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Kinka Izakaya - Kinkalicious

by - July 14, 2019

Kinka Izakaya had to re-brand in late 2015 due to the ending of a business agreement with a company from Vancouver. Therefore, all Toronto Guu locations at the time were renamed to Kinka Izakaya, which means "golden flower” in Japanese. The current name highly emphasized the idea of happiness, as that's the brand's mission - to offer guests delicious dishes, and providing high-quality service. Since then, they have continued to provide great food and excellent service with three locations in the GTA and one in Montreal.

Having been to various cities in Japan, I do feel as though I am transported back to Japan whenever I am here. Kinka Izakaya offers an authentic dining experience of popular Japanese eateries including taatami seating in the non-communal area. 

I have been to Kinka Izakaya a few times over the years, and have always enjoyed my dining experience here. Earlier last week, we were invited to check out the new Kinkalicious menu at the Bloor location. Kinkalicious is Kinka's take on the long-running Summerlicious, where they offer a set course meal for an affordable price. It's a great way to sample the menu without breaking the bank. It's available now until July 21, 2019, for groups of 2 or more. 

The 8-course menu offers a range of popular dishes that can be shared among friends and is only $29 per person (minimum of 2 people). If you're not into a tasting menu, then you will find that the menu offers a variety of traditional and modern specialties made for sharing. They also have monthly and daily specials as well including cheap Sapporo on Monday. 

 Instead of beer, I opted for one of my favorite drinks - Kinka Original Ramune ($4). Ramune is a popular carbonated soft drink originally sold in Japan, but it is also available worldwide. The drink is widely known for its distinctive codd-neck bottles design, where you need to use pressure to open the bottle. The drink available at Kinka Izakaya has been re-branded with the Kinka logo, and for every bottle sold, Kinka Family donates $0.50 to SickKids. So drink for a good cause!  

Course #1 -  We started our meal off with the Gomaee, which was blanched rapini in black sesame sauce. The black sesame sauce really added a nice kick to the veggie dish. 

 Course #2 - The second course was the Sashimi Platter. It was beautifully plated and came with a variety of fresh fish. Thickly cut too!

 Course #3 - Gyu Shabu Salad

Course #4 - The third course was the Angus Beef Yukke, which was angus beef tartare topped with scallion, raw quail egg yolk, and nori. It was a dish that I would never order as I don't eat raw beef, but my friend really enjoyed it. 
Course #5 - The Fry Platter was my absolute favorite of the night! It consisted of the three items that I always order whenever I am at a Kinka Family establishment including Kinton Ramen. Their gyoza is one of the best I've ever had, especially with the accompanying sauce. The takoyaki was plump and wasn't overly battered.

 Course #6 - The Kakimayo is very popular amongst diners. It's baked oysters with spinach, mushrooms, garlic mayo and cheese. A deadly (if you're lactose intolerant), but a yummy combination.

  Course #7 - Next up before dessert was the Kinoko Bibimbap, which is a hot stone with rice, mushrooms, cheese, and seaweed sauce. It's a vegetarian dish, and you can mix it yourself or ask one of the servers. This dish was really good!

  Course #8 - We ended the night off with a scoop of Matcha Ice-Cream. Very sweet ending!

I have a blog post on my visits to JaBistro in the works, but it's not an everyday place to eat. So if you're craving pressed sushi, then definitely get an order of Salmon Oshizushi ($13.50) - blowtorched Atlantic salmon pressed sushi. I really enjoyed it, and the ratio of salmon and rice was good. 

If you're unable to make it to Kinkalicious, don't fret! Kinka Izakaya also offers an everyday set menu with 10 courses for $35 per person. Overall, Kinka Izakaya is a very solid izakaya option in Toronto. However, I would not recommend going there if you have an aversion to loud sounds, or headache, as its atmosphere is very lively. Thank you to Kinka Izakaya and Jesika for hosting!

Address: 559 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1Y6

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

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