Restaurant: Kintori Yakitori
Location: 668 Bloor Street West, 2nd floor, Toronto, ON M6G 1L2
Price Range: $$
Kintori Yakitori is another addition to the popular Kinka Family which includes Kinton Ramen, Kinka Izakaya (formerly known as Guu), JaBistro and Neo Coffee Bar! Believe it or not, I actually never been to JaBistro before – I know, I’m missing out but no worries, it is on my list!
Located at downtown Korean town, Kintori Yakitory is located on top of Kinton Ramen 2, and patrons can either order ramen from downstairs or skewers from the upstair grill! Yakitori is commonly made with bite-sized pieces of chicken meat or other meats and vegetables skewered on a bamboo stick, then grilled over binchotan (white) charchoal. Binchotan is extra special because it burns at a lower temperature than regular charcoal but lasts longer.
The chicken original soup was actually the same broth that Kinton used for their chicken ramen. Despite its simplicity, I thought the soup was a great way to start the meal as it was light and not too fatty.
The chef offered three types of pickles for that night: napa cabbage, cucumber and burdock. This was my first time having pickled burdock root and I have to say, I’m a fan! With a pleasant crunchy and meaty texture, the pickle had a distinctive sweet flavor that was similar to lotus root.
The grilled chunks of scallion provided a slight sweet and smoky contrast to the tender and juicy chicken thigh – a must order.
Another must order! The chicken gizzard was lightly salted and well-cooked. To describe the texture of the gizzard can be quite difficult, I would say the meat had that irresistible chewy, bouncy texture yet crunchy at the same time.
The cabbage itself was bland, however I thought it was the perfect vessel to hold the salty chicken miso dip!
There was actually a tint foil covered the tip of the chicken wing for customers to hold on to, but I took it out for picture-purpose :). The chicken wing was done just right at Kintori Yakitory with a crispy charred skin yet still remained juicy inside.
With each bite of the quail egg, you are getting some satisfying crunch from the panko crust. The sweet sauce complimented perfectly with the eggs and I thought this would be a nice snack to pair with beer to combat the grease.
Unfortunately the gyu tongue was a selection that they provided just for this particular tasting night, but if you would like to try organ meats and don’t know where to start, I recommend trying beef tongue! The nice thing about tongue is that it is less organish than liver. The texture is quite soft and if you really pay attention while chewing, there seems to be a slight taste that is distinctive to tongue, but I’m pretty sure if you didn’t know any better you wouldn’t notice it.
Initially I thought this was going to be bland and boring, but I was wrong! The meatballs was “fluffy” and juicy, and with the sweet & salty caramelized glaze, the tsukune became incredibly addicting.
Did you know that chicken hearts, although slightly high in cholesterol, are rich in essential B vitamins and minerals?! These were tender with a surprisingly subtle red meat taste. In texture, they’re softer than you might expect, with a hint of bounciness!
While the salty and sweet glaze was delicious, the texture of the chicken liver was a bit strange and I was not a fan of it. The liver became powdery and foamy once it hit your tongue. Don’t worry though, I grew up with the mentality that food should never be wasted, so I actually gave the chicken liver to another foodie.
Bacon. BACON. I think that’s all I need to mention ;).
This skewer smelled amazing! While the beef was well cooked, the star of this dish was the strong scallion sauce which provided just enough heat and sweetness to the skewer.
While I heard some people voiced how bland this was, I thought the dashimaki was the perfect way to end the meat-heavy courses! The omelette had a slightly sweet yet still savory flavor, and it still remained moist and soft!
Since the rice ball was grilled, the onigiri had a subtle smokey flavor that only toasted rice can offer. The texture of the yaki onigiri was almost crunchy, yet chewy on the outside and soft on the inside. I loved how there was a nice contrast between the pickled plum and sweet teriyaki sauce of the filling.
Is there anyone else who get so much pleasure in cracking that caramelized sugar to get to the smooth, rich cream beneath the creme brulee? I know I do! The roasted green tea taste was quite prominent in the creme brulee at Kintori Yakitori and it was also not too sweet either – love!
Just like the name suggested, Yakitori means grilled chicken but Kintori Yakitori also offers many other proteins and vegetarian choices as well – thus there is something for everyone here. The menu itself was quite self explanatory. You order how many per sticks of a type of meat you want and there is also alcoholic drinks to go with it should you want to indulge – and you should anyways! Grilled skewers or Yakitori are meant to go with a nice glass of cold beer!
Disclaimer: While the food was provided by Kintori Yakitori, 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.