Nejibee Izakaya 647.748.2882 http://www.nejibee.ca/ open daily for dinner
The spare, dark-coloured room, decorated with wood, is made lively buy the charming staff, all of whom seem delighted to serve you. The hardest part is finding the spot (down the alley, behind the Rabba at Yonge and Wellesley). It is extremely hard to find but when you do it’s worth it. The menu is outstanding. The kitchen delivers hit after hit all evening long, the only miss, high prices and small portions.
I honestly wanted to order everything off the menu it was that good. Garlicky edamame arrive on a sizzling platter, so successful the $6 price tag is worth it. Cured mackerel($7.50) served with spicy Japanese mustard is fresh and vinegary, smoked tableside with a blow-torch. Outstanding salt fried chicken wing “skewers” are a must($3 each). Peppery fried or charcoal barbequed and blackened to a salted crisp. My favorite out of the two are the grilled salted wings, I would easily say they are my current favorite.
I always order Takowasa ($4.99) it opens the sinuses and I’m never disappointed. An order of Yaki-udon($9.99) is filling and tasty, but only if one loves smoky Bonito Flakes. The Nikumiso poutine ($6.50) is a play on the original using gravy, smoke and miso. Crunchy Karaage ($7.50) look golden nuggets of chicken and taste buttery-sweet – must! Raw Nikumiso cabbage ($5.50) topped with cool seasoned pork texturally terrific and tasty.
Pork belly($2.50) singed with charcoal is divine and oh so juicy. The secret is the charcoal sing in the skewers and it’s also what sets Nejibee apart from the other Izakayas. Meaty garlic mushrooms ($8.50 !?) are smoky and earthy. The seaweed salad is small and a little pricy at $5. Negi cha-shu is fatty and dry – I don’t even know how that’s possible. The showstopper is the Gyu tongue($2.50), slightly firm yet tender and silky and the best I have ever had.