559 Bloor Street West
Pricing: Cheap – Average
Although Izakaya and Sakabar are almost identical, there are a few differences between the two. There are little menu tweaks here and there and Izakaya is more open and you can easily scope the room. Sakabar has a few corners and is also divided into two sections; one with the signature wooden tables and one that’s more traditional where you remove your shoes and sit on the floor.
Start your trip with a smooth, crisp Asahi Beer. It’s not as bitter as some North American beers and has more flavour than those bland American ones.
The Chili Mame Bibimbap could’ve been better. I find lettuce to be a cheap way of adding greens to a dish. All the flavour is removed once you cook it and it becomes limp and sometimes soggy. It’s spiced nicely but the lettuce ruins it for me.
The Shake Chazuke is something that is extremely small and while it starts out as a crispy deep fried rice ball, once you break it apart and let the soup in, it crumbles into pieces. The dashi broth is nice but a little plain.
Fret not, the Salmon Tataki comes with more than just one slice of sashimi; seared with ponzu, wasabi mayo and garlic chips, it’s raw fish and it’s finest. They were so good, I almost didn’t get a picture of it!
To be frank, I don’t remember eating the Kakuni Pie at all, it shows how significant it is as a dish. The pork belly pastry with sweet soy sauce is small in size and wasn’t anything special.
The Torikawa might not sound appetizing considering that it’s just deep fried chicken skin but it’s so addicting! It’s not overly greasy and has a pleasant crunch as you pop it into your mouth.
And of course, there’s Takoyaki. But like I said for Guu, they aren’t the best I’ve ever had. It needs to be less starchy and more chewy.
Side Story: Two out of eight of us got food poisoning the night after. We don’t really know what it was from but our best guess is the salmon sashimi. They threw up uncontrollably all night and we didn’t call to complain or anything. We just concluded that we won’t be returning to Sakabar.