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“The loudest dinner you'll ever have”

Kinka Izakaya Original
Ranked #106 of 8,583 Restaurants in Toronto
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$9 - US$24
Cuisines: Japanese, Seafood, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene
Dining options: After-hours, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
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".
Helsinki, Finland
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“The loudest dinner you'll ever have”
Reviewed 14 November 2013

It was two of us on one dark evening in September, and nothing could have prepared us for the Guu Izkaya experience. Full house, most of the clients as well as the entire personnel greeting us with a shout when we entered. And that kept going on through the entire dinner. Every single time someone entered OR exited, everybody started shouting greetings... So if you're looking for a quiet evening out with conversation, this is not your choice. But on the other hand, the atmosphere is really unique.

However, the food was the best I've had outside Japan. Ever. We ordered roughly half of the entire menu (which is overall creative but at the same time traditional in a good way), and enjoyed every single dish.

Another plus is the value for money. Rest assured, it is there.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank GoreTrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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458 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
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
Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
841 reviews
514 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 284 helpful votes
“Where am I? Tokyo?”
Reviewed 13 November 2013

This is a fabulous place for a great time and great food. The atmosphere is electric, with the staff shouting greetings and house music vigorously playing. Tapas style portions allows you to sample many delectable tastes and in our case, too many unregrettably. Loved the fresh sashimi, pacific oyster, crispy chicken skin taco, hot pot, seaweed-tofu salad and everything else we had. Go early to avoid a line-up. Beer goes great with the food and saves money on wine.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank must_travel_soon_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
33 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Good for anything: a date, a birthday, a great meal experience”
Reviewed 10 November 2013

Having grown up in Vancouver, I am no stranger to Guu's restaurants. Having been to Tokyo, I am also not a stranger to authentic Japanese food or the happy shouting welcome you get when you enter a restaurant. Guu is a tapas (appetizers) type of restaurant so don't be going in there thinking that you are going to a sushi restaurant because you are going to a Japanese restaurant. It's all about appetizers mostly.
That said, this one's a bit more fun than the others. Somehow, due to its larger size and the young and hip demographic of the neighbourhood, the moment you enter the restaurant ... the serving staff aren't the only ones shouting welcome to you in Japanese, the customers also get in on the action too! :)
The food? Just like what I had in Japan pretty much. The Takoyaki are just like the ones I got from the Takoyaki stands that just sold those little guys (I call these the Octoballs: chopped up octopus in a creamy sauce and deep fried; if any of your party is squeamish about trying different types of foods, just tell them it's swordfish or something and they will evaluate the dish based on taste alone. That's what I did, and my guest loved it). The Gindara grilled black cod is amazing.
If they have Green Tea cheesecake when you visit, do not leave the restaurant until you've had it. Whenever I have visitors in town, I try to make a point on bringing them here at least for one dinner.
There's always lineups so be prepared for that.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Nekkura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Delightfully Enthusiastic Food”
Reviewed 7 November 2013 via mobile

This was my first foray into Japanese street / bar food. From the moment I walked through the door until the entire staff said (well, cheered) goodbye, I was not disappointed. The presentation was exemplary and the food was exquisite. The communal tables and open kitchen leant a unique air to the place.

While this visit was for lunch, I will definitely be returning for dinner. According to the staff, lunch is more laid back, while dinner is a far more energetic experience.

Hands down, one of the top values for dining.

Helpful?
Thank Marc S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Foodie's heaven”
Reviewed 17 October 2013

I absolutely loved my experience at the Guu Izakaya, from their unique way of greeting you when you enter, to the service, food and drinks! I love trying new places, and this was definitely a treat! The food was great and something different, it was more so a 'Korean-Japanese Fusion', you order a few items, and they come as they are ready. The server was really friendly as well, and helped us through the menu. The best part was the sake tasting, they let you pick a choice of three and they came in little shot glasses and descriptions of what each sake was, the flavour, sweetness and taste. I can't wait to go back!!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank wanderlust_foodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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