Friday, December 7, 2012


JaBistro (Twitter: @JaBistro222, Facebook: JaBistro), brought to you by the same owner as Guu and Kinton Ramen, is currently serving up some of the most exceptional sushi in Toronto. I know this is a big statement coming from me but I completely stand behind it. JaBistro, located on Richmond Street near the entertainment district, is not your typical Japanese restaurant...far from it actually. At JaBistro, you won't find watery miso soups, salads drenched in vinaigrette,  or bento boxes with your choice of chicken / salmon / steak teriyaki. No. None of that. And no, JaBistro is definitely not an all-you-can-eat sushi joint! JaBistro is much, much more than that... 

JaBistro is inventive. JaBistro is refined. The quality of JaBistro's sashimi and sushi is top-notch. Truly phenomenal. Complemented with visually stimulating presentation, everything served at this modern Japanese restaurant is ridiculously delicious.

JaBistro's space is modern with clean lines, exposed brick and light-coloured natural wood. The vibe is casual and not at all pretentious. Below is a shot of the sushi bar; a row of tables stretches along the opposite side of the bar.

Chef Koji Tashiro has 12 years of sushi experience under his belt. He has worked in Japan and Vancouver prior to JaBistro.

I have already been to JaBistro for dinner twice since it opened last month and this post combines both visits. I went with four friends for the first time and I took a good friend of mine for his birthday the second time. You can probably tell which visit is which from the the pictures; I sat at the sushi bar (which has brighter lighting) for my friend's birthday. Anyway, here goes!

Railroad Man - Sake, cointreau, simple syrup, lemon, egg white
JaBistro has a good list of sake, wine, as well as sake- and shochu-based cocktails

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Guu Sakabar Never Disappoints

Guu Sakabar's menu and specials posted outside
When it comes to izakaya (i.e. a Japanese drinking establishment which serves food to accompany drinks), I always default to Guu. Although there are several newly opened izakayas in downtown Toronto, I somehow find myself at either Guu SakaBar or Guu Izakaya whenever I have a craving for izakaya. And because these 'izakaya cravings' do not happen that often, when they do, I want to make sure that I will be completely happy and satisfied after my meal, which is is precisely why I always end up at Guu (@GuuToronto) - I've never left Guu disappointed. The food there is consistently good, their awesome vibe never ceases to amaze me, the staff is always friendly and cheerful, and last but not least, I find myself practically rolling out of the restaurant, beyond full with a grin on my face, every single time :)

This time was no exception. I took a friend to Guu SakaBar recently. He has never been to Guu before (I know, shocking!) so I felt that it was my duty, as a friend, to take him there (OK I admit, I was also having an izakaya craving at the time).

To experience the full "Guu experience", I find it best to sit at the bar. Despite the fact that it can get a bit loud, I strongly encourage those who haven't been to Guu to try it out (you can always sit in the tatami room next time...only available at Guu SakaBar though!)

I had the GUU CAESAR (obviously) with Yuzu pepper infused vodka, clamato ($6.5) 
My friend had ASAHI ($7)

Between the two of us, we had the following: 

KURAGE - Marinated jellyfish ($4.5)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sukhothai on Wellington (Soft Opening)

Sukhothai's second location on Wellington and Church (Twitter: @sukhothaifood, Facebook: sukhoTHAI) is set to open today. Along with Khao San RoadSukhothai's first location on Parliament has always been a favourite of mine when it comes to Thai food (see blog post here) so I'm really excited about this new location. Why? Because: 1) this new location is just more convenient for me to get to, 2) the Wellington location has over 100 seats, which is many times larger than the Parliament location, and finally 3) this new location will also have a liquor license (which the Parliament location does not have). W00t!!!

I was invited to Sukhothai's soft opening yesterday for lunch. Here's a snapshot of the space; the restaurant was still doing some last minute renovations when we were there.

I confess. We pigged out:

THAI iced tea ($4)

Shrimp chips with tamarind dip ($4)