Today, for the first time ever, I ate at a restaurant all by myself! Up until this point, I’ve always dined with at least one other person out in public and the thought of eating alone always made me a little uncomfortable. Today, circumstances allowed me to eat alone, and I actually really enjoyed it! I was so pleased with the me-time that I even splurged a bit while I was eating at Fin Izakaya. Haha, let me tell you what I ordered for one.
Having looked at the menu beforehand, I was really excited to try out their food. Everything looked so good in their lunch menu — however, I have to say that their dinner menu looks even better with way more choices and variety of tapas, but I guess that trip will have to be saved for another time with a table of more than one.
I ended up choosing the “Pork Katsu Bowl” with the small size of rice. It is a bowl of a big piece of breaded pork cutlet with salad and a wedge of lemon on the side with a good portion of rice below it. It also comes with a small teardrop-shaped bowl of sweet-ish dipping sauce for the pork katsu. I liked it. The pork katsu was fried really well and ultra crispy. I found that, alone, the katsu was so crispy that it was a little dry, but after dipping it into the sauce, it made the pork katsu taste SO much better. I liked having the option of squeezing lemon juice onto my salad and rice. It made the whole bowl of food tie in together. I also drizzled some of the sauce onto my pork katsu for more flavour.
At the same time that I ordered the Pork Katsu, I also ordered a small dish of “Karaage” (Japanese fried chicken). I’m a big fan of fried chicken, especially when it is done well, and surprisingly I think that there are few places in the world who do fried chicken right. (KFC might be one of them, but I’m not confirming nor denying it.) :p Anyway, when the order arrived, I was a little disappointed at the portion size. It was a lot smaller than I expected. Even though it was only $3.50, I did expect more than 3 big pieces of chicken. Fortunately, the taste of it was very good so I was satisfied with it. The pieces were a little crispy on the outside — not as crispy as the pork katsu, which is a good thing — they were very freshly made, and the inside of the meat was very tender. I loved it. The small dish also came with a small dose of salad and a wedge of lemon.
When I was finished with my order (and happily cruising on their free wifi as well), I decided to ask for the dessert menu and see what else they had in store. This is the part of splurging that I was referring to earlier. The nice server brought their dessert menu to me after having to ask another one of his colleagues for it — I guess not many people order dessert during the busy lunch hour. (There were many suits eating there for lunch. The restaurant was packed!) I chose the “ice de macaron” which turned out to be a gigantic macaron with a delicious serving of black sesame ice cream, fresh strawberries and cream, and deliciously rich chocolate sauce underneath it all. Oh, my gosh, it was so heavenly! The black sesame ice cream was amazingly smooth and decadent. Paired with the rich chocolate sauce that was beneath it was the perfect combination.
The giant macaron was very interesting and pretty. This is the biggest macaron I’ve ever seen (and eaten)! At first, I wasn’t sure if I should have just held it in my hand and bit through it.. But it didn’t seem lady-like, so I used the fork that was supplied and dug through it fork-bite by fork-bite. It was so extremely good. The middle of it was a little creamy but not enough for me to distinguish it as a dairy product. The shells were soft but chewy. The strawberries were very fresh and not sour and were so yummy with the soft and fluffy cream. Man, that might have been one of the best desserts I’ve ever had! I’m so glad that I went the route of the glutton again and ordered their dessert. (I also wish they gave me a spoon instead so that I could have scooped up all of the remaining melted ice cream when I was done with the plate… I’m not a pig, I swear!!)
I walked out of Fin Izakaya being very full and satisfied. The servers there are all extremely nice and polite. All of them greet you loudly in Japanese when you enter, and they also say farewell to you as a group when you leave too. There’s no doubt that I’ll be visiting this place again when I’m in the midtown area of Toronto. I think a lot of people don’t know about their dessert menu too; for those that have read this super long review to the end, make sure you ask for their dessert menu next time!