- Teep Dec 23, 2010 06:29 PM
Just picked up the Japanese "bits" newspaper and saw an ad for a "BBQ Izakaya" called Arisu, at 584 Bloor, featuring "warayaki" every Thurs to Sat. Googled it and it seems to be food seared over a straw fire. Sounds interesting!
I gave Arisu a try a few weeks ago. I think it bills itself as a Korean-influenced izakaya. We didn't have the warayaki, but had the pork belly and rib finger meat kushiyaki. The pork belly was thinly portioned and too fatty (when compared to, say, the version at Fin Izakaya which is much better) but the rib meat was pretty good. Their tempura was perfect: greaseless, feather-light, crispy but yielding. I think their karaage (it might have had a different name) was good. The aburi salmon was notably disappointing; there was far too much of this chunky ponzu dressing and the fish had been seared for too long.
Had dinner at Arisu last night (Friday). This place changed owners and chefs after Miga failed to pay its bills. The building owner took over the business and made several changes. However, they still have most of the similar menu items. We got the fairly standard table bbq for 2, plus the Arisu sushi platter (not my idea). Banchan were a little boring, though kimchi had a nice amount of kick. Two soups were served - the first in a tiny teacup was boring old miso, but the second served in a hot pot was amazing - Korean tofu with zucchini. 5 kinds of meats were provided to bbq, along with oiled foil half-pans to line the grill for items that were marinated. Spicy chicken and pork belly were our least favourite meats.
The servers were attentive, perhaps too attentive, as we felt rushed with tons of meat cooked and ready to eat all at once. My companion kept having to stand up and move away from the table to allow the anxious server to reach under and turn up or down the heat several times. Later on, the owner came by to tell us not to rush, and to relax and take our time!
This place uses 100% gas grilling -- no charcoal or straw anywhere to be seen.
Overall, food quality is average, taste is average, and we won't be rushing back. Miga was much, much better.