Friday, July 27, 2012

Chou Izakaya

Chou Izakaya is the newly open Japanese bar open at Church St and Wellesley Ave, it's nice to have somewhere else to go to apart from Guu with all it's lineup and Fin Izakaya (post here). So just this past Wednesday, I met up with Amy (@lu_amy7), Chris (@chrisunagi), Claire (@Clairehohoho) and Ben so that we could order more dishes to try and not break our bank ;)

Love how it's a smaller place with commual table on one side and smaller table on the other. 
I know that a lot of people find Guu Izakaya too loud although I personally love it, so this is a good alternative for Japanese bar food since you still get the feel and slight shouting from the kitchen to the wait staff but you could actually chat and hear each other.

Specials on the wall but the handwritting wasn't that great and we had trouble reading it :(

They actually didn't hand us the Sake menu until I ask and they actually don't carry all of the bottles that was on display.... 
but their sake was really well priced (a lot cheaper that other Jap restaurant I've been to)

Nanbu Bijin (Southern Beauty) Junmai Ginjo Sake $56
 This 720ml bottle was only for $56 where most other place would have easily sold it for $90 or more and they small carafe is also available for $11. Yes as I mention here, this is one of my fave sake :) And the others don't really drink so me and Ben finish the whole thing =P

 Mentaiko $6
~ marinated Pollock roe from Japan
This was very "roe" tasting but since it's been marinated, it tasted rather salty.... Very interesting both flavor and texture wise.

 Ika Natto $5
~ fermented soy beans served w/ fresh squid
Oh my this was sticky stinky weird tasting beans, it was slightly better than with a bit of wasabi... but really, all 5 of us couldn't manage to finish this tiny portion (>_<) 
But the squid was very fresh and soft (non-chewy at all).

We were told to pour the soy sauce in.....

Yuzu Duck Shichu $7.50
This was from the special on the wall. There was a bunch of scallions underneath and the sauce tasted like water down wasabi mayo?!? Not sure but really nothing special

 Curry Korokke $5.50
~ deep fried potato w/ grounded beef in curry flavor
This was basically DF curry flavor mashed potato, this was made fresh and served piping hot. Simple but love it, perfect w/ some cold sake or beer :)

 Oba Chicken $7
~ deep fried chicken breast w/ Japanese mint leaves served w/ sweet chili mayo

Pork & Chicken Skin Skewers $2.50/ea
This was so good especially the pork, it says pork on the menu but it was really pork belly. Perfect crisp and fatty goodness, love how the fatty part was actually "al-dente", not sure if the term apply to meat but it wasn't soft or fatty or oily or overcook.
But they only had 4 type of skewers to choose from (pork, chicken, beef and chicken skin), I was surprise they don't offer more choices.

Kimchi Pork Cheese $6.50
~ stir fried pork belly and kimchi w/ cheese on top
Arriving on the mini sizzling plate, it just smell so good and nothing can go wrong since kimchi  and cheese are just perfect for each other

Anaebi Karaage $7.00
~ crispy fried sweet shrimp
I think this was the best deal from the menu and mind you this was only one serving given that it was rather big shrimps (around 7"). I love it so much that me and Ben order an extra one to finish off our sake with (^_^)♥

Ochazuke $4.50
~ rice in bonito broth top w/ salmon or plum & seaweed
We all like the plum better which give it a pop of sour goodness but however this was def the best Ochazuke I've had in Toronto

Gunkan Sushi $2.00-$3.00/ea

Rice Burger $6.50
~ hamburger w/ choice of crispy or deep fried rice & greens w/ galic mayo
The waitress suggested we get the deep fried, this was really crispy but very heavy and the hamburger is really ordinary (less than average).... maybe they should do a tuna version or something =P

Ika Yaki $6.00
~ grilled squid w/ butter soy
 I can't believe this huge squid/portion was only for $6 and it was perfectly cook... most place either over or undercook squids but this was so soft and perfect (^_^)

Tonjiru $4.50
~ miso flavored soup w/ pork & vegetable
This was really too salty and oily to be enjoy on it's own, I wish it was served with noodle or rice.

Salmon Don $6
This was from their special on  the wall but we didn't like it... some sort of mayo mix with salmon and rice, it was all pasty (O_o)

 Sweet Shrimp Sashimi (5pcs) $7
Yummmmmmmm, ♥ my sweet shrimp

Verdict :
Great time, great space, great food and great sake all at a great price
Will definetly be back with my girls (^_^)

Chou Izakaya on Urbanspoon


  1. I want it all! Thank you for this visual guide :) I think I'll be heading there soon.

  2. mmm will have to go for the shrimp!

    1. Yes, and I can finish the whole thing by myself =P So good

  3. The food seems good, and the price is reasonable.....

  4. So glad to have another izakaya alternative!

    1. When I went it was pretty empty, so wanted to give thema shout out

  5. Thanks for sharing another izakaya!!! Lovely review!!!

  6. Thanks for the visual review. I went there last week and the food are very tasty and creative!!! Thanks for the recommendation

    1. Glad you like it :D
      Anything you try that I didn't ?

  7. Awesome review! What was the damage.. ?!

    1. You mean how much was it? Ok, 5 of us share the above so you can do the math :)