Christmas teppanyaki dinner @ Matsuda Japanese Cuisine

Dude, the best part of Christmas is definitely Christmas dinner. Any reason to eat so much that your tie-dye sweatpants rip apart is a good time with me. But I’m not really a big fan of turkey, unless it’s smoked BBQ Texas style. So instead, we’re funking it up this Christmas at Matsuda Japanese Cuisine… Who needs turkey when you can have teppanyaki, bro???

Now, in case you’re a pagan, a wiccan or an Israelite with an appetite, the good news is that most Asian restaurants in Toronto are open on Christmas Day. But this ain’t just any ol’ Asian restaurant. This funky Japanese joint is serving up everything on its grilled teppanyaki menu for $38.99 — and you can even go back for seconds!!!

You’ve got steak, you’ve got chicken, you’ve got duck, you’ve even got grilled tofu and bacon-fried rice…plus an entire sushi menu at your disposal. Now, I’m not gonna fill up on sushi when I can be eating steak. But I had to give these wasabi mussels a try:

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This was definitely different from any seafood dish I’ve ever had. These mussels were as cold as ice, ice baby, with so much wasabi that I felt it in my face. Did not see that coming! Of course, I couldn’t just order one thing from the sushi menu, so I dived right in to the deep-fried section, with some super shrimp tempura and calamari:

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Now, I dunno if this pic even does it justice, but this shrimp was so long, it belongs in an ExtenZe commercial, bro! And there were about five or six more where this one came from–they definitely don’t short-change you!

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The first thing to come off the grill was seafood. The grilled flounder was legit, the jumbo shrimp were literally on fire, but this flame-grilled Atlantic salmon was the best part of waking up (at 8 pm). Fish was super flaky, with a great teriyaki glaze… I could definitely go for more of these!!!

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Now, here’s something I’ve never had at a teppanyaki joint before. They take this duck breast, thinly sliced and cooked up nice on the grill. What the duck? I think I musta ate at least 17 pieces of this stuff!!!

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Now, the first rule of Flavourtown Food Fight Club is that everything tastes better with bacon, bro! This includes bacon-fried rice, which they make right in front of you on the grill. There were some other delicious dishes too, like chicken teriyaki, beef short ribs, and thin, stringy mushrooms wrapped in bacon…but let’s cut straight to the main event, the top choice ribeye steak:

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Now, even the raw cuts of meat looked super tasty, but once they slice ‘n dice em and serve ’em up, I bet they taste even better. I haven’t put this many pieces of meat in my mouth since that one time, at beef camp…but you KNOW I still had room for dessert, bro!!!

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Dessert is also all you can eat, which means you don’t have to choose between ice cream, chocolate pudding and deep fried bananas…you can have all three! Or four, or five, or six, or seven–calories don’t count on Christmas Day, dude!!!

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Sushi Legend: Come for the AYCE sushi, stay for the beef!

So, we’re hanging out at Sushi Legend, this funky AYCE sushi joint all up in an Asian strip mall at Finch and Leslie. Now, this place is pretty legit–you know they’ve got sushi, they’ve got sashimi, chicken katsu, fish cakes, peel-and-eat shrimp… But what really makes it is this tasty trio of beef dishes. Why settle for all-you-can-eat sushi when you can have all-you-can-eat beef, bro???

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We’re starting out with some torched beef sushi. Man, I musta slammed at least 17 of these! The meat is nicely grilled, served on a bed of rice, with a little bit of fruit on top. One of the best beef dishes I’ve had this week!

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Next up, you’ve got these garlic steak bites. They might be tiny little pieces of meat, but they’re packed with flavour, hot off the wok with crushed garlic overtop. Goes great with the garlic mushrooms, which they’re serving up the same way…

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But man, the best dish on the entire AYCE menu might be these Korean-style beef ribs. The meat is super tender, grilled to perfection, and you can just bite it right off the bone. Bro, I could eat my body weight in these babies and still have room for dessert! Oh, and speaking of dessert…

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Can you say AYCE creme brulee, Jose???

Sinking some sushi boats @ Fune

Now, I don’t usually eat sushi, so if I’m at a sushi joint, then you know it’s gotta be something funky. And lemme tell ya, Fune, this downstairs joint in the Entertainment District, is completely funkalicious. You can always order off the menu, but what makes it fun are the sushi boats that go around, with a buncha different dishes. Like a box of chocolates, you never quite know what you’re gonna get…but if you see something you like, you’d better grab it, cuz you don’t wanna miss the boat!!!

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Spicy shrimp with rice? Don’t mind if I do!

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You know I’m always down for sushi pizza — crispy, crunchy and magically delicious!

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Dude, this fish was so fresh, it had a dice in the mirror!!!

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Shrimp on top of sushi??? You can’t top that!

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You know I could always go for some creamy avocado, bro!!!

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How bout some with the avocado on top???

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Now, this dish was completely ridiculous. They take some sushi rolls and pour enough panko on em to choke a tuna! But man, I definitely scooped up every last breadcrumb off this plate…

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They gave this one a nice sear with a blowtorch… Dude, this is body by blowtorch!!!

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Turns out, this wasn’t actually ice cream…

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Avocado, crab and fish eggs — oh my!

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These ones were just straight up avocado!

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Check out the lines on that one!

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Yuuup, even more creamy avocado goodness!

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Of course, I still had room for dessert. Still not sure what this thing is, but it had a spongy, pancake texture with a Fig Newton kinda filling. I would try it again.

Now, in all that commotion back there, I’m not sure whether I had 15 plates of sushi, or only 14…

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Eating all the AYCE sushi @ Spring Sushi

Now, I don’t always eat sushi, but when I do, I eat all that I can. So, we’re hanging out at Spring Sushi, this funky joint that’s waaaay downtown at Yonge and Dundas. Now, there is so much stuff on their menu that you can be fully completely without eating a single piece of fish…but where’s the fun in that, son?

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So, we’re starting off with a Fearsome Foursome of Flavourtown–BBQ eel in a cone, a deep-fried salmon croquette, a super-spicy salmon roll and then a piece of beef sushi–dude, I didn’t even know that was a thing!!!

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But hey, not all sushi has to have fish in it, like this sweet potato pie roll on the left, and the chicken teriyaki roll on the right. But these ain’t even the funkiest rolls I’ve had tonight…

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They call this a Las Vegas roll, and it’s a high roller baby! You’ve got sashimi, cream cheese, crab meat and avocado all rolled into one–and they give you five to an order, bro!!!

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But right here, right now, we’re about to kick it up a notch with this Hawaii roll. Apple, mango, crab and avocado, plus a sticky coating of bean curd and plum sauce make this a sweet treat that can’t be beat!!!!

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But you know we’re not nearly done yet, bro! We’ve got shrimp tempura, we’ve got calamari, we’ve got takoyaki…all heading straight down my piehole!!!!

Oh, did you want chicken? Well, here’s some chicken katsu…

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Or how about a chicken skewer?

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And hey, I’m not gonna go to a joint like this and NOT eat steak…

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…along with some sweet ‘n sour pork, and eel-fried rice!

But you KNOW we’re saving the best for last, so say hello to my little friend, bacon-wrapped shrimp:

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Man, I couldda slammed 17 of these…but then I wouldn’t have room for dessert:

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Dude, these deep-fried bananas are bananas…and bananas is good!!!!

Wacky Teppanyaki @ Yamato, bro!

Now, I don’t know about you, but to me, everything tastes better on a Hibachi. I mean, you could Hibachi me up some bean sprouts, tofu and daiyo cheese, and I’d probably still eat it off a flip-flop…but I think I’d rather stick to the basics. And at Yamato, this funky Japanese joint that’s been killin’ it and grillin’ it in Yorkville since 1983, they’ve got everything–chicken, shrimp, scallops, lobster, and at least two kinds of steak, all served up by a funky grillmeister who’s got the moves like Jagr…  Check out that sick dangle, son!!!

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Now, I don’t always eat veggies, but when you light ’em on fire, that’s a whole different ballgame… Now we’re cooking with propane–and propane accessories!

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Don’t get me wrong, these veggies were pretty tasty, but you know on Triple B we’re all about the meat. That’s why most of the Triple B Krew went with the Imperial Combo–chicken, shrimp AND filet mignon, bro!!!!

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Now, those shrimp were pretty Bomb.co.jp. Super hot and sizzly, straight offa Hibachi, and heading straight down my piehole!

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The chicken took the longest to grill, which gave it the most teriyaki flavour. I could probably pound, like, 20 pieces of this:

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But you know we’re just getting warmed up for the main event… Let’s get ready to sizzle!!!!

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Now, they cooked this filet in a whole buncha garlic butter, so it came out nice and zesty. Mine was quite a bit more than medium rare, but that’s not to say I didn’t scarf down every last juicy morsel:

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Now, I know what you’re thinking… After all that commotion back there, did he still have room for dessert? Well go ahead punk, make my cake!!!

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They call this the Blackout Chocolate Torte, or something like that. All I know is it’s got, like, infinity layers of chocolate, along with some berries and whipped cream… Dude, this is like an avalanche rolling down Flavourtown Mountain! I definitely did not have room for more dessert afterwards!!!!!

Japanese pizza & hot dogs & fries… Oh my!

Now, there’s all sorts of funky eats in Toronto’s Little Tokyo, but there’s only one izakaya in the hood, ninja homebro. Don Don Izakaya has been dishing out Japanese bar food and serving up all sorts of sake at Bay and Dundas even before Uncle Tetsu set up shop ’round the corner, and they’re packing ’em in like tunafish on a Friday night!

Now this place has got sushi, it’s got ramen, it’s even got a twisted take on the pork bao called Fwhat-Fwhat Pork…but you know I’m always after the most funkalicious dishes on the menu, so when I saw they had Japanese hot dogs, I was all like “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto!!!!”

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Now, if you’re looking for a seat at the sausage party, you might be disappointed–this is more like meatballs to the wall, man. These Swedish-style flavour nuggets are served with sauteed onions, teriyaki, and I think that might even be some donkey sauce on top, although it looks like they put it all on one…

japanese_hot_dog (6)Mmm, donkey sauce…

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Now, they might call them “Potato Wedges w/ Curry Powder” on the menu, but these are really just regular fries, bro. But still, they’re super hot and crispy, straight from the deep-fryer, and that curry powder gives it a nice little kick… I’d put that on a flip-flop!

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But you know we’re saving the funkiest for last, Fresh Prince of Bro-Air! When I saw they had takoyaki pizza on the menu, I figured it might be more like the funky fresh duck pie I had the other day, but this…this was something completely different.

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So, check it out. They take these deep fried octopus balls, bathe ’em in tomato sauce, then melt a buncha cheese overtop. It’s like a Japanese cartoon show in Flavourtown–Samurai Pizza Balls, bro! Pretty sure I could pound about 22 of these…but when three little dishes plus a pint of Sapporo sets you back 35 bucks, then mayyyybe not.

It’s like a culinary Cuttlefish of Cthulhu in Flavourtown!

So, we’re hanging out at Ebisu, this funky Japanese joint on Queen Street West, just like a block or two from University Avenue. Now, this place has got sushi, they’ve got ramen, but they’re also serving up all kindsa crazy stuff that I’ve never even tried before, like this funkalicious Flavourtown fishfuck—BBQ cuttlefish, bro!

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Now, the last time I tasted cuttlefish, it was spraying me from the stage of the Opera House. But this was a totally different beast here. It’s got the texture of calamari, grilled up Japanese style, all chewy and rubbery, but the tentacles are totally what makes it. I actually didn’t need to eat more than one of these, cuz they give you like 17 pieces, bro!

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Of course, that wasn’t the only seafaring creature I shoved down my piehole. One of their monthly specials was the soft-shell crab, served up crispy with some mushrooms on the side. It was kind of hard to pull this guy apart with just a fork, but once you got to the meat inside, it was well worth the effort!

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But this has gotta be the piece de resistance, right here. Now, my brother from another lover Anthony Bourdain is always going on about beef tongue—it’s pretty much his go-to taco, bro! So when I saw the BBQ beef tongue, I knew I had to try it. But here’s what I wasn’t expecting…they give it to you raw, and then you gotta cook it up yourself like some Fine Young Cannibal! But at least it’s like having your own personal grillsus, with this mini hibachi here. Turns out I like my lengua extra crispy. Who knew?