Craft brews meet Japanese foods in the east end.
Raise a glass! Godspeed’s refreshingly diverse range of beers embrace Japanese ingredients like yuzu. Coming soon: Green tea IPA made with fresh tea from the Japanese farm where Luc lived.
Hungry for more? Let’s dig in!
Godspeed Brewery may look like your average craft brewpub on the surface, but when you spot names like “Yuzu” and “Momiji” on the beer taps, it’s clear this brewery has a strong Japanese influence. That influence comes from owner and brewmaster Luc Lafontaine. After brewing with Montreal-based Dieu du Ciel for a decade, Luc booked a fateful trip to Japan. He was so taken with the culture that he opened his own brewery there. When brewing now, Luc draws on Japanese ingredients like yuzu and green tea (which will be appearing in a special IPA very soon). He has even begun experimenting with a beer based on yuzu kosho.
Godspeed’s pub menu is just as Japanese. Though you’ll find izakaya staples like karaage and yaki onigiri, they come alongside more traditional dishes like chikuzenni. Head Chef Ryusuke Yamanaka counts such upscale restaurants as Momofuku and Ascari Enoteca on his culinary resumé, and he’s motivated to make simple food that is beautifully plated and tastes perfectly as expected. He explains that he’s more interested in flavourful dishes than fancy ones.
One such dish that has proven very popular is the kinoko salad, which combines sautéed enoki, shimeji and king oyster mushrooms with arugula. It is then flavoured with an ume amazu dressing and covered with fried wonton wrapper and kizami nori, creating a dish that is at once sweet and sour, crispy and soft. The inclusion of arugula is a hallmark of Chef Yamanaka’s dedication to using locally sourced ingredients as much as possible, but preparing them using Japanese recipes and techniques. If that sounds like “fusion” cuisine, he tells me it is anything but. And, as if to illustrate his point, he offers me a sneak preview of a batch of sweet and salty umeboshi that he is currently pickling using Ontario plums. The only fusion taking place at Godspeed is the perfect way that brewmaster Luc and Chef Yamanaka have succeeded in combining beer and Japanese cuisine to create an experience that offers so much more than a brewery or a restaurant.
Doteni, a traditional Nagoya dish, combines slow-cooked beef chuck and tendon with hatcho red miso to give a deep, rich avour. Served with toasted baguette and sour cream coleslaw.
242 Coxwell Ave., Toronto
416-551-2282 | godspeedbrewery.com
OPEN: Mon–Thurs 3 pm–late • Fri–Sun 1pm–late
*Visit website for kitchen and retail hours