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Restaurant reviews August/September 2019 – Izakaya Edokko

Izakaya Edokko

Neighbourhood: Downtown
Address: 190 Smith St
Phone: 204-615-5556
Entrées: $6-$27

Sushi lovers know there’s nothing more all-consuming than cravings for tantalizing pieces of nigiri lightly dipped in soy sauce and sinus-stimulating wasabi. Helmed by one of the city’s most experienced sushi masters, Chef Masa Sugita, Izakaya Edokko’s menu is teeming with refined small plates, traditional dishes like pork-rich ramen and impressively executed sushi prepared to satiate those hankerings.

Served cold, tako kimchee intrigues with bold tastes. Boiled meaty octopus and crunchy cucumbers are lightly sauced in fermented flavours of spicy kimchee with a hint of soy sweetness. This bowl makes a delicious snack while awaiting a parade of sushi, though orders appear quickly.

Lunch specials here are simply spectacular, offering luxuries of a dinner date at midday. Sashimi and sushi tei are pictures of elegance, arriving in pretty little pastel dishes meticulously placed on a tray. The combo includes the chef’s daily selection of sashimi, nigiri and rolls, alongside rich miso soup and sweet-meets-vinegary seaweed salads.

The key to superior sashimi, a Japanese delicacy, is pristine freshness. Fat slices of silken king salmon, buttery hamachi and sweet scallops are supple and cool, needing nothing more than a touch of soy to maximize oceanic flavours.

Sizable handrolls brim with two different offerings. Crisp, briny BC salmon skin and snappy cucumbers fill the first, and finely chopped tuna mixed with vibrant green scallions fill the other. Atop soft mounds  of rice, slivers of pink hamachi, sockeye salmon and pale puffin—all meltingly tender—fall apart delicately in one mouthful.

Nestled on the south side of Portage Avenue, this sleek eatery is a hot spot for the downtown crowd searching for first-rate Japanese cuisine.

Izakaya Edokko is open Tue-Sun 11:30 am-2 pm and 5 pm-9 pm.

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