Ending my Toronto series with Ki Modern Japanese and Bar located on Brookfield Place Bay Street, in the Toronto CBD. Ki meshes the Western culture with Japanese cuisine in which you end up with dishes such as burgers but with a slight twist or sushi with spicy tomato salsa or mango.
For those looking for a more traditional Japanese meal, at Ki they do offer a variety of freshly made nigiri, sashimi and maki sushi rolls. As a modern Japanese restaurant, they also serve slightly different sushi rolls, some with bacon or sweet potato which make for interesting combinations and especially on your palette.
Overall, the food quality here is fantastic. The sushi, tempura sushi and even the burgers are all delicious. However, I found the dishes leaning more towards Western style to have very minimal Japanese influences as such it would appear like eating it in any other upmarket cafe or the like.
Ki do Japanese well, although it comes at a price because the dishes here aren’t exactly cheap.
181 Bay St
Toronto ON M5J2S1
If you are seeking some Dim Sum (Yum Cha for us Aussies) in Toronto with scenic views, or as scenic as Toronto can get. Then Pearl HarbourFront caters to you. My sister took us here one morning and while it didn’t amaze it or anything, it was a pretty good meal all in all.
The carts come around frequently and there’s your usual dim sum, such as dumplings.
Or the more interesting sorts.
Your dim sum in bamboo steamers. A prawn dumpling steamed or fried usually is a winner for me, especially if it’s in that translucent pastry.
I never know what any of these dim sum are called, I just point and they provide but this beef one is one of my personal favourites. With a bit of chilli sauce it’s fantastic.
Chicken wings, because why not.
Chee Cheong Fun, wasn’t all that great to be honest and I’m not even a big fan of it and I could tell.
The steamed sticky rice in banana leaf was also a slight disappointment, lacking in flavour.
Saving the best for last is my all-time favourite dim sum dish that is ordered without fail, Lo Pak Ko (Surprise! I know another Dim Sum). A great Lo Pak Ko in my tastebuds is slightly crispy outside from the pan frying, and soft inside with a good mixture of Chinese sausage and turnips, with just enough salt to give it that something extra. Here it almost lives to my high expectations but I’m always happy to have it.
Pearl Harbourfront doesn’t steer too far away from the norm, and its food also it’s something I would say was amazing. However, its array of Dim Sum I would say is above average on taste, but I do recall it being a bit pricier than I’m used to.
207 Queens Quay W
Toronto ON Canada M5J2M6
Guu Sakabar definitely has an interesting atmosphere and if you haven’t dined at one of Guu’s locations in Vancouver or in Toronto, you may be surprised as you walk in. For all guests that arrive, you are warmly greeted with cheers from the employees as well as when you exit. So it can get quite noisy on a busy night but that’s all part of the charm.
Guu offers a Japanese-tapas style menu some options having a bit of Korean influences. What I like about tapas menus is that it’s great for sharing and trying a bit of everything from the menu.
The Okonomiyaki here is deep fried with squid tonkatsu sauce and karashi mayonnaise. I haven’t tried a deep fried Japanese pancake before as I only have found the pan fried variation in Melbourne (Australia) before, however the pancake certainly left an impression on me.
Probably my favourite dish was Guu’s Kinoko Bibimbap in a stone pot.With mushrooms, cheese and a seaweed sauce, the combination of flavours worked a treat together. Packed full of flavour, can’t go wrong with it and even for me who would prefer not to have mushrooms in anything!
You can’t leave Guu without trying their drinks, however being a non-local and wanting to do a tapas drinks, we ordered the Sake Sampler that came with 6 different types of sake. As a non-expert in Sake, I can’t really offer my opinions on them but the cloudy ones were more memorable than the rest for sure.
Guu also offer Japanese Vodka, Beers, Wines and Cocktails and your non-alcoholic beverages as well.
Guu is definitely for those seeking a good night out with friends and/or family and the atmosphere at Guu allows for that. Food-wise, most of what we tried was great, but on the smaller side of things. Though, I certainly hope a restaurant like this pops up in Melbourne to enjoy.
559 Bloor St W
Toronto ON M5S1Y6
When we visited Korea Town, I was amazed at how expansive it was and compared to our China Town in Melbourne, which is our largest Asian inner-city district, I loved walking down the streets of this bustling community, but I digress. My sister and her partner recommended we try this place out, and it seemed to be a local favourite. What Buk Chang Dong is known for is their Korean Tofu stews, served with a complimentary assortment of Korean pickled dishes and what seems like an unlimited supply of this Korean mixed grain rice that has this purple tinge to go with the stews.
While Buk Chang Dong primarily serves stews (soups), they also offer Stone Pot Bibimbap, Bukbegi Bulgogi and Broiled BBQ (Beef) among their wide selection of stews such as Beef, Seafood, and Kimchi stews. Not only this but you can select your preferred spiciness from the weakest “white” to the the extra spicy. I’ve always liked a spicy meter for restaurants just suited for your own liking.
We ordered the Broiled BBQ (Beef) which they certainly know how to do it well, steaming hot and marinated well. How a sizzling hot plate should be.
Their sides also come with eggs to crack into your soup once it arrives, this is so the eggs aren’t already cooked once they arrive on your table because the soups are definitely hot to the touch.
The Seafood Soon Tofu + Dolsotbab which contains oysters, prawns and mussels and pretty much all their soup dishes are absolutely delicious. Spicy, rich in flavour from the ingredients used to the stock all add to the depth of flavours and having this with the “purple rice” is just the best thing on a cold day.
Buk Chang Dong excel in their stews and it’s evident why this place is a favourite amongst the locals. Why, I’d even make a special trip to Korea Town if I was in Toronto just to have another meal. If only I could find a place that does it so well in Melbourne.
Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu
691 Bloor St W
Toronto ON M6G
Toronto has exceptional Thai food. I’m not sure why as seemingly they are a fair distance away from Thailand and seemingly there isn’t a significant community of sorts but alas somehow Thai cuisine thrives here. Salad King is situated not far from the Ryerson University, which results in the restaurant filling up quickly during peak times.
What is also interesting, that I’ve never seen in any restaurant before (other than a Nando’s) is a Spicy Scale as shown below. My sister having dined here before, recommended 3-5 Chilis, and even those were quite spicy so I’m not entirely sure how 20 Chilis tasted like. Maybe like a fireball in your mouth and stomach?
Salad King’s Phud Thai (or Pad Thai) is light and fresh in flavour, fragrant and overall a very delicious dish with the spiciness adding a nice touch. It’s not the best Pad Thai I’ve ever eaten but definitely above average.
The Bangkok Stir Fry is unfamiliar to be but I loved the peanuts added on top with the rice vermicelli (clear noodles) which are property my favourite styled stir fried noodles if done right. Tasty dish.
The Rainbow Chicken is another interesting Thai dish, with eggplant, capsicums and the combination of basil, lemon grass and chilli sauce makes quite a great dish with some white rice. Cheap and tasty.
The Green Mango Salad with mango strips, tomato, lettuce and dressed with chopped peanuts and a Thai dressing (made from fish sauce, lime juice, peanuts and sugar) is refreshing but not particularly my favourite kind of salad.
Salad King’s Tom Yum is another winner, with the perfect combination of sweet and sour and of course spice and really just want you need on a cold day (which was nearly everyday in Toronto).
Cheap and tasty Thai food is what I’d describe Salad King in a few words. If I were to compare Salad King to Khao San Road, tastewise Khao San Road comes out on top, the dishes there just blew me away. Although in terms of price, you may prefer Salad King over Khao San Road but flavour cannot be denied in my humble opinion. However, both are probably for different occasions and settings so in someways aren’t very comparable. Salad King definitely earns its title as Toronto’s favourite Thai.
340 Yonge St
Toronto ON M5G1H1