Black Bear Japanese Fusion brings eclectic natsukashi cuisine, from omurice to J-burgers.
Seafood Omurice: This Japanese fan favourite has been perfected with a cream sauce and a generous helping of seafood. (the dish on the left)
Squid Ink Spaghetti: Rich sea urchin adds an abundance of seafood flavour to this visually striking dish. (the dish on the right)
Hungry for more? Let’s dig in!
Researching Black Bear Japanese Fusion before my visit, I immediately honed in on the Japanese-style burger offerings. If you’ve never experienced the unexpected flavour combinations that show up on a Japanese burger, then the trip to Black Bear is worth it for this experience alone.
The burger menu definitely stands up to the competition, with offerings like Okonomiyaki Angus Beef, Avocado Soft Shell Crab or Curry Chicken Katsu Rice Burgers, among others. On the recommendation of both the owner and the head chef, Gabe, I ordered the Sukiyaki Beef Rice Burger—one of the top sellers. Served between two fried rice patties in lieu of buns, this burger features thin-sliced sukiyaki beef served in a teriyaki sauce and dressed with nori, green onion and pickled daikon radish. As is usually the case with Japanese burgers, it was a grouping of ingredients I would never think to combine, but they came together deliciously.
And there’s far more to Black Bear than burgers. The rest of its menu features a number of dishes best described as Japanese cult favourites. Things like omurice, for example: a comforting Japanese combination of a pillow-soft omelette and rice. Typically served with tomato sauce, Black Bear dresses its omurice up with a generous helping of grilled shrimp, a dollop of mentaiko Alaskan pollock roe, mushrooms and a delicious cream sauce.
Another dish that you don’t come across that often in Toronto is Japanese-style pasta, which tends to enhance this Italian staple with all kinds of interesting seafood inspiration. On my visit, I sampled Black Bear’s Sea Urchin and Ikura Cuttle fish Squid Ink Spaghetti. The visually striking black noodles get most of their flavour from the rich, briney urchin, and I was amazed by the way these flavours complemented each other.
To round out the eclectic menu of traditional and fusion dishes, Black Bear offers the staple desserts you’d expect, like Japanese parfaits complete with crunchy corn flakes, alongside utterly unique dishes like crème brûlée served in a fresh pineapple.
No matter what you’re craving, the variety on Black Bear’s menu means it’s guaranteed to have a dish to satisfy you.
Sukiyaki Beef Rice Burger
One of my favourite parts of the menu was its weird and wonderful collection of burgers, including this bestseller served up on two rice patties.
Baked Oyster with Salmon Roe
I was blown away by how huge these oysters were— and their delectable combination of baked cheese, roe and miso mayonnaise.