Kazu certainly doesn’t need another glowing review, but it deserves it. There was no line on a Sunday afternoon so we decided to stop in and see what all of the fuss was about. We shimmied our way in past the crowded tables and took a seat at the bar, face to face with all of the action.
My girlfriend opted for the salmon tartare bowl (normally salmon and tuna, but there was unfortunately no tuna available on this day) and I opted for the “48 hour pork” bowl. A quick side note – I was under the impression that this izakaya style restaurant served up small snack sized dishes. This is not the case, both of our portions were quite large.
The tartare is served over a bed of rice and topped with a salad and crispy rice noodles. The dish has a wow factor to it when it hits the table, it just looks so clean and inviting. The salmon was fresh, with a firm texture and full of flavour from the special dressing that covers it. The vegetables in the salad were each tasty in their own right, particularly the mushrooms. And last but not least, the rice which sits at the bottom and soaks up the savoury goodness provides you with a nice base in case you’re concerned that tartare and salad won’t fill you up. This is the kind of dish that I am going to have over and over (and I didn’t even get to try it with tuna!).
That was my girlfriend’s dish, what about mine? The 48 hour pork was as tender as one could hope for. This dish actually reminded me a lot of a meal that I used to eat at home, which is a good thing. It’s simple – slow cooked pork and onions on a bed of rice topped with fresh ginger, shallots and sesame seeds. The pork is addictive; it didn’t take me long to empty out the bowl. I thought the dish could have used some more of the fresh ginger though, as the best bites were those that combined the fatty (but not too fatty), salty pork with the spicy, tangy ginger.
We were only stopping in for a quick bite and it was lunch time, so the full menu was not at our disposal but judging from what we ate and what I could see from our front row seats I can’t wait to go back and discover the rest of the dishes. It’s nice when a restaurant actually lives up to the hype.
Price: $27 + tip for two.
Rating: 3 – It’s good, man.
Kazu – 1862 St. Catherine Street West