Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Koiyoi Izakaya, Toronto

One of my favourite experiences when visiting Japan, is to go to the unpretentious but very good izakayas, kind of like the Japanese version of a pub with their version of local comfort food. Koiyoi is  a very simple unpretentious resto with very authentic Japanese comfort food that appeals to me.

Firefly squid, marinated and fermented. This is a dish not for the faint of heart, with a slightly slimy consistency and odd fermented taste. But, good for me and highly authentic. If you are familiar with natto, Japanese fermented soy beans and like that, this dish will please.

Wasabi marinated octopus with grated fresh yuzu. The crunchy texture of the octopus with the sweet flavours were offset by the slight bight of the wasabi and the tang of the citric yuzu, made for an interesting dish.

Koiyoi salad with veggie chips, thin sliced crispy lotus roo chips, soft tofu pieces, thinly sliced nori, romaine lettuce and slightly smoky shaved bonito all dressed with a mild ginger vinaigrette. 

Grilled beef tongue on a hot plate. A typically simple izakaya dish. The tongue has an "al dente" kind of texture and good flavour, especially when enhanced with a squeeze of lemon.

Deep fried chicken back (cartilage), dusted with potato starch, served with daikon ponzu sauce for dipping.

Deep fried chicken gizzard topped with sliced scallions.

Steamed and grilled pig's feet.

An "oden" item with braised fish cakes, yam cakes with a gelatinous texture, made with agar agar, braised daikon and a dab of hot Japanese mustard on the side of the dish and all with a rich broth.

Grilled pork jowel on a hot plate.

Black sesame ice cream with sticky rice ball.

Green tea cheese cake with vanilla ice cream.

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