Welcome back to your second home at Kinka Izakaya, where you can always expect a helping of warm service and hearty food.
“Transport yourself to Japan” is Kinka Izakaya’s motto, and the statement couldn’t ring any more true. As I open the door to Kinka, a cheerful greeting of “irasshaimase!” echoes out to greet me. The atmosphere is so familiar and welcoming that it makes me nostalgic—I feel like I’m back at home in Japan, visiting one of my old haunts. For those who are not too familiar with Japanese restaurant terminology, the word irasshaimase is frequently called out when you step into a place of business and it is usually translated into “May I help you?” rather than its original meaning of “welcome.” However, here at Kinka, there is no doubt that all staff are saying “welcome!” And they mean it.
I get the chance to talk with Shinya, the manager at Kinka’s North York location and sub-area manager for Kinka Group (so, the overseer of all Kinka Izakaya locations in the GTA). With clear passion, he tells me that all Kinka staff treat their guests as their family or friends. Their goal is to make the guests’ stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible by providing not only great food for your stomach but also a cheerful atmosphere for your spirits.
Attention to detail and thoughtfulness are everywhere at Kinka. I can give you a simple example: one of the signature dishes, Kaki Mayo, takes a considerably longer time to prepare than the other popular dishes such as karaage (fried chicken). So what do they do? To shorten the wait time, the wait staff give the kitchen a heads up by shouting out “I’ve got a Kaki Mayo order here!” while they are still by the guest’s table. Shinya says, “If the kitchen waits till the order paper comes in, especially at the busiest time, it will make a difference of five or ten minutes.” But why does it take so long to start with? “It is because we make everything from scratch. Some dishes are rather more sophisticated than regular pub-style food, and not everything can be premade,” Shinya explains. “Kinka is not just another izakaya. It is like a second home, where you can look forward to a hearty meal. Come in, relax and get re-energized for tomorrow.”
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.
Kinka Izakaya Original
398 Church St., Toronto | TEL: 416-977-0999
Kinka Izakaya Bloor
559 Bloor St. W., Toronto | TEL: 647-343-1101
Kinka Izakaya North York
4775 Yonge St., Unit #114, North York TEL: 647-346-6246