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Review: Kingyo Izakaya, Toronto


After flipping through Toronto Life’s recent “Top Ten Best New Restaurants 2013″ list I had my heart set on visiting Kingyo Izakaya sooner than later. So when my good friend Cody Alain offered to treat me to a birthday dinner I immediately thought to suggest the spot as it’s a stones throw from his apartment in Cabbagetown.

We arrived shortly after 6pm and were greeted by the classic always smiling vocal choir, an izakaya rowdy welcome. On the way to our table I offered a courteous bow and smiled at the bar which played Japanese manga cartoons. We ordered two pints: an Asahi and Sapporo to start. Neon strobe lights shot out from Japanese pin ball machines which decorate the dinning room. Further exploration of the space showcases the good humour of the restaurants owner. The mens bathroom door features an encased Transformer and interior offers framed Japanese porno as ornamental appreciation.

Highlights of our meal included a perfectly pickled platter of tsukemono, garlic tuna tataki with ponzu jelly, and a rich pork tantan ramen. I’ll have to come back to focus my energies on their sushi, grilled meat and hot bowl offerings. Kingyo is a perfect place to spend a few hours losing yourself in Tokyo daydreams.

The Feast:

Tsukemono Pickles Assortment

kimuchi tomato, osaka style kimuchi cucumber, onion

Spicy Soft Shell Crab Sui Choy Salad

snap peas, dried okra, salty kelp

Garlic Tuna Tataki and Ponzu Jelly

seared albacore tuna, ponzu jelly

Famous “O-Sho Restaurant” Karaage with Magic Powder

The Legendary Chicken Wings by “Kinchan”

Pork Tantan Ramen

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

Kingyo Izakaya on Urbanspoon

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