Monday, November 28, 2011

Arisu Korean & Japanese Restaurant

Arisu is a Korean & Japanese Restaurant, Bar, and Event Venue, all in one. Located at the corner of Bloor and Markham St., Arisu's brightly lit sign will surely capture the attention of anyone walking by. I was invited by Arisu to have dinner at the restaurant last week. I invited my friends Carla and Cindy along too.

Arisu offers a wide range of dishes, from Korean noodles, rice, stews, to Japanese rice, noodles, teriyaki, sashimi, sushi, to table BBQ (see Arisu's online menu here). When we first looked at the menu, we were really overwhelmed by the vast array of dishes, combos, and prix fixe options. Unless you walk in Arisu knowing exactly what you want (i.e. to satisfy a certain craving) you may need more than a few minutes to decide on exactly what combination of food you want, the amount to order, and what to order, especially if you're going with friends and want to share dishes. I've always been a fan of small and condensed menus so when I saw Arisu's menu I immediately told Cindy to make the call - I was too lazy to use my brain after a long day of work. I know I'm sooo lazy O_o

While Cindy and Carla were busy looking over the menu, I walked around to take some pictures. Arisu is a very spacious restaurant...

...With a lot of colourful and traditional decor.

Downstairs is Arisu's "Event Venue" as it is where all their private rooms are. I was shown this private dining room first, one of several there. This particular one holds 12 people for either Korean BBQ or regular dining. 

They were getting set up for a big party that night in their largest party room. I took the opportunity to snap some pictures of all the delicious food on the table.

Afterwards I went back upstairs to join Cindy and Carla. Here is Arisu's featured menu... well as their winter / seasonal menu. These were in addition to their regular menu.

Sayuri Nigori ($14.99) - My favourite. Food orders can wait =)

Sashimi + Sushi + Roll: Triple Combo C - 8 pc sashimi, 5 pcs sushi, 6 pcs spicy salmon roll ($17.99)

Fresh sashimi with a good fish-to-rice ratio. 

Hae Mool Pa Juhn - Pizza-style seafood & green onion pancake ($16.99) - My favourite dish of the night. With various types of seafood such as squid / mussels / clams mixed in with green onions, battered and pan-fried, this was great.

Spicy Chicken - Braised chicken marinated in Korean style hot sauce served in hot pot ($14.99) 

We were all unhappy with this dish. It wasn't spicy at all and the chicken was dry. There wasn't much sauce at all and unlike the spicy chicken I've had at other Korean restaurants, there wasn't much "glaze" on the sauce.

Galbi & Buckwheat Noodle - Grilled Beef Short Rib Galbi with Warm / Cold Buck Wheat Noodle ($19.99)

Cindy had this and thought it was average, nothing special. 

Cindy thought the buckwheat noodle was good (she opted for warm noodles instead of cold). The soup flavour was nice with plenty of noodles. She did find the noodles to be a bit too soft and prefers it to be more al dente. She also thought the flavour of the meat was okay, nothing outstanding. The brisket was a little tough.

Jap-Chae (glass noodle) - Stir-fried sweet potato vermicelli with sauteed beef & veggies ($15.99)

I always like to order jap-chae and this time was no exception. This was OK but I found it to be too oily (a bit heavy handed on the sesame oil).

Cod Maeun-Tang - Spicy cod stew with vegetables in hot pot ($14.99)

Carla had this and this is what she said: "I thought the stew had an very rustic vibe. Crisp veggies and perfectly cooked cod. I thought the broth had a nice spice but it wa slightly salty."

We were given some hot green tea after our meal.

With such a big menu and tons of choices, you will certainly find something that you want at Arisu. Our meal that night was decent but nothing we had blew us away. If anything, I would want to go back with more friends to try Arisu's table BBQ. 

*This dinner was complimentary. The opinions and views expressed on this post are my own*

Arisu  on Urbanspoon