September 19, 2014
Stepping into Izakaya Tomo, I no longer felt like I was in Edmonton. I felt like I was actually in Japan. From the outside, Izakaya Tomo looks like a normal average restaurant but its interior tells a different story. The inside is very modern with a chill vibe that made me feel like I was in an authentic Japanese restaurant. Hidden away in the Southside, Izakaya delivers spot-on Japanese food and tapas.
We decided to order a variety of dishes to share because the portions at Izakaya are smaller. Izakaya is a Japanese tapas bar which means that the main focus is on the alcoholic drinks with appetizers to accompany it. They are the first of its kind to open in Edmonton. My friends and I didn’t want to drink though, so we had our food with hot tea. The pricing for each food item is reasonable considering the sizing of it, and definitely enjoyable!
Beef tataki – it was cut slightly thicker than most places but the Ponzu sauce was very flavorful. I would order this again!
Takoyaki – fried octopus balls with bonito flakes (they move when heated!). It’s a unique dish that is very popular in Japan. It was kind of “dough-y” but I still liked it.
Simmered pork belly – although it was a bit too fasty, it was a nice meat dish for our dinner.
Sashimi – I didn’t try this because I’m not a fan of it but my friends said it was fresh.
Carbonara udon – this was a very rich and creamy dish that was very filling. It was kind of like a clash between Western and Japanese foods. The parmesan cheese on top added flavor but left an odd after-taste. There was also chunks of real bacon in the udon as well.
Prawn spring rolls – these deep fried rolls were filled with prawn, avocado, and cheese. Topped with some cajun pepper spice, it was not spicy and seemed more salty to me. These rolls are worth trying out though!
We finished off our dinner with 2 desserts – creme brulee with matcha and salted caramel ice cream with kokuto umeshu. The creme brulee was very light yet delicious. The salted caramel ice cream was surrounded in kokuto umeshu which is a Japanese plum wine syrup. The syrup gave the ice cream an unreal taste that wasn’t too sweet or heavy. Both of these desserts were something that I want to try again for sure!
Izayaka Tomo provided a great Japanese tapas experience for me and I can say that it’s truly one of Edmonton’s hidden gems.
Address: 3739 99 Street