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Fin Izakaya

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Went to Fin Izakaya, a Japanese tapas place up in the Yonge and Eglinton area. Can't say whether it's new, as I don't know how long it's been there...

However, I can say, don't bother going, as it won't likely be open long.

Where to start...

Went with 4. While you can try ordering off the pictures on the menu, the food is nothing like it. Our chicken wings were tiny, deep fried single bones with minuscule scraps of meat on them - not a whole wing. I was hungry so I ordered the chicken tatsuka which ended up being tiny, booger-sized balls of deep fried chicken. In fact, our food took so long to come that I was about to get out of my seat to walk to the McDonald's down the street for a burger, but my partner complained and the food started coming...

Not like it made a difference.

The grilled squid was cold and hard as rubber.

The $18 "super-sized" sushi was so terrible that out of 6 pieces served, only 1 and a 1/2 were eaten. And then only because everything else had been so meager and scrappy... like maybe this was *North* Korean-style Izakaya...

$140 for 4. everyone left hungry and grumpy.

Maybe they'll put in a nice burrito place after Fin goes under...

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  1. I really don't think we were at the same place. I've been to Japan where I ate tons of bar & street food there and this place was pretty damn close. Please also see the reviews here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/621567

    18 Replies
    1. re: EPIcureanTO

      FIN is ok but comparing it to those in Japan is too much of a stretch. The yakitori is $3 each, lack of flavor and too expensive, the one at Izakaya Ju is better for $2 each. Grilled squid is too plain,cold, not a hint of flavor or aroma from the grill. The chicken of the Yose Nabe has no chicken taste, simmered in tenderizer too long !? Ribeye Sukiyaki is a joke, a North America version. The raw food offereing is ok. Service is good at FIN, but food wise is nothing special, nothing like any good one you find in Japan.

      1. re: skylineR33

        Most important question: is Fin owned by Japanese, Chinese, or Korean?

        "If it's not Japanese it's craaaaaaaap...."

        1. re: TexSquared

          It is owned by Japanese. Why do you think it is crap if it is not owned by Japanese ?

          1. re: skylineR33

            It's the "acid test" when trying to pick a Japanese restaurant worth going to. There's a huge jump in quality when you step up from the non-Japanese owned places to the Japanese-owned places. Everybody here recommends Hashimoto, Zen, Hiro, Kaji... which are all Japanese owned, right?

            1. re: TexSquared

              It is not always the case. Sakana Ya at J Town is a good example, it is the most horrible sashimi/fish store that I know of in Toronto area. Solo in New Market is not Japanese, but it is a good Japanese restaurant. Inatei, which is now going down in quality, is better than a number of Japanese owned restaurant. Akasaka, not a Japanese owned restaurant, is good at Teppanyaki.

              1. re: skylineR33

                I've been to Akasaka, it's OK. Probably the best Teppanyaki in town and they charge a premium for it, about twice what the "McTeppanyaki's" on Don Mills Road charge. But certainly not in the same league as the Japanese-owned places when it comes to sushi.

                Good hint: from their website, half their dinner menu is "stupid rolls from hell". If I see that and/or bulgogi on the menu, automatic fail if I was looking for good Japanese. if I wanted to have that I might as well go to an AYCE place like Ten-Ichi (Chinese owned) and get a better price for it.

                This topic has been discussed on the board numerous times. Clearly there's a demand for authentic Japanese food and the consensus all boils down to what I said, "If' it's not Japanese it's craaaaaaaap..." Here are a few older threads:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3065...

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5942...

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5018...

                1. re: TexSquared

                  Did you read my entire post ? Probably not. In my post, I just said not all the Chinese/Korean owned Japanese restaurant are crap with examples. They maybe not the best, but not necessarily crap. And those that are Japanese owned can be crap too. With my own experience, the crappiest Japanese sashimi/fish store is the Japanese-owned Sakana-Ya. You also pointed out the best Teppanyaki in town is Chinese-owned !

                  So believe in your own experience, not just blindly reading threads. "If' it's not Japanese it's craaaaaaaap..." is NOT true.

                  1. re: skylineR33

                    Omi is Korean-owned and is considered one of the 10 best in town, even on CH. And Sado Sushi — another CH fave — is owned by Vietnamese.

                    And though it doesn't do sushi, Guu is Korean-owned.

                    Some argument!

                    -----
                    Sado Sushi
                    1116 Eglinton Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C2E2, CA

                    Omi
                    243 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

                    1. re: Herb

                      Sado Sushi vs Zen? That's like Lick's vs Burger's Priest, no contest

                      Omi vs Kaji? That's like Lone Star Texas Grill vs Burrito Boyz, no contest

                      Guu vs Hashimoto? That's like Joey vs Canoe, no contest

                      Again, the Japanese-owned-and-operated choice wins hands down over the non-Japanese.

                      1. re: TexSquared

                        Correlation does not mean causation. And why are you comparing restaurants in completely different price range, that's like comparing Splendido to Woodlot.

      2. re: EPIcureanTO

        EPIcureanTO, you must have visited a Japan in another planet somewhere?!!
        I paid Tokyo a visit every year for the past five years. Apart from their 'pretty smokey' charbroiled/yakitori items, IMO, menu items of Fin are 'nowhere near' the standard of Izakaya food I had in Japan! It is like trying to compare seafood and Boullabaisse here in town with those in the south of France!!
        BTW, Thatcher, except for dedicated 'seafood Izakaya' (usually found in Japan), one very seldom orders 'sushi' in this type of 'generalized' Izakaya! Its like trying to order pizza in Spaghetti factory! Just not their forte!!

        1. re: Charles Yu

          Old Spaghetti Factory has a forte.....

          -----
          Old Spaghetti Factory
          56 The Espl, Toronto, ON M5G, CA

          1. re: Snarf

            Yeah! Spaghetti and NOT pizza!!

            1. re: Charles Yu

              Are you implying the spaghetti at Old Spag Fac is Chow-worthy? Haha!

              1. re: Herb

                Joanne Kates actually likes Old Spaghetti factory's spaghetti!! Ha!

                Just as I will not order pizza in a place known for their Spaghetti, likewise, I will not order sushi in a 'non-seafood' Izakaya.

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  Yeah but...I had an amazing wild sockeye salmon appetizer at Kingyo Izakaya in Vancouver, it was presented as sashimi and it was fantastic. Let's amend that to "don't order nigiri and/or maki" at an izakaya. And don't go to izakayas that serve them as they are not the real deal!

                  1. re: childofthestorm

                    I love kingyo. Their sweet shrimp sashimi is very good.

          2. re: Charles Yu

            Meh, Mister Yu. I was all all over except for Hokkaido, not just Tokyo. We have relatives there.
            I ate everything from alley food to home cooking. So I am IMO also lol. It could be that I am overdue for another visit to the east as I seem to miss it enough to apparently mistake Fin for good food...?? (Love it so there!! )Also we did partake in the flights of Sake at our visits to Fin. Time to go again lol.

            Perhaps one day I will get to France so as to also fully comphrend your Boullabaisee analogy.
            You are truly lucky to be so well travelled!

        2. I agree Fin is severely disappointing.

          They were decent when first opened but have gone downhill ever since.

          I bought 2 vouchers from a deals website for Fin and could only use one at my visit. Food was very disappointing. I don't intend to go back and I will sell (even for a loss) the second voucher I purchased.

          1 Reply
          1. re: paul1000

            oh dear. Thanks for the update!
            So perhaps now not worth another visit, guess I will take my belly to GUU where it has not been yet!