[North Toronto] Fin Izakaya
Charles and I took his mom to Fin Izakaya to celebrate Mother’s Day and her upcoming birthday.
I’ve been wanting to go there for a while and I figure it is important for us to take advantage of living in the city before we move to Aurora this summer. Celebrating Mother’s Day and his mom’s birthday were the prefect excuses for us to splurge and indulge ourselves in some delicious izakaya food.
One of the best part of Fin Izakaya is that not only is the restaurant easily accessible by TTC, it also offers free parking! Since there were 5 of us, it was only logical to take the car!
The restaurant is bigger than Guu, but all the servers still yell greetings as customers enter and leave!
Charles’ parents had never been to an izakaya before. Charles and Andrew also couldn’t care less what they eat, as long as there is something to eat. I ended up being in charge of ordering for everyone.
Our first dish was Octopus Wasabi Takowasa. It was quite flavourful. Everyone liked it. I kind of wished that they served it with little slices of nori like Guu does!
This is a duck salad. The duck was very tender and juicy.
I also ordered the salmon sashimi salad. The salmon tasted like smoked salmon. Everyone liked it.
The crispy rock salt wings were very tasty. It’s not the juicy greasy wings I had expected. The texture was a bit dry but quite flavourful. I thought Charles’ parent would complain about the dryness but they seemed to like the taste. It’s sad that each piece was actually half of a wing.
The classic style chunky braised pork kakuni was interesting. The meat was so tender that it literally melts in the mouth. Flavour wise… it tasted very Chinese! Perhaps because it’s soya flavoured?
We also ordered the beef tongue miso-zuke. I had originally ordered the salt-flavoured tongue, but it was sold out and we got the miso-flavoured ones instead. I honestly don’t remember much of it, except that it was too salty! We also didn’t take a picture of it.
The duck shichimi yaki was awesome. Very juicy and flavourful. I thought having the duck on a hot plate would over-dry the meat. It turned out that we ate so fast that it wasn’t really a concern. :p
Lamb garlic sautee was served on a sizzling hot plate as well, but with lots of garlic chips. I loved it. The lamb was thinly sliced and very tender. Charles and Andrew complained that the garlic taste was too overwhelming. We also forgot to take a picture of it!
The juicy pork belly skewers were simply delicious. The lean vs. fat ratio was prefect, which made the meat super juicy and tender, with just the right amount of seasoning in it. I almost wanted to order more!
We loved all the seafood at Fin. The sweet shrimp karaage was exquisite! Not only were the shrimps humongous, they were so sweet and fresh. Each shrimp was also full of eggs (or at least what I thought were eggs…).
The sake-steamed Japanese clam was okay. Nothing too special, but the restaurant was pretty generous with the amount of clams in each bowl!
Charles’ mom loved the scallop butter soy sautee. How can you not love it? It was fried in BUTTER! The restaurant made a mistake of sending us two orders of the scallops. We ate the second serving with guilt.
The takoyaki was interesting. They were deep fried and contained very little octopus. I think i like the takoyaki at Kenzo Ramen better. Andrew loved the takoyaki though.
Did I mention that the sweet shrimp karaage was awesome? It deserves another picture.
Now, moving on to sashimi tapas. The amaebi sashimi was just as awesome its karaage counterpart — very sweet and fresh. It made me wonder whether the “amaebi shrimps” I’ve had in the past were actually “amaebi shrimps,” because they definitely tasted different…
I don’t know what the next dish is called, because I can’t find it on the menu. It’s seared beef tataki with fried garlic chips and green onions on top. I have always feared raw beef, but I actually gave it a try. The beef was very thinly sliced and well marinated. You can tell that this is a very time-consuming dish, given that the beef had to be seared, sliced, then plated nicely with all the garnishes! Everyone loved it.
I also ordered some tuna sashimi for them to try, since they’ve never had real tuna sashimi before!
A special order of Uni (sea urchin) sushi for Charles’ parents. They said it was really sweet and not fishy at all. Apparently it was better than the uni they had at Le Cafe Michi.
I ordered the rib eye beef sukiyaki, because I like sukiyaki. It tasted okay. Nothing too special, but I saw a lot of other people also ordered it.
I had to order the giant sushi roll, just to see how giant it was. Well, it was pretty giant, and surprisingly tasty. The tamago in the sushi was sooo sweet and moist. I really liked it!
So that was everything we ate on Mother’s Day. The food was great and the dining environment was much better than Guu’s. I was also pleasantly surprised that all the Tams were full, because I was worried that it wouldn’t be filling enough for them and we would have to pick up McDonald’s on our way home! I would go back just for the shrimps and pork belly skewers!