“Sometimes you wanna go, where everybody knows your name…” And while that undoubtedly is not true at Kinka (formerly Guu Izakaya), you will be greeted like you’re family. That is, if your family happily shouts at you whenever you enter the door. Mine don’t, but they’re WASPs.
Once the shouting begins, you realize just how raucous the place is. Friendly servers rushing from table to table with pints of Sapporo and trays of sake; the heat and shouts of the chefs from the open kitchen spilling out into the dining room; the soundtrack of West Coast hip-hop blaring (RIP Tupac) making conversation a challenge.
But you’re not here for a quiet meal. This is a rowdy drinking and eating establishment in the tradition of izakaya, basically the Japanese form of tapas. Order yourself a drink and choose five or six items from the menu of delicious delights. Pillowy takomaki balls of octopus with ribbons of katsuobushi, sizzling bibimbap of crunchy rice, mushrooms and cheese, and perhaps my favourite, the decidedly non-Japanese deep fried brie, which, when pricked, oozes brie onto the plate to be mixed with mango sauce. Simply divine.
Perhaps you’re thinking, why eat foreign food in Toronto? Because to ignore it would be to ignore the very nature of Toronto. This is the most multicultural city in the world, and it’s reflected in the way we eat. So for a lively night out, drop in to Kinka, drink, eat and drink in the atmosphere. Kampai!