Monday, March 10, 2014

REVIEW | Yakitori Kintori - izakaya that specializes in yakikushi by KINKA family (creators of Guu, Kinton, Jabistro)

A new izakaya that specializes in Yakitori (skewered & grilled chicken) just opened in Koreatown at Kinton Ramen 2's second floor location.  This is KINKA family's newest restaurant addition in Toronto.  They're best known for the ever-popular Guu izakaya, JaBistro, and Kinton Ramen.  As a huge fan of skewered food, I couldn't wait to try it out.  I made my way there for late dinner during their soft opening.

There's a number of izakayas that specializes in kushiyaki in Toronto.  Wait, before I start using these Japanese terms, for people who are not aware of them, here's a 'cheat sheet:'

Kushiyaki = skewered & grilled meats
Kushi = short form of Kushiyaki
Yakitori - skewered & grilled poultry / can also be used for general skewered food
The above two terms are used interchangeable in Japanese society

here's a few that we're aware of in the city:

Kintaro (read review here) - on Church Street, opened by the people behind Kenzo ramen
Sake Bar Kushi (read review here) - located in the Yonge/Eglinton area
Yakitori Bar & Seoul Food Co. - on Baldwin by Sang Kim
Zakkushi - Vancouver's popular kushiyaki chain 

Without further a do, here's what we had:
Tako Wasabi (marinated octopus with wasabi) - $5.00
I can't resist getting this every time I'm at a Japanese izakaya... Love the tender pieces of raw octopus and the kick from the wasabi!

Tako Ajillo (octopus in sizzling garlic olive oil) - $7.00
This dish is served with toasted slices of baguette bread.  I really liked this as it was rich and the octopus was soft and tender.  My boyfriend, however thought it was way too oily.

Now, onto the yakitori.  When ordering these bite-sized pieces of skewered meat, you have the choice of having it prepared with Tare or Salt.  Tare is a teriyaki type of sauce made from mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar.

Momo (thigh) - $2.00 each

Tsukune (meat ball) - $2.00 each

Enoki Bacon (bacon with enoki mushroom) - $2.50 each

Jalapeño Nikuzume (stuffed jalapeño with ground chicken) - $3.50 each

Sasami (tenderloin) - $2.00 each

Dekitate Tofu (tofu prepared at your table) $7.00
This is very very soft tofu, served with pepper, salt and sauces right on your table.  Give it about 10 minutes to cook, then scoop it up in your individual bowls and enjoy with some seasoning.  It's a nice break from the meat skewers that is salted & sauced.

Kitsune Udon (deep fried tofu & udon noodle in dashi broth) $7.00
We both really enjoyed this udon dish.  Unlike typical udon dishes, the perfectly cooked noodles are INSIDE 3 dee- fried tofu pockets (aka yubu).  Such a creative idea and really delicious as well. I highly recommend this!

Since I went on a soft opening night, there was no wait and we were seated immediately.  The second floor space of the beautiful Kinton building is small and cozy, thus it is a great spot for a beer and accompanying tasty treats with a friend or two, but if you're coming with a group, it may be hard to sit everyone together.  If you sit at the bar area you can watch the chefs preparing the yakitori items.  

The food was great - not too salty or overly seasoned and priced well.  There's nothing worse than overpriced skewered meat... lol.  And as with all of KINKA family restaurants in the city, the staff is super helpful and attentive.  Go check it out!

PS. no reservations.


Yakitori Kintori on Urbanspoon

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