Tag Archives: takoyaki

This Japanese joint is Guu Guu guuud!

So, we’re hanging out at Guu Izakaya, this funky Japanese joint just east of Vegandale. But you KNOW we didn’t come here to eat veggies, bro! This place has a whole lotta tapas, served up Japanese style, so we’re diving right in with some Angus beef sashimi:

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Now, I don’t always eat steak cold, but when I do, I prefer beef sashimi. I could easily slay several servings of this dish…but then I wouldn’t have room for takoyaki!

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Dude, these deep-fried octopus balls are one of my go-to Japanese dishes. It’s all about the bonito flakes, bro!!!

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Speaking of bonito, I see your takoyaki and raise you okonomiyaki! This crunchy squid pancake is slathered in Japanese donkey sauce with even more flakes on top!

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And when it comes to classics, you can’t go wrong with chicken karaage. These great balls of fryer explode in my mouth with their juicy, crunchy goodness. I could probably pound, like, 22 of these!!!

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Now here’s one you definitely don’t see every day. These baked oysters are stuffed with cheese, mushrooms and a spinach/garlic mayo — I would put that on a flip-flop!!!!

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Now, since we’re switching to seafood, it’s time for some shrimp tempura. These babies are smothered in so much donkey sauce that the donkey won’t be making babies anytime soon, son!!!!

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Holy fuck, it’s Japanese duck!!! This aigamo tataki is sous vided and served cold with scallions, onions and a sauce that’s equal parts ponzu AND yuzu!

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And now we’re taking a little detour to Flavourtown Koreatown, where the bibimbap don’t stop!!!!

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We’re washing it all down with a Far Yeast Tokyo White, a beer that’s actually brewed in Tokyo, bro! This dry, unpasteurized saison is equal parts fruity and wheaty, for a taste that’s killa like Godzilla!!!

Now, after all that commotion back there, you KNOW we still have some room for dessert — but this banana tempura oughtta do’er!

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Bro, these deep-fried bananas are bananas — and bananas is good! It even comes with a scoop of green matcha ice cream… How do you say “Shut the back door!” in Japanese???

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.

I think I’m turning Japanese @ Nome Izakya

So, we’re hanging out at Nome Izakaya, this funky Japanese joint up at Yonge & Sheppard. Now, I used to think that Izakaya was the name of a Japanese heavy-metal band, but it turns out that Japanese bands have English names, like Loudness or Corrupted. Instead, this place serves up Sapporo, sushi and some funkalicious Japanese dishes, like these deep-fried octopus balls:

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Now, the first time I tried takoyaki, it came on purple rice with a whole buncha funky stuff on top. But these guys do it up nice ‘n simple, serving up a sixer of octo-balls for just $5.50, son! The breading is light and crispy, not too heavy, and there’s a chewy piece of octopus inside. They don’t overdo it with the sauce, either, squirting on some mayo and teriyaki. Pretty sure I could slam 18 of these, but there are other dishes for me to try, so, y’know…

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Now, this is like Popcorn Chicken Gone Wild, bro! These Japanese Chicken Poppers have a light, flaky breading, with warm, tender dark meat on the inside and a wasabi mayo on the side. The lemon adds a nice touch, too. You know I squeezed that lemon, son!

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Now, I’ve had pizza at a sushi joint before, but I never thought I’d be eating Japanese sliders. These Japa-Burgers are made with sliced ribeye steak, and come with lettuce, tomato, onion and a whole buncha special sauce dripping off all over the place. The server asked me if I wanted three burgers or four…and I was like, how about eight or 10, bro!

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Now, you probably don’t even hafta ask at this point, but after eating my Zodiac sign in Japa-burgers and octo-balls, you know I still had some room for dessert, son! And this dish is just as Japanese as apple pie, dude! You’ve got apples, you’ve got cinnamon, you’ve got raspberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side–although you could get taro, green tea, black sesame or extreme mango ice cream instead. I think I might go for the extreme mango next time, bro!

Holy octopus balls, Batman!

Lately, Dundas Street has been turning Japanese. You’ve got ramen, izakaya, curry, sushi burritos, green tea ice cream…oh, and that overhyped cheesecake. Now, I loves me some sushi, and just about anything katsu, but when it comes to takoyaki, I’m all like that sounds wacky—until I put these balls in my mouth, bro:

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I know what you’re thinking—tacowhatty? This Japanese snacky is made from wheat flour, cooked in a pan, and stuffed with some good old Doc Oc; diced, minced octopi. You know this is heading straight down my piehole, so let’s break it down. You’ve got a buncha nice, hot balls, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with a good chew from our octofarian friends. Topped with spicy mayo and a sesame vinaigrette, green onions and Japanese chilis, all on a bed of purple rice, purple rice. I only want to see you lapping up some purple rice…

Now, this dish gets an F for funkaliciousness. And that’s the same grade I got in Home Ec, son!