Kinkalicious is on, at Kinka Izakaya locations across the city. What sounds like a boldly borrowed marketing campaign, riding the heels of some other prix fix rolling through the city is mostly an apt comparison- you can slap a ‘licous onto almost anything and people will flock. Here, the theme is a little different from the typical Summerlicious schtick. Served up tapas style, for a svelte $29 you and your dining partner will devour 8 courses from starters to sweet finishes. Here’s a run down of what’s in store.
First up, the Gyu Shabu Salad & Gomaae (lead photo). This ‘Elaine’ sized salad is meant for two, but we still couldn’t find the bottom of this deep bowl of shabu-shabu beef salad, brimming with colourful peppers, toasted garlic flakes in a black sesame dressing. The accompanying greens, tender rapini match well, with a deep black sesame sauce meant for sopping up the stalks. The Sashimi Platter is a perfect portion of daily fresh finds, plated beautifully with wasabi, pickled ginger and soy sauce.
The house take on a tartar, Angus Beef Yukke is a crowned with a raw quail egg and rings of springy scallions. Served with sheets of nori, it’s a lovely bite of protein and a fun way to tackle it.
Since you already got your 5-10 of good-for-you greens in early on in the eight course meal, you can feel pretty guilt free about the Fry Platter. Get your Boomerangs ready, and do it for the insta, the focus will be on the food, with the Takoyaki stealing the show. The fluttery whispers from the octopus balls add a dimension of drama to the set menu, and the familiar gyoza and plucky karaage are crispy and satisfying.
The classic Bibimbap is served tableside, in a portable inferno that your server handles right before your eyes. Hearty rice is combined with shredded cheese and sauteed mushrooms, with ribbons of seaweed and onions streaking the dish. This is the part when you need to start eating smart, and saving room for the oysters. Kakimayo arrives soon after, also boasting a cheesy crown, the giant oyster shell barely containing the baked oysters. Garlic mayo, mushrooms and spinach enhance without overpowering.
Before they roll you outta there, save room for the Match Ice Cream (okay, and one more sake bomb!). Served up in single scoops, it’s a nice nod and a simple finish to the frenzy of food you just marathon-ed through.
Kinka Izakaya is offering the Kinkalicious menu until July 21st across their Toronto locations for dinner only and requires groups of two or more to participate. Book ahead using their Yelp site.
Thanks to the Kinka Family for the menu preview!
All photos by Libby Roach.