DINE and Destinations - - SARA SAYS -

washyo­gyu— The af­ter-work crowd at Ki doesn’t want to go home. With a menu as vi­brant as the at­mos­phere, the lively bar and lounge are bedaz­zled with Kyushu Cos­mos, Ok­i­nawan Mar­gar­i­tas, Ky­oto Sours and the largest se­lec­tion of saké in Canada.

Sushi chefs cre­ate daily plat­ters, and think out­side the box. Sea bream with truf­fle oil and cran­berry ponzu, or hamachi with jalapeño re­flect how dif­fer­ent in­gre­di­ents and tech­niques draw out new flavours and nu­ances. It’s not just about sushi, though. Chicken and ten­der­loin plat­ters, iza­kaya sam­plers, yuzu-mar­i­nated rack of lamb with gin­ger mashed pota­toes, or scal­lops and com­pressed hon­ey­dew ce­viche with basil sprouts, pick­led rhubarb and honey-puffed rice are so in­ven­tive and flavour-for­ward. The menu show­cases a va­ri­ety of tastes that pro­mote shar­ing and pair­ing. Ki has re­ceived the Wine Spec­ta­tor Award of Ex­cel­lence for its wine and saké pro­gram, and the res­i­dent saké ex­pert, Michael Trem­blay, en­thu­si­as­ti­cally rec­om­mends how to pair from his com­pen­dium of pre­mium saké, in­clud­ing Ni­igata’s Hakkaisan and Kikusui brands. We crave the saké pair­ing din­ners, and the saké and shochu Fri­days af­ter 7pm, with their $10 flights. Saké is also a great mari­nade to elicit the rich­ness of in­gre­di­ents. The sweet and tangy lip-smack­ing Izumi kasu-mar­i­nated pork ribs are the most suc­cu­lent in Toronto. On the pa­tio, in the lounge or pri­vate din­ing room, the Ki to good saké is here.

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