Imanishi Japanese Kitchen
Toronto, ON M6J 1Y1
The Dundas West Japanese comfort kitchen led by Sori Imanishi has been around since 2016 and has garnered a fan base for its cozy curries, izakaya snacks and Japanese cockails. The fairly sparse interior plays down the quality cooking expected here, from the rawness of their exposed brick wall (remnants of the former drywall still clinging to the wall borders), scuffed-up maple tables salvaged from an old post office,and hangers made of skateboard decks. And the food is just as approachable: ungarnished curry topped with calamari, yuzu chicken karaage, and a big ole' bowl of Nagoya ramen, with spicy chicken brock with ground pork and beef. But there are the surprises, too: The tako celery is marinated octopus with celery, garlic and ginger, inspired by a Cantonese joint in Tokyo. Their beef tataki finds rib-eye seared, sliced and topped with sancho pepper, fried chickpeas and soy sauce. If the anchovy potato salad seems un-Japanese, that’s because the recipe comes from a friend who owns a Spanish restaurant in Tokyo. And all of it perfectly pairable with a drinks menu stacked with unconventional sakes and traditional cocktails made with Japanese whisky.