Yakitori 647.748.0083 http://yakitoribar.ca Mon – Fri: 11am-12am, Sat-Sun: 5pm-12am
Until recently, the area surrounding the Baldwin Village was a culinary wasteland. Yakitori, the cheerful “Korean street food meets Tokyo tavern”, is one of the restaurants that’s changed it all. The menu is double sided, featuring modern spins on traditional Korean classics. It’s very hard to select only a few items- so bring your appetite! Servers are pleasant and speedy. The crowd is business casual meets foodie.
First up is the Kimchi flight, a family homemade recipe served one day old, two week old and three month old. I love the crunchy freshness of day one; a close second is the heavily spiced three month old, saturated with fermented seafood. Kimchi three ways incorporates the fermented cabbage perfectlyinto seared dumplings, takoyaki balls, and a tofu tower. Spicy chicken wings with chili pepper are nicely crisp and lightly coated with a balance of heat and chili flavour.
Diabla’s alligator kiss, brushed with Rossy’s marinade (habaneros, smoked pineapple, candied ginger, garlic, cilantro, parsley, honey, coconut, soy, rum, and mirin) is excellent, tasting like a cross between pork and chicken – this dish is a must! Dragon’s piri piri marinates spicy and savory Portuguese chicken with a blend of chilies spices, herbs, and citrus, finished with lemon and orange infused olive oil. This dish doesn’t hold a whole lot of flavour but hits hard with spice. Baby bibimbap rice with vegetables and a quail egg, served in a cute little bowl alongside an array of sauces is a modern spin on the classic dish.
Oxtail braised with red wine and soya sauce served lukewarm (love it or hate it) is fatty and fall-off-the-bone tender. Grilled beef short ribs are outstanding and juicy, barbequed and blackened with a light coating of sweetness. Pork kakune, slow simmered and caramelized in apple soya is buttery tender, melt in your mouth. I can hardly taste the apple, but enjoyed the dish none the less. Finally, a last minute order of grilled beef tongue is especially good.