We managed to get out to one of Baldwin street’s newest spots, Yakitori Bar, within a month of its opening (yay us!). We were looking for a spot to celebrate my parent’s wedding anniversary (despite the fact that my dad was in India and my mom was with us in the Canada) and a few of my Tweeps directed me towards this new joint. If you’re thinking it’s weird that we celebrate wedding anniversaries, well, let’s just say we use any excuse to eat, drink and be merry! We kept hearing great things about Yakitori ever since it opened in early December and I was very intrigued having followed Sang Kim’s blog on how to open a restaurant in 30 days. Brilliant I must say! Let’s not forget that Sang also has a couple of my favourite restaurants under his belt.. remember when we went to Ki?
The space is narrow but well decorated with a woodsy, cabin feel and while the path was narrow, we were warmly welcomed and our stroller was dealt with with no hassle to us. They do have one highchair but be sure to reserve it if you need it. We were fine using our My Little Seat, so it was no issue for us. The Little Monkey, my brother and I were the first to arrive and we started off with some drinks to get us warmed up while we waited for the hubs and my mom who were to join us after their movie date. The Sake and Soju infused cocktail list caught our eyes and we started out with Jubilee (sake, gin, muddles berries & orange frizzante) and Samurye (sake, rye, black walnut bitters & maple syrup). Both were very well made, innovative and highlighted the key ingredients really well, the Samurye was my favourite!
The servers and Sang were super friendly and humoured the Little Monkey. There isn’t much room to walk about but luckily for us, we had the corner table which had some room on the side, near the Tv (with K-POP,yes including Gangnam Style, on repeat). This meant that she was able to take a quick stroll every now and then without being in everyone’s way. Ofcourse on occasion she wandered towards the bar and not one person shot us a dirty look. You wouldn’t expect to see families in a bar-resto but there were quite a few, and Sang encourages families to come out and enjoy his culinary offerings.
We did our best to try out at least half of the menu and needless to say, we were well fed by the end of the evening (luckily for us, we had a 15 minute walk home to help burn off some calories!). My mom’s a vegetarian so it was great to see veggie friendly items on the menu and we didn’t feel too guilty stuffing ourselves with the pork belly. Top it off with the fact that Yakitori has freshly squeezed OJ.. my mom was well pleased! Veggie highlights included the Squash Duk Bok Ki (inspired by Sang’s travels and love for street food. I loved the rice noodles, as did the Little Monkey), Baby Bibimpap and Flights of Kimichi (love this idea!). Good old meaty and seafood highlights included the Seafood Miso Soup (very close to the one at Ki), Alabama Yakitori, Dragon’s Piri Piri and Kalbi Philly Cheesesteak.
All said and done, if you’re looking for a relaxing , friendly neighbourhood joint to enjoy some great conversations, fantastic food and delicious cocktails, look no further. I love the ‘everyone’s family’ vibe that Yakitori exudes and may have finally found the perfect hangout when we have friends in town looking for a “classy watering hole”! I can’t wait to try out the other half of the menu very soon.