A couple weeks ago, I went to Sansotei Ramen south of Yonge and Bloor. By this time, you have seen the likes of Kinton Ramen, Momofuku, Santouka, and Sansotei compete for the best Toronto ramen. Michael Zhang, a Japan-trained chef, brings his ramen to a relatively new and cozy atmosphere. Serving up the traditional ramen including a spicy TanTan ramen where limited quantities are made daily, the shop is Japanese simplicity at its finest. A staple appetizer is the “Zangi” ($4.50) (typically known as Karage, or fried chicken), was a great way to start off the meal. Continue reading
Donburi, an uptown Japanese restaurant, serves up their specialty rice bowls and bar food is sure to surprise your taste buds. With numerous izakayas that opened last year, Donburi’s bar menu is a real winner. Aside from traditional Japanese bar food such as yakitori (grilled meats on a stick), Donburi boasts a wallet-friendly array of a dish well-known in Osaka called “Kushikatsu” – which is usually fried meat or seafood on a stick. The fried eel on a stick was served with a sweet sauce and sesame seeds over a bed of cabbage.
Last weekend, I visited Aka Teppan with my friends. Recently opened in First Markham Place, this restaurant offers a novelty dish very similar to Pepper Lunch in Hong Kong. Aka Teppan’s specialty is a sizzling hot plate, typically rice or noodles, accompanied with raw meat. I ordered the classic “Supreme Beef” Plate with an extra egg. The beef comes half-cooked and surrounds the rice and toppings in the shape of flower petals. They get extra points for presentation. You can add extra toppings such as green onions, corn, cheese, butter, and eggs to your dish. It was quite amusing to mix and combine the ingredients together on the sizzling plate. Be careful not to touch it when you cook your own food.
As dinner time arrives, I walk into the small Izakaya restaurant hidden in an alley way behind Rabba Fine Foods. The 50 seat spot is cozy, well decorated and quieter than your usual Izakaya. The friendly waitress gushes us to our seats at the bar where you can watch the chef cook . I highly recommend this option if you have a small party! Waiting for me, is a little place card that reads: “Have fun Jessica!”. What a nice gesture!
We chose a combination of dishes recommended by our waitress and from what we observed being cooked up right in front of us. One of the highlights was the okonomiyaki prepared Hiroshima style. I’ve had the original Japanese pancake many times but was fascinated by the Hiroshima twist. This version takes longer to make and includes a few more ingredients: