Location: 122 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1P5
Price Range: $$
Japango is sorta like a hole in the wall where you don’t go for the atmosphere, or the decor, or service, but because the food is great! After having a cocktail night at Maman, Ray; Karen; Janice and I decided to have dinner at Japango as some of us haven’t been there before. I recommend calling ahead and make a reservation as we arrived around 8PM, yet the restaurant was still packed!
One important thing to note is that the restaurant is extremely cramped and at best it can fit less than 10 people, so I don’t recommend coming here with a big group of people either. At the same time I wouldn’t recommend going here in the winter as every time someone came in, it brought all the cold night air into the restaurant.
I’m an uni fanatic and this was the best I’ve had in Toronto so far. The uni was amazingly fresh and creamy, had a slight taste of the sea and was not fishy at all.
Not only the shrimp was fresh and slightly sweet, the chef also deep fried the shrimp heads and boy, was it amazing!!
The Aji didn’t have a strong fishy taste and had a mild oily texture. The fish was served with fresh grated ginger and scallions to counteract the fishy taste and left a light aftertaste on the palate.
I was scared that since the scallop was torched, there might be a hint of burnt taste which would take away the freshness of the scallop, boy I was wrong! The fact that it was seared helped to elevate the taste and richness in the fish oil. The torch increased the temperature and slightly changed the texture of the scallop yet it was not too firm nor overcooked.
The bluefin tuna belly was pricey ($16) for two pieces, but I’d say try it once if you’re looking to splurge. Since the fish was seared, it released all the fatty oils which gave the fish a buttery and melts in your mouth goodness…
The spider roll was much smaller than the ones I had at other restaurants and had a different taste, more delicate, refined and less batter.
The Japango roll is a California roll topped with seared salmon and scallop drizzled in their special sauce and spicy oil. If you don’t know what to order at the restaurant, I highly recommend this roll! The special sauce was sweet and tasted a little like Teriyaki sauce and went very well with the fish oil that came out from the salmon after seared. With a hint of spiciness, the sauce was not as overwhelmed as it would be on its own.
Since there was only one server in the restaurant, at some point he wouldn’t fill our tea/water unless we asked for it and even make mistakes on our bill. However I will give the benefit of the doubt that he was trying to be as efficient as possible on a packed night, thus he somehow came across as unintentionally rude. Just something to keep in mind so that you don’t take it personally if it happens to you. Otherwise, the food was fantastic and if you have the money to spend, definitely check out Japango!