Aka Oni Izakaya

Omakase is a Japanese phrase. By definition, it means “I’ll leave it up to you” (from Wikipedia).

When you go with an Omakase menu at a Japanese restaurant, you’re asking the chef to create a custom menu for you. Depending on your budget, you’re usually provided with Chef’s choice, and dishes made with seasonal ingredients. This also means that you may be served with items not on the regular menu, which makes Omakase such an exciting experience.

My first Omakase was at Aka Oni, a Japanese Izakaya restaurant located in Scarborough, Toronto. It was an instameet set up by @Anthoni.foodlab. One of the most memorable dishes of the night was the Lobster Cha Cha Roll, and the fried shrimp wrapped in bacon (in the featured image). I’ve never had a fried shrimp that is so beautifully presented: the black tobiko looked like little dainty jewels, resting on the spine of the shrimp, decorated with delicate gold leaves on the very top. The shrimp was perfectly fried and seasoned, when eaten in combination with the caviar, gave way to an unforgettable bite.

Since then, I’ve gone back to Aka Oni with my family and it sure did not disappoint. This time, I’ve ordered off their menu, this Japanese Izakaya restaurant maintained the same consistency in terms of quality of food and its beautiful presentation. We ordered: the Takara Tray – a sashimi platter; a Foie Gras Black Diamond Roll; an Oyster Bomb Maki; Grilled Squid with Unagi Sauce and Nabe Kurobuta (Grilled Pork Belly) Skewer Udon.

Takara Tray

This tray is for two people to share (or not). The quality of the fish in this tray is excellent. The sashimi is fatty and delicious!

Black Diamond Roll

Love that purple rice is being used here, it gives an extra bite to the maki, creating a contrasting texture against that Fois, which completely melts in your mouth like butter. My dad didn’t like this maki, but you’re not my dad and I know you would love it! I highly recommend this maki.

Oyster Bomb Maki

Fried Shrimp Head

This Shrimp Head is from the Takara Tray

Grilled Squid with Unagi Sauce

Besides great food, this Japanese Izakaya also provides a great space for its customers to dine in. It is cozy, and carefully decorated with simple Japanese art and lanterns. In my opinion, this is the best Japanese Izakaya in Scarborough, Toronto. Try it for yourself and let me know if you love it as much as I do.