Monday, February 10, 2014

Sake Bar Kushi

I bought a Groupon for Sake Bar Kushi, a newly opened izakaya that specializes in kushi (aka. grilled Japanese skewers!). Usually, I don't expect too much from Groupon restaurants but SBK really exceeded my expectations!!

Sake Bar Kushi
Where: 257 Eglinton Ave W (Eglinton Ave/Avenue Road)
Price: $$ (Meal for 5 people: )

The restaurant is not particularly hard to find and there is plenty of street - and side street- parking available.

Sign outside

 The interior reminded me very much of Guu - low handing lightbulbs, wooden furniture and long communal tables. They have a backroom where you can have the traditional mats and tables.

The Great Wall of Kushi!

Kushi in the making!

Full Tapas Menu

Sake Bar Kushi Weekday Specials
 We started off with the chicken karaage, a must at all Japanese bars! While karaage at SBK was done well, I do wish it was a little more crispy and more pieces too! There were only about 5-6 pieces in this dish

Chicken Karaage ($6.00)

Next we had the Nonkotsu Karaage aka. chicken knee karaage! My family loves the cartilage part of chicken drumsticks so we knew we would love this too. We were not disappointed, each piece was perfectly fried. This was easily the more loved dish of the karaages.

Nankotsu Karaage | Deep fried chicken knee ($6.00)
Next came uni shooters, another must at izakayas! These were delicious with a little pear at the end to give it a nice, sweet crunch. If only they had oyster uni shooters, but these were really yummy!
Uni Shooter ($6.50 each)
Ordering from their "February Menu", we got the lobster tartare, where we expected raw lobster but unfortunately it was cooked. However, it was very fresh and the presentation was beautiful. The lobster was really fresh and the flavour of it was not at all muddled by the Japanese mayo that was used.

Lobster Tartare ($11)
Of course, at a place named after kushi, we had to try some! We got the Kushi Moriawase, a 10 skewer sample with 4 different kushi (chicken heart, chicken leg, smelts, pork belly)

Half of the kushi came with a spicy sauce that was added just the perfect amount of heat to the skewer but I personally really enjoyed the skewers plain. The charcoal and smokiness of the grill was really evident. So delicious!
Kushi Moriawase ($17)
We also ordered the maguro yukke, a tuna tartare. The tuna was very fresh but we wish we had something to eat with this. Also, the portion the gave us was a little too small to be mixed with an egg. This lead to a very gooey, texture which wasn't pleasant after a few bites.
Maguro Yukke ($12)
 Onto the cooked dishes of the night! We got the Kimchi Bibimbap, which was an absolute delight both presentation wise and taste. The stone bowl was STEAMING hot when brought to us - just the way it's supposed to be. We like to push the rice against the hot hot hot bowl so it cooks even more and gets a little crispy.
Kimchi Pork Ishiyaki Bibimbap ($14)

Next was the absolutely addicting cheese okonomoyaki. Cheesey and not too battery with a generous topping of bonito flakes (my favourite). Highly recommend this dish!!
Cheese Okonomoyaki ($10)
We finished this bowl before I got a picture so this is the remnants of our tonkotsu ramen. The broth was delicious - creamy and not overly salty. The noodles were a little soft for our liking but all in all a great hearty bowl of noodle.. perfect for the cold winters :D 
Tonkotsu Ramen ($13)
 Finally for the desserts! We got the banana tempura ice cream  - a play on the Western banana split sundae. Usually when we order this, the banana tempura is piping HOT so it melts all the ice cream on top but with this dish, the exterior was cool and the inside was warm (not hot!) which we liked a lot better. Not puddle of melted ice cream!

We also got the dorayaki which is a Japanese dessert that consists of two pancakes with a sweet Azuki red bean paste in the centre. I didn't particularly like this dessert much at all because there wasn't enough bean paste so it just ended up being quite dry.
Banana Tempura with Matcha Green Tea Ice cream ($11.50)

Dorayaki ($4.20)

All in all, a great meal at Sake Bar Kushi. Can't wait to come back to try more =)

View Larger Map
Sake Bar Kushi on Urbanspoon