Don Don Izakaya 416.492.5292 www.dondonizakaya.com Open Daily Lunch & dinner
After a lengthy climb up a few flights of stairs I’m greeted to the sound of a booming drum and friendly servers shouting welcome in Japanese – “Irasshaimase”. The room looks gorgeous, imagine wood communal tables, a large bar and a separate area with traditional seiza floor seating. An oversized menu showcases this eatery’s fare, pictures included.
An array of dishes amuses me tonight. Tako wasabi has the most delightful texture and strong flavour that clears ones sinuses. Pickled fish and veggies taste smoky and sour – only a true lover of pickled fish would truly appreciate this dish. Wara-yaka is a sashimi (of your choice) smoked with hay-fire, plated with garlic and salt – I chose B.C tuna, but it wasn’t a good choice. Ginger fried chicken is adequate, served with two creamy dips – one spicy, the other mayonnaise-like. I really enjoyed the lightly battered buttery tasting shrimp mayo, just a touch of heat to make it delightful. And finally the savory Don Don Soup, flavourful broth and bite sized pieces of pork belly, sake lees, konjac, onion, carrot, and burdock – very tasty.
The libation list, in my opinion, is one of the best features of Don Don Izayaka. It’s nicely laid out, easy to read, moderately priced and one can’t go wrong with any sake on the list. The entertaining staff and the whimsical décor make for a great night out; however, the food could be kicked up a notch.