and mixed berry
Bombay Sake Jubilee *
sake, gin, muddled berries, organe frizzante
Gangnam Style *
soju, korean yogurt, orange frizantte
soju, rye, ginger, lime leaves, apple cider
Ninja Borracho *
sake, tequila, muddled cucumber, plum bitters, elderflower press
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
caramelized kimchi, cheese and gravy
seared kimchi and pork dumpling
Squash Dauk Bok Ki
buttercup squash, spicy rice cakes, fish cakes and cheese
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.