Japanese Fast Food-YA! has changed its name, but its home-cooked authenticity and creativity remain the same.
So, one of our writers is absolutely in love with Japanese Fast Food-YA! on Royal York near Lakeshore … well, to be honest, it’s located far enough from the intersection that one has to take a bus or a car to get there. But I know our writer makes special trips just for this small establishment, so when I found myself in that neck of the woods, I swung by to give it a try. Turns out, the restaurant has changed its name to Nobuya (Nobu’s Place)—but, luckily for me, the owner and chef (Nobu) continues to offer B-kyu gu-ru-me (B- class gourmet) deliciousness to the locals.
If you’ve ever wanted to try an authentic Japanese greasy spoon, this is the place to go. The menu is full of classic items along with some fusion surprises. One of the most popular comfort
foods at Nobuya is the Japanese-style poutine, Nobu’s take on the iconic French-Canadian soul food. What makes it Japanese is the toppings: green onion, aonori (seaweed), bonito and spicy mayo mixed with soy sauce, all on crispy hand-cut french fries. Nobu has also added some new offerings to the menu, like Natto-rice, okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake), korokke (croquette) and wakame salad.
If you visit Nobuya, you’ll be likely to meet some dedicated regulars, like a guy who frequently orders Natto-rice and eats it at the bar counter. Another young patron, who was eating takoyaki (fried octopus balls) at the table near the kitchen during my visit, sounds like he knows the whole menu by heart. He even calls Nobu out of the kitchen when there is a new customer waiting
to order at the front. Yes, this place is a one-man operation—Nobu takes the orders and does all the cooking. And, if all the tables are occupied, the service will be slow accordingly. But, really, it’s worth the wait.
Don’t be in a rush to get some food when you visit Nobuya. This is a restaurant where customers take a break from their busy lives, chat and make new friends, and then enjoy some yummy home-style food for a very affordable price.
Yumi is a beloved wife and mother who grew up in a restaurant in Yokohama. She lived with her husband for two years before he finally found out that she’s a great cook. She got an expensive university degree so she could be a banker, and a diploma from Sheridan College that she actually uses.
www.nobuya.ca | TEL: 416-201-9491
285 Royal York Rd., Toronto
OPEN: Mon–Thurs 5:30 pm–10 pm Fri–Sat 5:30 pm–11 pm • Sun closed
Free parking available