Organic meat, seasonal veggies, local wines—plus a few treats all the way from Japan? You’ll want to go all out at this Japanese cookhouse.
Nobu Yamada loves to talk about pork—and no wonder! As head chef and owner of Kobo Nobu, he enjoys sourcing his pork from a Mennonite farm just outside the city. From the cured prosciutto and pancetta hanging on the back wall, to the draught beer with its cute pig mascot, to the number of pork options on the menu, it’s clear which meat is bringing in the bacon. (Snort.) But it’s not all pork! You’ll also find an enticing assortment of other organic meats (including wild boar!), fresh seafood and locally sourced veggie options on the menu. I won’t admit how many dishes I devoured, but there were two clear standouts—one of which happened to be an old favourite from Japan, while the other was something entirely new.
The tonkatsu (lightly breaded pork cutlet) is tantalizingly tender and oozing with flavour, its panko breading perfectly crispy with a satisfying crunch. On the unconventional side, the ramen seafood salad is a delicious twist on a familiar dish: this bowl of creamy noodles covered in seasonal veggies (including Okinawa’s famous goya, or bitter melon) and a daily seafood selection (shrimp, calamari and whatever’s fresh) is not soup. It might just be better than what you’re used to!
If, like me, you want everything on the menu, simply embrace your inner pig and order omakase-style. At only $28 for a three-course meal, which includes an app, main dish (meat or seafood) and dessert, this option is a steal. Why not leave your dinner in the hands of a master? Selecting only the freshest ingredients, Nobu will treat your tastebuds to a wonderful surprise! When it’s time for dessert, consider yourself lucky if you get the cheesecake souffl.. No matter how full you are, you’ll have room for this light and tasty ending to your night.
With all this fresh and inventive fare—at prices that are almost too reasonable—I wasn’t surprised to learn that most of Nobu’s customers have been coming to his restaurant’s original location (Kobo) for 20 years. He’s watched the children of loyal patrons grow into adults … and start bringing their own kids to continue the feasting tradition. Now that I’ve had a taste of what Nobu has to offer, I won’t be surprised if my future children are still coming back when they’re grown. Yup, he’s that good.
786 Broadview Ave., Toronto
416-519-2633 | www.kobonobu.com
Open: Tues–Thurs 11:30 am–2:30 pm
Tues-Sun 5 pm-10pm | Mon Closed
Patio opening soon!