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“An interesting experience”

Kinka Izakaya Original
Ranked #89 of 8,474 Restaurants in Toronto
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$8 - US$22
Cuisines: Bar, Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Groups, Bar Scene
Dining options: Dinner, Drinks, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Cash Only, Free Off-Street Parking, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Description: An Izakaya is a Japanese-style pub and what we strive for at KINKA IZAKAYA is an authentic Izakaya with great food and drinks in an unique atmosphere. Our goal is to serve each and every one of our guests happiness as they experience a "truly authentic Japan".
Level Contributor
78 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“An interesting experience”
Reviewed 16 May 2012

Guu Izakaya is on Church St., about two blocks from the Courtyard Marriott. it's a little hard to find as the sign is small and, while it's on 398 Church, it's off the street with a small sign. It's a Japanese tapas restaurant. I'd read reviews some time ago in both the Globe and Star. The reviews loved the restaurant but complained about the fact that they don't take reservations and waits were long. At 6:00 p.m. on a Monday there was no wait.

It's very noisy--as each person enters, all the open kitchen and wait staff yell out in Japanese and wave (you're supposed to wave back). We ordered 3 dishes and then 1 more--4 dishes seems about right. First we had a lobster salad which turned out to be raw lobster, about half of a small tail, on a finely diced slaw or radish. It had a strong lobster taste, but not much other flavour--I found that it was greatly improved by a squeeze of lemon. Our next dish was a very tasty thinly sliced beef salad with a nice dressing--perhaps an ounce or two of beef. Then, we had black cod lightly baked in a sweet sauce--it was very fresh and tasty, perhaps a 3-4 ounce portion. At this point we decided we needed more and ordered the baked BC oyster which was a whole large oyster chopped and baked with spinach and some kind of cheese in the two halves of the shell, again, very tasty. All this with a large and small Sapporo came to $52.77 before the tip. Wait staff were very busy but attentive. As you leave, all the staff calls out and waves goodbye. They had many other interesting dishes--the woman opposite had a small deep-fired whole squash with an egg in the centre.

Anyway, it was interesting and worth the visit. I'd return. I don't think I'd recommend it as a place for children.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank TourerOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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453 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
42 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“A very cool, unique and boisterous dining experience”
Reviewed 13 May 2012

Entertaining with good food at a reasonable price. Exactly as described from previous posts. You can’t help but smile from the minute you walk in. Feels like you’re in Tokyo. Communal seating on harvest tables that sat 8 people on benches. Don’t accept reservations. Went on a Saturday at 7:30 PM. Waited 30 minutes. Worth it. Food is beautifully presented in tapas style made for sharing. We enjoyed the following:

Takowasabi: Marinated octopus. Good but small, hence the price. $3.80
Seaweed Salad: Amazing. Definite try again. $6
Ikapiri: Deep fried calamari. Awesome. $6.50
Brie Cheese: Deep fried. Loved it. $6.80
Octopus Sashimi: Okay. $6.80
Sweet Shrimp Sashimi. Terrible. Didn’t like the texture. 5 pieces. $6.80
Lobster salad. Loved it. $8.90
Karaage: Deep fried, soy sauce marinated chicken. Okay. $6.80
Sapporo Beer: Cold, massive mug is $9.50 each. Small draft is $5.30.
$86 included taxes.

Because everything is reasonably priced it’s easy to try different things out of your comfort zone. Paid parking lot right next door and across the street.

So much fun. Will definitely be back.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank bedhead57g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Exceeded expectations. Well worth the wait”
Reviewed 13 May 2012 via mobile

We went to Guu after reviewing the restaurants on TripAdvisor. There was a long line ahead of us. You cannot ring to book ahead but need to appear in person to effectively stand in line (name taken down). After one hour's wait we were shown in and had to share a table with another group. It was a very noisy but I suspect that it is to recreate a bar scene in Japan. Taking this into account the experience was great.

The food was also excellent. Portions were small but different to what we have experienced before.

The total bill was also reasonable - about $100 (excl tax) for two. Would recommend it to all. Just arrive about 1 hour before you really want to start.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Acong88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Oustanding place - you must eat/drink here!”
Reviewed 4 May 2012

Such a unique dining experience. I can't say enough good things about this place! The atmosphere is unbeatable - so upbeat and fun - though it does get quite loud, so don't come here for a quiet, romantic dinner. The service is great. And the food is unlike anything I've ever tasted before. So tasty and unique, that is, if you love seafood and eating things you've never heard! And to top it all off, this place is cheap, cheap, cheap. We were a group of four and kept on ordering more and more plates and drinks, and our bill came up to 30$ a person, including drinks! Highly recommend.

  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
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    • Food
Thank fortunecookies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
39 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“seems overrated”
Reviewed 29 April 2012

Great atmosphere and the food was not bad, but the seats were uncomfortable.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank mgtor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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