Experience a different side of fast food at Japanese Nobu-YA!: authenticity and creativity in a home-cooked style.
The words “fast food” may make you think of uninspired junk, but the food at Japanese Nobu-YA! (previously named as Fast Food-Ya!) is completely the opposite. There’s nothing but wholesome B-kyu gu-ru-me (B-class gourmet) deliciousness at this cool local spot. With a wide selection of dishes to choose from, each thoughtfully prepared, at YA! you can enjoy a casual dish made with all the comfort and effort of a home-cooked meal.
Chef and owner Nobuyuki Toyoshima is the real deal. After moving to Vancouver from Japan, he spent years cooking in a Japanese kitchen before heading to Toronto to start up his own restaurant. And now that his dream is a reality, he takes pride in cooking from scratch and showing that fast food doesn’t have to mean mediocre food.
I started with the Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen, perhaps the most traditional dish on the menu. The broth had a lot of depth and flavour, and a pleasant saltiness that reminded me of ramen stands in Tokyo. As I chatted with Nobu, I was not surprised to hear that he studied authentic Japanese culinary techniques in Tokyo while working as an apprentice.
Next, I opted for the Karaage Donburi, a popular item with a Western twist. A generous portion of deep-fried chicken and eggs (similar to oyakodon) was accompanied by spicy mayo, onion, green onion, nori and sesame, all served on top of rice. What really set this dish apart was the especially crunchy chicken, served in bite-sized pieces that made it easy to eat. And the dash of heat from the spicy mayo added some excitement.
After enjoying some classic Japanese fast food, it was time to try Nobu’s take on the ultimate Canadian fast food: poutine! The dish started with hand-cut french fries and featured cheddar cheese curds, green onion, aonori, bonito flakes and spicy mayo mixed with soy sauce—who knew Japanese toppings could taste so good with fries? It was a memorable and creative dish, and a bit reminiscent of okonomiyaki.
Nobu infuses so much passion, creativity and attention to detail in his food that you forget this is a fast food shop. And with modest prices and good service, I want to rush back again!
Staff: Rondie Li
A Japanese food, literature and arts enthusiast, Rondie is passionate about the authenticity and creativity behind Japanese culture. He appreciates good food in any form and also enjoys cooking and experimenting in his kitchen at home. He loves cats, photography, vintage sunglasses and wearing fun socks with his oxford shoes.
TEL: 416-201-9491 | 285 Royal York Rd., Toronto www.nobuya.com | Open: (Lunch) Tue–Fri 12 pm–2:30 pm (Dinner) Mon–Wed
5 pm–9:30 pm • Thur & Sat 5 pm– 10pm•Fri 5pm–11pm•Sunclosed
Free Parking Available