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Asian Fusion kitchen, concept of shared plates, large and small. Mixing of various japanese, thai, vietnamese and other dishes and flavours.
Open lunch and dinner.
Foods from Izakaya
2013 Dec 16
Date of Visit: December 1, 2013
Calling a restaurant ‘Izakaya’ is a bit like calling one ‘Bistro’, as an Izakaya is a Japanese style of Pub-cum-Restaurant that specializes in small plate dishes much as in the Spanish tradition of a Tapas Bar. I love this sort of dining experience, preferring to graze rather than sit down to trencherman sized meals usually, and I was looking forward to visiting this place when I first saw that it had opened in the same location as the now defunct Big Daddy’s Crab Shack. After looking at the online menu, I decided that it was either likely to be really great or really awful but, in the event, I found it was somewhere in the middle. It wasn’t exactly great, to be sure, but I enjoyed myself and had a pretty decent dining experience …
Shiny Sea Oysters ... Rating: 5 out of 5.
Kimchi .............. Rating: 3 out of 5.
Short Rib Gyoza ..... Rating: 2 out of 5.
Ika Yaki ............ Rating: 4 out of 5.
I like the whole idea of Izakaya… the ambience is pleasant, the table service good, and the menu very interesting. In terms of execution, however, I think it must be said that the place needs to mature a little and gain a little polish in its finished dishes. Still, I enjoyed my experience and will return in the future. Overall rating: 3 out of 5.
See full pictorial review at:
2013 Aug 31
The vegetable with rice in hot stone bowl in curry sauce.
2013 Aug 31
Honestly, we were planning for dinner at El Camino but they do not take reservations and the person seating customers had a hard time understanding that there would be ten of us. So, we had drinks and made our way for dinner at Izakaya.
That said, everyone in our party were pleasantly surprised by our dinner at Izakaya. This is definitely not traditional Japanese and I have had Izakaya in Tokyo and I Vancouver. It is good Japanese inspired, Asian fusion.
My husband had the steak served on top of mushrooms in a soy sauce. It was juicy and tasty. (Pictured)
I had the vegetable hot stone bowl. The curry sauce was very good.
My friend had the ramen which came with duck and veggies. I did not taste it but it looked very good. Not a traditional ramen but very interesting.
I also started with the mojito. That was do-so. El Camino's was really well made and hard to beat! I do recommend the Cabernet Franc for Japanese food that was specially ordered from the Niagara region.
Im summary, if you come here with expectations of a traditional Japanese meal, you might be disappointed. As an Asian fusion spot, I think it does a fine job.
2013 Jun 7
Dined at Izakaya for the first time a few weeks ago.
The service was okay although there was a lot of unnecessary attitude flowing from our server.
endamame dusted w parmesan
- generous portion and tasty. The parmesan is agreeably subtle.
- the title is misleading since the only seafood it contained was a small piece of seared tuna. The tuna was delicious but given the price ($16), I wanted more. The salad was fresh but average.
- served with snap peas and sweet potato puree. I had a bite of the cod and it was good.
- a 12oz NY striploin w mushrooms, beans, tempura onion rings and garlic soy jus. The portion was very generous. All the components were tasty but there was too much sauce which made the dish too salty – and this is from someone who likes salt.
- I forget what kind but recall it was done well.
It’s pricey but I had expected that. I had a virgin cocktail and my bill was around $60 before tip. Not sure how that happened. Maybe my memory is wrong.
All in all though, the food was good athough I recall feeling underwhelmed by the whole experience.
2013 Jun 6
lol. Sorry Aisu, I might have projected my own reaction to you. The coconut ceviche really did not do it for me nor the sweet potatoes, corn and radish in the mix.
Yakitori is grilled chicken although I think I had one in Japan that had 3 different types of chicken: meat (leg), gizzard and the tail.
2013 Jun 6
FoodTravel: I was really full from El Camino, so I didn't want to eat so much anymore, I just wanted to try little bit. So me didn't eat much doesn't mean food was awful, or bad.
Scallop ceviche wasn't what I expected, but it was okay. I think the problem was the naming. May be they should call it coconut-scallop dip with crispy wonton chips...not scallp ceviche.
I saw "pork belly yakitori" on the menu, but it just doen't make any sense because yakitori means grilled chicken.
2013 Jun 6
I used to go there once in a while before at Big Daddy Crab Shack for a reminder of my NOLA trips. Have been meaning to try Izakaya for a while after hearing about the restaurant having a new executive Chef that have been working in Japan and whose wife was Japanese.
After a good dinner at El Camino, Little foodista mentioned Izakaya had good dessert as well as the fact that appetizers are 50% off on Wed. With Aisu in the group, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to give it a try. So 3 of the group Aisu, LF and I continued to Izakaya for dessert.
The renovation made it more lounge-ish in feeling and it seemed that more people were drinking than eating there. After ordering the dessert, crème brulee for me, Asian doughnut for Aisu and chocolate cake and LF, LF also ordered cocktail and I ordered a couple of appetizers: scallop ceviche and sweet potato dumplings.
All 3 of us liked our dessert but the fusion appetizers were a bust. The scallop ceviche was chopped in very small pieces and they were in lime, coconut milk and had sweet potatoes, corn, radish and some other bits in in. At first we thought it was mayo and had to ask to clarify. My best scallop ceviche was in the US where they thinly slice the scallop and marinade it in lime juice and cilantro. These came with fried wonton skins sprinkled with a little seasoning salt. Aisu and I took a bite and I know I made a face. It is neither Mexican / south American nor Japanese by any stretch of the imagination and that fusion attempt really did not hit the mark or even the outer ring lol. Aisu declined to try it again and I tried one more piece and a few of the fried wonton skins. I am sorry to say the pretty ordinary fried wonton skin was better for me than the ceviche.
The sweet potato dumpling came with carmalized onion with balsamic glaze. Aisu tried one piece and passed on further sampling and I had one and I liked the carmalized onion better than the sweet potato dumpling. Tried another dumpling heaped with carmalized onion but the dumpling was not that good. So I finished off the carmalized onion but we left 2 of the 5 dumplings on the plate.
The crème brulee was made with coconut milk and fairly decent dessert. Aisu had the Asian doughnut and said it was like what her mother use to make. The chocolate cake LF had was fairly tasty too.
The cocktail LF ordered with a request to use only a little bit of simple syrup ended up being too sweet so most of it was left. She said the one she had before on a previous visit was far better.
We found out the Izakaya trained chef was only there for 1 month and the restaurant is now on their 3rd executive chef and I think they have been around only 1 year.
I found the restaurant a bit loud with just 1 larger group in the dining area with us but they were obviously several cocktails in. When full the restaurant could get to headache level of noise.
The waiter definitely noticed that we did not like the ceviche and took that off the bill which was good of him.
I would go back for the dessert but likely would pass on food there.
2013 Mar 14
"Japanese flavours for teh North American palate" means definitely not exactly "real" Izakaya food, the way Suisha has spoiled us with, but perhaps something closer to Guu in Toronto, adapting some of the more appetizing recipes or ingredients in a cooking manner more ingestible by locals. (Suisha has two natto apps; I do not expect such here.)
I am nonetheless also excited. I would not see it as competition for Suisha's special nights, but rather a complement, and a different lens, considering the chef's experience. It may finally earn its name better. I am "cautiously optimistic", as the expression goes.
(I hope the plates with ridiculously-oversized rims will also be replaced.)
2013 Mar 13
I am very excited about the new chef, Ottawa Citizen said he worked in Japan for 6 years! That means he must know the real Izakaya food! I know this place offers various asian cuisine, not just Japanese food, but I am very excited!! I will check it out for sure.
2013 Mar 12
“using Japanese flavours for the North American palate."
What does he mean by that lol.
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