Tasting @ Sake Bar Kushi

Sake Bar Kushi (Facebook: Sake Bar Kushi) is one of the latest additions of Izakaya joints to the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood. Sake bar Kushi focuses their menu on producing a selection of Japanese skewers along side with an extensive selection of over 40 different kinds of Sake (one of which that is the first and only Sake offered in Toronto) – How lucky were we to be able to sample this sake? 🙂

The first thing we noticed  upon arrival was the decor and the way the venue was set up. A wooden themed restaurant with small to large booths set up along side of the of the restaurant and a large table plotted in the middle with a galore of Sake bottles separating the 2 sides with cute light bulbs hovering the centre. Oh – did I also mention they have Zashiki (traditional style room for larger groups) near the back of the resto?

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One of the many things I liked about this particular Izakaya compared to other Izakayas in Toronto that I’ve visited is definitely the “privacy” you can get from sitting in the booths (that are slightly closed off) while being able to indulge in the tapa style dishes.  It is not very often that you can enjoy your food in a large group while not being squished in a table and hear all the conversations going on around you!

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Sushi Bar – with sake bottles decorating the entire venue!

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Open kitchen – extends along the side of the venue which  leads to the Zashiki (private traditional rooms)

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The menus@ Sake Bar Sushi

  • large sake menu with over 40 different selections
  • the skewers menu even displays what the skewers would look like

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  • special menu with hot sakes with popular menu items

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{NEW} Draft Sake Shiboritate 180 ml ($16.00)

  • This sake is like a subtle version of Vodka – but flavours are definitely there
  • Sake Bar Kushi is the first and only restaurant in Toronto thus far to serve this Sake – so get your hands on while you can!

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Avocado Salad ($5.00)

  • fresh avocado salad & mixed vegetables
  • 1st dish of the night was the avocado salad – light, clean and refreshing
  • salad dressing was drizzled all over the thinly sliced avocado + mixed vegetables

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Wakame Salad ($4.00)

  • Japanese style seaweed salad

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B.B.Q Unagi ($6.00)

  • torched unagi with BBQ Sauce
  • the BBA Unagi was a delicate bite of heaven – each slice of unagi had a sweet savoury taste ending with a bit of smoky flavour

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Ebi Mayo ($7.00)

  • Deep fried prawn served with mustard mayo sauce
  • Ebi Mayo – was my favourite dish of the night! – the lightly battered shrimps were nicely coded with a layer of mustard mayo sauce which was absolutely delicious!
  • I could order plates and plates of this!

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Maguro Yukke ($9.00)

  • chopped tuna with garlic sauce, green onion, pine nuts, row egg on top
  • the thinly sliced chopped tuna was very fresh and a nice & simple delightful dish to indulge in

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Gyoza  ($4.00)

  • crispy pan fried dumplings
  • When this dish was first served, I honestly couldn’t tell it was gyoza because it simply looked like a large piece of pan fried pancake (Chinese: onion pancake)
  • As we started to divide it, we then notice that there were 4 pieces of gyoza that were all fried together like a pancake
  • The gyozas were stuffed to the brim with nicely seasoned meat and fried to crispiness.

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Tompeiyaki ($9.00)

  • Japanese style omelet in pork meat with tonkatsu & mayo sauce
  • I’m a huge fan of Tompeiyaki & Sake Bar Kushi did not disappoint – I love the deep, rich and heavy tonkatsu & mayo sauce that makes the dish amazing!
  • The pork meat with the melted stringy cheese made it that much better
  • Some people may find this dish a bit heavy & salty? – but I personally love all the flavours to this – paired well with beer 🙂

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Kimchi Pork Ishiyaki Bibimbab ($9.00)

  • pan fried kimchi & pork in sizzling stone bowl
  • What can go wrong with eating kimchi pork and rice out of a burning stone bowl with steam coming out if it – I always love eating the crispy yet slightly burnt rice that sticks to the burning stone bowl

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Gold Sashimi 15 pieces ($24.00) ** Wednesday night is 50% off sashimi – so this was only $12!!

  • Sake
  • Tuna
  • Seared tuna
  • Butter fish

Every slice of sashimi was very fresh. The seared tuna sashimi was gently seared on the outside. The texture was firm with a slight fishy taste to it. My friend on the other hand thought the seared tuna was pretty subtle to enjoy thoroughly

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  • Ebi (Shrimp)
  • Fatty Salmon Sashimi
  • Unagi
  • Mackerel
  • Uni

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{Left} Chicken Heart Skewer ($2.00 each) **Tuesday night is 50% all skewers!
{Right} Buta Bara Pork Belly Skewer ($2.00 each) **Tuesday night is 50% all skewers!

  • It was my first time having chicken heart – it was cooked well. In terms of texture, I thought it was a bit chewier than what I had envision “chicken heart” to be – Still loved it. The chicken heart skewer had the perfect amount of salt seasoning to it
  • Pork belly is my one of my many guilty pleasures – I love it in my ramen, on a skewer – Can’t think of a way that I wouldn’t like pork bellys – Anyways, Kushi’s version of of pork belly was amazing – very juicy and fatty

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Kushi Katsu ($2.00 each) **Tuesday night is 50% all skewers

  • deep fried chicken kushi
  • The Kushi Katsu skewer was gently drizzled with terriyaki sauce
  • Beneath that piping hot crispy layer of batter is a hot and tender piece of chicken

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Macha Ice Cake ($8.00)

  • Macha is a Japanese green tea pound cake – which was absolutely soft and fluffy – served warm with a perfect pairing of green tea ice cream
  • Definitely a delicious treat and fantastic way to end off our tasting

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Zashiki (traditional style room for larger groups)

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Weekly Specials

  • Every Tuesday 50% on Skewers
  • Every Wednesday 50% off on Sashimi
  • Open until 1am everynight!

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Our dinner at Sake Bar Kushi was overall a very pleasant experience. From the minute we walked in to the restaurant, our waitress took very good care of us – walked us through the menu – checked on us many times to make sure everything was good. Service was very quick – our tapa dishes were coming out one right after another, like an assembly line. Whenever we needed something, they would always semi- kneel down so we were at eye level when talking to each other. Another thing I really liked was – every time customers were coming in, the waitresses treated each and every one of them like  they were frequent customers – something that doesn’t take a lot but makes you feel welcomed.

In terms of the food – There wasn’t anything I tried that I wouldn’t recommend or order again. My favourites of the night were the skewers, avocado salad, ebi mayo (shrimp), Tompeiyaki and the gyoza. I swear, by the time our dessert was presented – I was so incredibly stuffed – but as always, there’s always a tiny room for sweets 🙂

Sake Kushi Bar is opened 6 days a week until 1am – Closed Mondays. Oh yes, they also accept reservations 🙂 

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This meal was complimentary but Foodinthecitytoronto.com remains unbiased in our content

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