Here’s another izakaya to try out! Izakaya Ju is located in J-town in Markham which stands for Japan Town (think largest Japanese shopping centre in Toronto)! The last time I was here, I tried out the ultra popular Shiso Tree Cafe for some delicious Italian and Japanese fusion pasta. It was very delicious and memorable! This time in J-town, Eric and I tried several tapas to share.
The space in Izakaya Ju is a little smaller than the other izakayas that I’ve been to, but you can tell that it’s authentic when you are greeted loudly in Japanese upon entering and leaving the restaurant by the Japanese staff. There were a lot of classic Japanese tapas on the menu and we ordered several to try.
The first tapa, beef sashimi, was actually a tad disappointing. Beef sashimi should be sliced thinly so it retains the soft and smooth texture of the raw beef. Even though it looked great on the plate and looked thin, the beef wasn’t smooth or soft at all. I wouldn’t order this again if I return.
Mmm! Tako wasabi! I tried this dish for the second time most recently at Nomé Izakaya and I fell in love with the way it tasted. I loved how the chopped up pieces of octopus tasted perfectly with the roasted pieces of seaweed. You wrap it all up like a little taco and pop it into your mouth. The one here at Izakaya Ju was pretty good!! I tried eating it without the seaweed and it just wasn’t the same. Always eat it with the seaweed. 😀
Surprisingly, their salmon sashimi was actually really, really fresh and delicious! It surprised us that the cut was so thick, but the taste was still excellent!
One of their specialty tapas and one that I’ve never seen before is a deep-fried chicken wing dumpling stuffed with pork called “Teba gyo-za”. I marveled a bit at how this must have been assembled. It looked like a chicken wing with the entire wing part replaced with a big round dumpling. Lol… it was unique and tasted good for the most part.
Another special tapa that they serve is a chicken ball with cheese in it. It was fairly good too. It actually reminded me of the taste from the Teba gyo-za.
Lastly, the Spare Ribs! This is the biggest tapa I’ve ever seen. It was a full plate of BBQ ribs done in JU style. It was tangy and delicious! Some of the pieces were a little fatty, but overall, these were really great tasting ribs. Definitely surprised at how good they were!
And, that’s all! Another great izakaya to check out if you are in the uptown area. Actually, I’m not sure there’s a lot of great izakayas to check out uptown; this may be one of the few authentic ones. Have you been to this one? What are your thoughts? : )