Location: 521 Bloor Street W, Toronto, ON M5S 1Y4
Price Range: $
Locating in the Annex, Gyutaro is a newly opened eatery specializing in what I would call, cheap and delicious Japanese comfort food. Thanks to Nerine (Instagram: @nerine_gnauh) and Kira (Manager of Gyutaro) for organizing this media tasting event, I was able to sample some of their offering dishes.
Not sure what happened that night but I completely forgot to take picture of either their menu or decor, seriously. With that said, this restaurant had a nice relaxing atmosphere with TVs blasting Korean music and anime shows, I must say it’s quite a nice place to hang out with friends. In terms of service, it is more of a fast-food place where you have to order at the cashier and a server will bring out the food for you, so don’t expect a fine-dining-ish service here.
A quick glance at the menu, I was surprised to see that all their prices included taxes! Almost everything was under $10 except for a few, but even their most expensive dishes were only at $13, thus Gyutaro is a very student budget friendly restaurant. I also get to try their drinks and they weren’t too sweet either, and of course really well-priced!
Note that these dishes were the ones that I was able to review, however there are more pictures of the dishes that I didn’t try on my Instagram account @anhet_.
I don’t recall that the filling contain any meat at all, I believe it consisted of vegetables, mushrooms and glass noodle (?). These weren’t greasy and had a nice golden brown crispy crust. I liked how the vegetables were not overcooked inside and still had some crunchiness to it. The filling was well seasoned, salty enough to not taste bland with a nice kick of white or black pepper.
How can you go wrong with edamame? My only complaint would be that these were a bit under-seasoned, more salt was needed!
Again, can never go wrong with a seaweed salad with a nice touch of sesame seeds.
The lava eggs had to be the most popular dish on that day! They were exactly how a ramen egg should be. The egg white was softly firm while the golden yolk was creamy and just slightly runny.
Sadly this wasn’t my favorite, it was too doughy and I couldn’t find any octopus pieces at all.
Don’t let the word “ginger” scare you, the ginger taste was really minimal and not overbearing at all. The pork was tender and succulent, and nicely soaked up all of that sweet soy based sauce.
I thought the beef was a bit too dry so I definitely recommend getting either a raw egg or cheese for an extra dollar to solve that issue. Otherwise the beef was thinly sliced and marinated in a mildly sweet sauce flavored with daishi, soy sauce and mirin.
To be honest all I cared about was the crispy fried chicken, rice ain’t needed! Again, the fried chicken was not oily and had a nice crispy skin while still remained juicy on the inside. It also had a nice kick from the wasabi mayo as well, overall a must ordered dish!
Sighs the lightning at the table gave a pink-ish filter to my pictures, and I couldn’t edit them out :(, so please bare with me here..
At the end the manager was kind enough to offer us a platter of different variety of cheesecakes, such as matcha and mango. I couldn’t really taste the matcha flavor, however I liked that the mango one actually had mango bits in them and didn’t taste artificial at all. I forgot to take a picture but their ice cream mochi was a must get! The mochi was smooth and not too sweet, overall a very refreshing dessert.
I used to work in the Annex for a few years and I have seen so many restaurants come and go around the area, and I hope Gyutaro is here to stay. While uptown people might be spoiled with a lot of cheap eats, it’s extremely hard to find a budget friendly restaurant with decent to good quality in downtown! If you are a student, I strongly recommend Gyutaro for a quick and cheap meal.
Disclaimer: While the food was provided by Gyutaro, I am not obliged to publish a review on the business. All opinions/thoughts are my own. For more information about my review policy, please click here.