I was invited by Ken (@inyourmouthTO) to a tasting dinner at Noka among other bloggers to the newly open Japanese Restaurant on Bloor called Noka (@nokatoronto).
But unlike most Japanese restaurant on Bloor, Noka is not AYCE but rather a la carte at a very affordable price and they also offer omakase option.
Housemade Sauces including salad dressing, terriyaki sauce & soy sauce as gift :)
Free Beer Sampling : Augusta Ale by Kensington Brewing Company (@drinkgoodbeer) which is one of my new favorite local beer and is now available at LCBO
A demonstration of how their salad dressing is made
Spelled my name wrong :(
Sashimi w/ soy sauce tasting
We were given 3 pieces of salmon together with 3 different type of soy sauce to taste.
#1 was a regular one, #2 their house made soy sauce and #3 was the regular low-sodium.
The difference between the store bought and the house made; the house made version is in a happy medium of saltiness compare to #1 & #3 and it has a slight sour taste to it but none of the aromatic flavor you would expect from house made soy sauce (my favorite is the one from Kaji here) But I have to say that I was surprise that they use freshly gring wasabi instead of the cheap paste/powder ones.
~ fava bean, yogurt, sweet shrimp, edible flower
Love the presentation but felt the dish felt short... the fried shrimp head was crispy and delicious but for the body I find that this type of shrimp is too small and get lost in the batter, plus it was served rather room temperature for both the shrimp and puree. I would expect the shrimp to be served hot to keep the crispiness and the puree more room temperature or on the cold side to have the contrast.
Stuffed Tuna ~ tuna, spicy scallop, leek
This was a bit bland and they specificly told us that soy sauce was not needed
Ex-Girlfriend ~ mango, tuna, asparagus, avocado
The porportion of teh avocado and tuna is just not right, if I blind tasted it, I wouldn't have notice the tuna.
Vegetarian Delight ~ avocado, beet, mango, papaya, asparagus
This is probably my fave out of the three, love the crispy beet chip on top but I would have skip or put less of teh strawberry sauce (at the bottom) which is a bit too sweet and overpowering.
~ tofu, mushrooms, teriyaki sauce, dill
Again, we all thought this would be served hot but it was served at room temperature... I think this is mainly to showcase their housemade terriyaki sauce but we all found teh dill is way too strong here......
(sorry for teh blurry photo)
Basil Lamb Chop
~ baby lamb, eggplant, basil chili sauce
I'll have to say that I love the sauce since I'm a big fan of basil and it compliment the lamb perfectly.
I understand that it's a big goup of people but each dish was served relatively slow pace but still the lamb was barely warm once again and was cook to perfect medium rare red.
This is probably my fave dish of the night (^_^)
Buta ~ pork belly, carrot, pickled cucumber
Love this fatty and crispy outer layer goodness and the carrot puree just balance out the oiliness perfectly
Creamy Bacon Roll ~ bacon, avocado, whipped cream, chocolate
Couldn't really taste the chocolate and teh presentation was not what I expected but it was still rather delicious.
Noka Chilean Sea Bass
~ Chilean sea bass, mango, miso, elderberry
This was really delicious & cook just right, moist and flavorful w/ the crispy charred skin.
Most Japanese restaurant would use cod for this dish, love teh change.
~ red bean, rice cake, strawberry, chocolate mint
I see the mint but not sure where the chocoalte comes from but I don't know if it's because we read the menu but a lot of us said we tasted a chocolate on the mint (O_o)? Can someone explain this to me?!?
Otherwise this was a yummy dessert.
All Asian at our table (^_^) lol
Gifts to bring home :)
I guess because we were a big group, the food wasn't served as hot/fresh as i would like but itehrwise the flavors are there....
Looking at their regular menu, the price is really affordable, so I'll def give it another chance