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Friday, June 24, 2011

[Toronto] Japango

Review Location:
122 Elizabeth Street
Toronto, Ontario
(Major Interesection: Dundas St. W & Bay St.)

Thus far, 50% of my posts have been on Japanese food. I feel that there are two main types of places. One is the lower end, volume and affordability focused restaurants. The other, is the high end, quality and authenticity focused restaurants that will also make a huge dent in your wallet. I find Japango is one of the very few exceptions in that they offer a really great meal experience at a reasonable price. Definitely a place I would keep coming back to.

Coming in here, I was really shocked at how small this place is. I've been to some super tiny Japanese restaurants but this by far is the smallest. I'd say at any one point there can be 15-20 diners, but it would be really squishy. Unfortunately, this night when I came here with Rob, that was exactly how it was. The seating wasn't very comfortable as the tables were really up close against your legs. In addition to that, you are really close to the people sitting in the next tables. It only takes one loud person beside you to ruin your experience. Luckily, there were no such people tonight.

The Restaurant
(Taken from where I'm sitting. 2 more steps back from here and I'll be out the door!)

Kirin Beer -Small ($4.50)
Rob made a comment that small beer glasses are traditional to consuming beer in Japan. I went to do some research after and confirmed this to be true. Fun fact of the day.

Salad with Ginger Dressing
Salad that came with the sashimi dinner and soba noodles. There was a miso soup too but I failed to take a picture of that.

"Japango Roll" ($12)
This is probably the most famous item on the menu. Almost every review will recommend this roll, so I figured I had to try it. It definitely did not disappoint. In essence it was a california roll with roe, seared salmon, and seared scallop on top. The sauce had a bit of a subtle spicy kick to it, and it was rolled nice and tight. I found this roll to be extremely delicate. It is so light and fluffy and it just disappears in your mouth. the seared scallops were warm and cooked on the outside, but still quite raw and cool on the inside. An interesting sensation.

 "Sashimi Dinner Deluxe" ($32.00)
We opted to order the Deluxe instead of the regular sashimi dinner because the waitress said the Deluxe comes with a more expensive caliber of fish. Not only did it come with the regular salmon and tuna, it had hamachi, seabream, and other less common fishes. I was really impressed by the presentation, variety, and quality of the fish. Some of the peices were actually seared on the outside and it tasted like it was done in seasoned oil. It added a really nice flavour to it. The fish were really fresh, but definitely not as fresh as Inakaya.

  "Ten Jaru" ($14.00) -Soba noodles with Tempura 
By the time this dish came me and rob were already quite full. We definitely did not expect this dish to be so massive! It cames with a huge pile of piping hot tempura, and a generous serving of soba noodles placed on a bamboo roll out mat. At first I thought that fin-looking piece of tempura out was a fish tail of some sort. Turns out it was an eggplant cut to resemble it! Kudos to the details. The most interesting part of this, was the sauce. They give you a quail egg, scallions, and wasabi to mix into your soba noodle sauce. I've never had it this way, but it tasted really good!

 By the end of this, me and Rob were both stuffed. I really enjoyed this meal and there isn't much to complain about in terms of food. The staff here have a little bit of a japanese accent, but their service was amazing despite the numerous take out orders they had to manage on top of serving the restaurant. They really go the distance here with food presentation, and it's something I find adds to the great dining experience.

Japango on Urbanspoon
Japango Sushi & Noodle Restaurants on Restaurantica

1 comment:

  1. this is on my list to try...between here & inakaya which one do u like more?

    btw yes u should go try out Sushi Kaji but once they change their menu I dont know how it will be:)