Imanishi Japanese Kitchen is like an izakaya where you just want to drop your briefcase down, order a Asahi and just sigh as you plop yourself down at the bar. It’s not loud or full of shouting. It’s my kind of Japanese izakaya…
Can be hard to find as there’s no proper signage, just look out for “Cafe Regional Bar & Grill”, the former occupant of the space.
Guai Lan Gomaae ($4.80) – boiled guai lan greens with ground sesame dressing and katsuo-bushi flakes. I boil Chinese broccoli and eat it plain at home. This is interesting in a way that it’s sweet from the dressing and a bit of umami from the bonito flakes. Not sure if I like this.
Monkfish Liver Pâté ($8.50). Foie gras of the sea! So creamy and rich. We spread it sparingly on the baguette, but ended up eating the rest of it with the squid afterwards.
Ika Maruyaki ($9) – soy shichimi pepper and sake grilled whole squid with garlic mayo. While there were some heavily charred bits, it wasn’t overcooked.
Veggie Curry Rice ($8.50 on its own, or $10.50 as a meal with rice and miso soup). There is a bit of a kick with this.
Beef Tataki ($9.80) – sliced beef rib eye with sansho pepper, fried chickpeas, onions, soya sauce and almond oil. Onions galore! While the fried chickpeas may be for texture-sake, I felt it was not necessary and impractical to eat with the sliced beef.
For dessert, black sesame ice cream.
Izakayas are always great places for small groups to gather, have some drinks and share some small plates. Price-wise, it is not too bad and the menu is more simpler than other izakayas in the city.
Imanishi Japanese Kitchen
1330 Dundas St. W