Edit (02/05/2013): Toratatsu is now closed. I’m as devastated as you are
UBC Food Society executive, Vincent Chung, was kind enough to provide his account (and photos!) of the Izakaya Crawl event, aptly titled, “Yummy in my Tummy.” His take of each of the three restaurants and the dishes they served is below. Take it away, Vincent!
The November Izakaya Crawl.
90 minutes. 3 restaurants. 12 dishes. Well worth the extra calories.
Kingyo was the first restaurant I visited out of the three, and I was extremely impressed by the presentation. It was like eating art. The three dishes served at Kingyo were the Chashu Rice Paper Roll, Sockeye Salmon Carpaccio and the Stone-Grilled Beef Tongue. Though the Chashu Rolls lacked somewhat in taste, they earned points in presentation. The rolls had noodles protruding from the center which was decorated by a carved carrot butterfly at the end.
The Salmon had to be the best dish from Kingyo. The blend of sauces with the fresh salmon was just way too good…as evidenced by the empty dishes below.
Edible Art…or what’s left
The Beef Tongue was a real eye opener. We were presented with our own grilling stone to cook it on – it was delicious and fun.
One down, two to go. At Toratatsu, we had four dishes: the Aburi Shime Saba, the Ebi Chili Mayo, the Negitoro & Garlic Toast and the Cheese Tofu. I personally thought this was the most exciting restaurant. We were served by a very friendly waitress with a sweet smile and caring attitude. Next thing you know, she takes a blowtorch out of nowhere and sears the Saba in front of our eyes!
She’s so dangerous, that girl is so dangerous
The Saba was served with wasabi and lemon which helped bring out the Saba’s flavour.
The next dish was my absolute favourite of the night, the Ebi Chilli Mayo. It consisted of Tiger Prawns, fried tempura style with almond crisps and a very amazing chilli mayonnaise.
The key to my heart, hint hint ladies
The cheese tofu was definitely something new. Who would have thought that they would mix, and mix well too. Friendships and couples were literally torn apart to fight over this dish.
Lastly we had the Garlic Toast, topped with some tuna tartare, avocado, green onions, and what I believe to be caviar.
Yes, caviar. Om nom nom Classy Food om nom nom.
3. Guu with Garlic
The home stretch. The final countdown. My group was staggering behind, bloated from our last two conquests. But I was not afraid. I was still in the game. I suffer from “Skinny Asian Boy” syndrome, which basically means I eat a lot, never get full, and never gain a single pound. As we entered the restaurant, the group before us was just about to leave, eyes full of tears, murmuring the words, “So…Full…Can’t go on…”
Weaklings, I thought to myself. Time to show them what real men are capable of.
Everything came at us at once: the Calimari, the Daikon Salad, the Udon and the Mackerel. The Daikon salad was refreshing, a good breather from all the heavy dishes with mayonnaise and other crazy sauces. However, the Calamari was not too special; honestly, it was pretty standard stuff. The real gems of Guu with Garlic were the Udon and the Mackerel. The Udon was a soupless pan-fried udon with beef and garlic (as per the restaurant theme). The saba was grilled with onions and sprinkled with garlic chips. Personally I am a garlic enthusiast, and I was more than ecstatic when the girls in my table left all the garlic for me to eat. Sadly, this proved to them that I was NOT a vampire, and from what I heard, chicks dig vampires.
Our team tried our bestest to finish the four dishes. The girls gave up, but I kept going. The only other guy gave up, but I kept going. My pants felt two sizes too tight but I kept going. Eventually we (all me basically) finished and we were ready for dessert.
The dessert presented to us was the Earl Grey Cheesecake. It had the texture of very smooth butter, and was sweet like a teenage dream (Katy Perry reference FTW). We thoroughly enjoyed our dessert and I have to say I wholeheartedly regret not taking the cheesecake offered by one of our members who was too full.
Cheesecake. The key to a girl’s heart.
At the end of it all, we were all happy, smiling people. New friends were made. Great food was had. It was one fabulous night.
article and photos by Vincent Chung