The first time I heard of Yakitori Kintori was when I received a twitter invite from them! From their description, I noticed that they are the same creators as Guu. That meant NEW RESTAURANT in Toronto!! Woohoo! This was back in February. Since its opening, I’ve noticed other friends checking in and also blogger reviews on urbanspoon.
When my friend Mabel kindly messaged me to tell me about her amazing experience there, we decided to go together (a second time for her and a first for me). Yay!
They are located in the heart of Koreatown on Bloor Street and close to Christie Station on the second floor (coincidentally, Kinton Ramen‘s newest location takes the space of the downstairs space). It is not a large dining area, but they are able to make use of all the space available to sit over 20 people.
As is customary in authentic Japanese tapa houses, the servers and staff excitedly voiced out greetings in Japanese as I arrived. Mabel got a spot at the kitchen counter right in front of the chef’s cooking space where we were able to watch everything being prepared and cooked through the glass windows. Cool spot to sit in! 🙂
We chose a variety of different tapas to try. I love it when my dining partner is super supportive of the food choices that I make and is also wholeheartedly willing to try anything on the menu. Thanks, Mabel! I was also appreciative for her thoughtfully moving chopsticks out of the way when I snapped pictures. 😀
The food was great! ‘Yakitori’ in Japanese means Japanese-style grilled chicken skewers that are usually grilled over Binchoton charcoal, so the menu is primarily focused around chicken, beef, and pork skewers with some tapas to choose from as well. They have a lot of unique tapas like cheese fondue and chicken poutine!
I really, really loved the wagyu beef and the pork cheeks. Sooo good! Wagyu beef is top quality beef from Japan and not available in all restaurants. (The first time I ate it was when I was in Japan!)
As always, I like to order a side of takowasabi to compare how different restaurants make it. This one was spicy with enough wasabi sauce; it gave a great kick!
I liked the meatball and the oyster king mushrooms :). The chicken wing was interesting since they took out one of the bones in the wing (easier to eat for the customer?). The other skewers were good too! Oh, and the gizzard was very chewy and tasty too!
Since we were seated so close to where the action of the kitchen was, we saw everything that passed from the cook’s hands to the server’s. I kept seeing these sandwich bun things and decided to order one.
This was really good!! The bao was so soft and enveloped around a piece of chicken, lettuce, and spicy mayo sauce. Yummy! It reminded me of the similarly soft and tasty bao I had at Banh Mi Boys. 🙂
The chicken knee cartilage was recommended to us by one of the servers. It was pretty good; could have been a tad more flavourful but still done well.
Lastly, we ended off the meaty meal with the roasted green tea crème brûlée that Mabel said was a must-try. Wow, I couldn’t believe it but this dessert really was a must-try! It smelled nicely of roasted green tea with the top lightly seared and candy hard. The middle was supremely soft, cool, and creamy green tea crème brûlée. I couldn’t believe how delicious this was!
Forget all the skewers, if the only thing you eat at Yakitori Kintori is the roasted green tea crème brûlée, then this is already worth your visit. Best crème brûlée I’ve had and which tastes different from all the ones I’ve had before. Two thumbs up. 🙂
So there you have it. One of the newest izakayas in Toronto in pictures and words. Thanks for reading, everyone!! Go eat some chicken gizzard. 😉