Although Guu Izakaya has changed its name to Kinka (it means golden flower!) Izakaya, nothing else has changed. You’ll still find a great atmosphere and delicious, authentic Japanese dishes. I visited the Kinka Izakaya North York location.
Staff yell out friendly greetings when you arrive and when you leave in Japanese (that I can actually understand thanks to my short-lived Japanese classes), and the space is larger than expected.
There’s a good selection of sake or cocktails if that’s more your thing. I had the Cherry Blossom Cocktail with red wine, peach liqueur, cassis liqueur and Sprite, which I really enjoyed. My friend had the Bamboo Cocktail with melon liqueur, vodka, guava juice and soda. She loved the tropical touches in this drink!
The Kaisou & Tofu Salad had large slices of tofu and marinated seaweed over greens.
The Gindara dish was a grilled black cod marinated in yuzu miso sauce. The fish was a little salty, but nice and tender with a crispy crust.
Fresh Salmon Oshizushi is blowtorched and pressed Atlantic sushi.
The most unique dish was the Kabocha Korokke, the Japanese take on a scotch egg. Kabocha pumpkin is deep-fried and stuffed with a boiled egg. It’s then liberally doused with spicy mayo. It was really good and served piping hot.
Next was the Tontoro, succulent pieces of pork grilled on a metal spit and served with a yuzu pepper dip.
Large chunks of chicken are deep-fried and breaded in my favourite dish- Karaage! Served up with a spicy mayo dipping sauce.
Comfort food served in a non traditional way can be found in the Kakimayo dish. Baked oyster is stuffed with spinach, mushrooms and garlic mayo. It’s then baked with gooey cheese. Mmm.
We ended the meal on a sweet note with the Hojicha Brulee, a roasted green tea creme brulee. The crust was perfectly caramelized with a deep green tea taste.
Kinka Izakaya is perfect for group of friends that want to grab drinks and good food. It may not be the best place for a quiet conversation, but it has such a fun vibe that you won’t mind! Check out the entire menu here.
Kinka Izakaya is at 4775 Yonge St #114, Toronto, ON near Sheppard & Yonge Subway Station