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Posted June 15, 2011 by samuek in Food Joints

Kaiseki Sakura

If you love Japanese food or any new food experience you should go to Kaiseki Sakura.  Why?  Well the owner and chef Daisuke Izutsu was the chef to the Japanese Consul General for 5 years and decided to stay and share his passion for true Japanese cuisine.

House made agedashi tofu

              KAISEKI SAKURA

Return Factor – YES
Location556 Church Street Toronto, ON M4Y 2E3
Atmosphere – Dress Up
Price – $160 a person


What you will not find is the maki roll, the sushi combo or many oily fried items.  What you will discover if you go is an appreciation for what Japanese cuisine really is.  Japanese chefs are attentive, strict food artists who strive to offer the best and highest quality for each and every dish they create.  In Toronto you will find only a handful of true Japanese chefs and their restaurants.  Kaiseki Sakura is one of these.      

Kaiseki Sakura is a method of serving many small plates created to accompany Japanese tea ceremonies.  It is a whole experience that upholds the Japanese credo to present only seasonal, high quality ingredients in an artful manner.  This is what you will find at this restaurant.  Nothing but a parade of artful and delicious dishes.

Amberjack sashimi with fresh wasabi you can grade shown in the top left.  So cool.

Going there is a refreshing change from the many disappointing attempts at providing interesting food experiences by other restaurants.  Kaiseki Sakura is small and simply furnished, true to the Japanese style.  15 or so tables dot the floor with a small bar near the front with room for 4.  Soft jazz and classical music fills the room otherwise devoid of sound.

Organic salmon

 You can order a la carte or as I always say, leave it in the hands of the chef.  I did and as usual went for the Omakase (tasting menu) with the accompanying sake pairing.  The Omakase will run you $80 to $130 a person depending on the amount of desired courses and the season.  The sake pairing will add another $40.

Do you believe this whole plate was edible.  Sticks are dried soba noodles.

 Each dish was a piece of art composed to enlighten the senses and the palate.  Service between each plate was timed perfectly and described in detail by the server.  Staff was attentive and knowledgeable.   

This reminds me of a time I came in once for drinks, aiming to sample their extensive sake offering during the winter past.  I was initially looking for my favorite winter drink of Shochu (a distilled Japanese drink) diluted with warm water and a crushed umeboshi (dried plum).  After that, wife of the chef and co-owner Yumi asked me if I was interested in other sakes.  She was gracious and keen to understand my thoughts on the sake.  Her managing this while attending to a full house was positive sign I should return for dinner.

Desert was a beautifully plated shortbread, ice cream and cake roll of which I do not have a picture of for some reason.

Traditional Shabu-Shabu with a bonito broth I tried to finish by drinking from the bowl.

Braised beef tongue.  Rich, tender and required a barrel more.

Cold buckwheat noodles in a sweet broth to stage the dessert.

Let me know if you have eaten Kaiseki Sakura style dining, ate at this restaurant or have an opinion on Japanese cuisine in Toronto.

Kaiseki-Sakura on Urbanspoon

Kaiseki SAKURA on Restaurantica

Kaiseki SAKURA on Restaurantica




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