Location
Information
Reviews
Details

Cuisine type

  • Asian,
  • Japanese,

Dishes

  • Tapas,
  • Sushi,
  • Maki,
  • Sashimi,

Atmosphere

  • Casual,

Products and Services

  • Open Sunday,
  • Full Dinner Menu,
  • Open Late Hour,

Languages Spoken

  • English,
Location
398 Church St, Toronto, ON M5B 2A2
Useful Information

Opening Hours *Holiday hours

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

Rates:

  • $11 To $25,

Methods of Payment:

Ratings & Reviews - Kinka Izakaya

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  • Food:
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Restaurantica12
By

Quality is great, but it's not true Japanese food

The food is good quality, but because they are tapas, prices add up and the food is influenced by Vancouver Japanese food... so it's not authentic, which was disappointing. Staff is really friendly. It's so incredibly loud here because they cheer and yell like they do in Izakayas in Japan.

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Restaurantica12
By

Guuu...ddd!!!

Guu is real Japanese food. Not like 99% of the stuff in Toronto where thay say Irashaimasse!!! when you walk in but are just really faking it... It's the real deal indeed and the atmosphere and food are a blast! The tapas here are bang on, a little expensive, but that's the idea here. Drinks are nice and the service is typical for this type of food. Check out Guu. Make sure you get reservations though because it can get busy.

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Restaurantica12
By

Amazing!!!

food, service, atmosphere everything was amazing, ive visited guu 3 time already and i loved it each time, i strongly recommend this restaurant to all

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Restaurantica12
By

Authentic Japanese dishes loud with excitement

Just like the greetings from the entire staff from entering and exiting this restaurant, the food is loud and full of excitement. Food: The dishes here are unique, authentic, and tasty. Served Tapas style, the variety of items to choose from on the menu are not the common dishes that you would find at the so-called Japanese restaurants you find in every street corner in the city. No, these are one of a kind, well presented dishes that have ingredients that are well matched with each other. I wanted to try everything on the menu, but my wallet was giving me the evil 'don't you dare stuff me with another gigantic bill' stare. Service: Polite, courteous and respectful, the servers stay true to their Japanese way of treating the customer. I liked it! Atmosphere: Authentic! The people, the dishes, and service, it's like being in a pub in Japan. The decor was modern and super trendy, but be warned, it gets loud in here! I can't wait to return to this restaurant. There's so much on the menu that I'm looking forward to trying on my next visit. But just remember, it's loud! Oh, and I forgot to mention, if you don't get there at a good time (like when they open for the day), expect to wait up to 2 hours for a table.

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Restaurantica12
By

So good that we went two nights in a row!

My boyfriend and I went one night, and it was a great experience. So the next night, we brought our friends. It was definitely a long wait - approx. an hour. The atmosphere is amazing. The servers and cooks make you feel welcomed the moment you step in. This place is definitely more fusion based rather than Japanese cuisine. Everything we had tasted great. The only thing that was average was the beef udon.

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Restaurantica12
By

Delicious

Went in with high expectations and was not disappointed. Ordered Deep fried oysters - which was acceptable- could be better, but also ordered freid oysters with mayo, garlic and mushrooms- this was delicious. The raw scallops were amazing. Tuna tar tar had a hint of wasabi - was amazing as well. Green tea cheesecake was just as small as the other portions but was very delicious. They open at 5:00pm. Highly recommend ging at 5:00 pm to get seating right away. If you arrive after 5:20 PM on a nice sunny day, you will most likely have to wait. Will be going back soon!

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Restaurantica12
By

nice izakaya

I went for dinner with a friend and we arrived a few minutes before they opened and there was already a short lineup. I'm glad we got there when we did because the place was full about 20 min after we were seated. The service was alright, but as they got busier it got slower. The bus boy did a good job zipping around clearing dishes though. I liked the interior - it was pretty stylish and reminded me of the izakayas in Japan. Some of the dishes we ordered could have been a bit better - I don't know why they cut up their agedashi tofu into little cubes and the spicy fried ika could have been crispier - but everything else was pretty tasty (try taco wasabi and hotate butter). I read other reviews and it seems like the complaints people have made are about the traditional elements of a Japanese izakaya. This is the most authentic place I've been to in Canada. Warm towels are to clean your hands before you eat. The staff were shouting welcomes and thank yous & goodbyes which is something they do in practically every store (not just restaurant) in Japan. When I went, they didn't shout orders so much, but did shout when people left a table. Japanese people love mayonnaise. Staff and cooks traditionally wear towels on their heads at izakayas and many other casual restaurants in Japan. Many specials menus in Japan are hand written on a piece of paper. It's just the way they do things. Sharing plates is what you do at an izakaya. I don't think I've heard of single servings. An izakaya is a Japanese pub. It's supposed to be a very informal, lively place to have drinks and food after your 12hr day of work (in Japan anyway). If I hadn't lived in Japan for 4 years I probably would have thought this place was strange too, but trust me, it's not. It's the closest thing I've seen to a real izakaya in Canada and the food was fairly close too. If you're not afraid to try new things I recommend this restaurant.

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Restaurantica12
By

Also read the review by acheronbeach on this restaurant. OVERALL: It's like taking a step back in time and eating at your high school cafeteria. Go with a group of friends to get drunk and act like a teenager again. 1. Paid for an hour and twenty minute parking. 2. Added name to a very long wait list with the matradee . 3. Both feet froze while waiting outside right in-front of an empty Indian restaurant. 4. Entered restaurant and forced to hang up jacket due to lack of room. You will be elbow to elbow. 5. Had to run back to car and buy more time, yes, it is at least an hour wait, outside. Do not go in winter. 6. Seated near the cooks on a heavy wooded bar stool, right in-front of a cat statue showcasing a beer I never heard of. 7. Given a warm towel to warm my hands from that long cold wait, I think. 8. Ordered Green Tea from the warm towel waitress. 9. Everyone shouts and sings someone’s order, left ear twitches. 10. Glanced at a piece of paper in-front of me thinking it’s scrap or garbage, then realizing it's the specials for the day menu. Pushed it to the side and opened the real menu. I don't order food from a piece of paper. 11. Received Green Tea in a very unique cup, from a different waitress. Took a sip and quickly realized it's not Green Tea. 12. Selected four dishes and ordered with a third waitress. 13. Everyone shouts and sings my order, right ear twitches. 14. Observed the stressed cooks and head Chef prepare various meals. Towels and tuques used instead of hair nets and chef hats. 15. Everyone starts to shout and sing a prepared order. Both ear's twitch. 16. Smelled a hint of fish in the supposed Green Tea. 17. Everyone shouts and sings the completion of our first order. Left ear twitches, right ear thumps. 18. Fourth waitress brings an Enjoyable first course, Pumpkin wrap with a boiled egg in the center, covered in a mayo/mustard sauce. 19. Everyone shouts and sings another order. Both ears twitch. 20. Observe head Chef reprimand a cook for an undercooked meal. 21. Everyone shouts and sings the completion of our second dish. Both ears realize the shouting and singing will continue throughout the entire evening and both ears just decide to start ringing, twitching and thumping. 22. Fifth waitress brings a not so appetizing second course, tough noodles with tiny dry flavorless beef bits. 23. Yes the shouting and singing carries on. 24. Waitress number four brings the third course, not bad, deep fried shrimps absolutely swimming in the mayo/mustard combo sauce. After the third bite I couldn't taste the shrimp at all. 25. By now all the waitresses blur into one and I lose count. Fourth meal arrives, a single cut of cod fish with a white wine dressing. Amazing dish but looked very lonely all by itself. Not true, there was a single green decorative leaf under the fish. 26. Gave tiny clipboard containing our orders to a random waitress and asked for bill. 27. Reminded of high school lunch time for some reason. 28. Blurry waitress brings bill, I flash my Visa before I look at the price, I just want to leave as quickly as possible. 29. Blurry Waitress brings portable check-out machine and stands inches away from me while I press the buttons. Not true, more like centimeters. I asked her to step back and she thought I was having trouble with the machine. 30. Bill came to about $34 I paid $40. 31. Yanked jacket from stuffed coat rack, almost knocked someone’s fur coat to the filthy ground. 32. Matradee escorts us to the door and waits... 33. Head Chef, cooks, waitresses and I think a few random people start to sing and shout thank you and goodbye to us in Japanese. I kid you not... Matradee walks us out and says thank you and goodnight. 34. Shocked to see an even bigger line-up waiting outside. 35. Walked away still hungry and slightly def.

Atmosphere: 2/5
Food: 3/5
Service: 2/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Guu? Badly prepared food and poor service for the trendy and the homesick. Guu on Church is the newest extension of the Guu Izakaya chain in Vancouver. It's trendy. It's full of Vancouver expats. But honestly... it's not as good as the originals, the food is just 'meh' and it's definitely not worth the 1+ hour waits. ATMOSPHERE This is probably the worst part of Guu. They've squeezed just one too many tables and benches for 8 people into their dining room. To make it worse, I've seen them packing up to 12 people into these tables at once. And I hope you like meeting new people - you don't get your own table. You get squeezed jaw-to-jaw with some "new friends." The noise is overwhelming. Why they didn't use those special ceiling or wall panels to muffle noise, I don't know, but take along some headache medicine. SERVICE The waiters have severe language barriers. I had to point to what I wanted on the menu to order, and trying to get 'a glass of ice water' was next to impossible. Guu hires Asian youth who'd like to learn English. While I applaud their efforts, as a customer, I did not enjoy being their teacher/guinea pig. Service is all over the map. You can get three of your tapas dishes at once, or wait half an hour to get another. Don't expect the dishes cleared away quickly, or drinks refilled. Waiters are overburdened - they're basically on triage duty, with the crammed tables, unhappy customers, and language barriers. FOOD Mayo is the lifeblood of Guu food. It's in everything. Sashimi - drizzled with mayo. Rice casserole - mixed with mayo. Potato balls - bound with mayo, served with mayo sauce. Some of their dishes are excellent. The sashimi was incredibly fresh and had a light, peppery, vinegary seasoning (pity it was drowning in mayo). The oden is piping hot and salty, a great counterpoint to beer. But all in all, Izakaya is supposed to be bar food. The food is served in a 'workmanlike' manner and with little effort put into presentation or preparation - i.e. grilled whole fish, broth-doused pre-cooked eggs/veg, fried chicken. In the two worst dishes of the night, Boyfriend bit into a piece of chicken that was entirely gristle, and I ate a piece of fish that had no seasoning except lemon juice and the fish's own smeared entrails. The prices don't reflect the service and the effort put into food - the plates are tiny, and the host recommended ordering a minimum 3 per person. It's a minimum $20-25 per person, before drinks. I just don't think it's worth it to pay 60 or 70 bucks for bad service, long waits, a dining room that resembles an intensive livestock operation, and 'just ok' food. When it works (like Guu in Van), it's a fun, chill way to enjoy a drink and food, but the Toronto location is not working at all.

Atmosphere: 1/5
Food: 2/5
Service: 2/5
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