Eat: Imanishi Japanese Kitchen

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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
Toronto, ON
M6J 1Y1

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