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Tuesday
Nov132012

[Izakaya] Chou Izakaya

Restaurant: Chou Izakaya
Cuisine: Izakaya
Location: Gay Village
Address: 556 Church St
Price Range: $5~10

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very Good 5: Excellent

Food: 2
Service: 4
Ambiance: 4
Overall: 3

Extra information:

* Open for dinner (5:30PM)
* Late night on Friday & Saturday
* Closed on Tuesdays
* Serves alcohol

Is Toronto slowly opening it's arms to the world of Izakayas yet? Chou Izakaya just opened couple months ago on Church street and I was actually informed of this by someone on yelp. It was a while back so I can't clearly remember but they messaged me telling me about the new izakaya that just opened up and how I should check it out.

I went with my sister right after I got off from work so it was still early and they had just opened up for dinner service (hence the empty restaurant).


Inside of the restaurant is quite cozy but not too crammed with enough space between tables. A lot of the tables were more so communal style so expect to share tables unless you come in with 4 or more people.

Ordered: Fresh fruit Sour 4/5

* DIY cocktail for $5
* Choose orange or grapfruit and it comes with half of it
* You squeeze/juice the half fruit and mix it

* This cocktail is lots of work! but is quite refreshing

Ordered: Shrimp Sashimi 4/5

* 5 pieces of shrimp sashimi for $7.00
* I love sweet shrimp sashimi when they are fresh
* Usually I would ask them to deep fry the head but I already had amaebi karaage

Ordered: Pork Skewers 5/5

* Choose teriyaki or seasalt for $2.50 each
* We got 1 teriyaki and 1 seasalt, 2 in total
* Pork skewers were fatty and perfectly cooked
* I enjoyed both types and it would be perfect with beer

Ordered: Kimchi Pork Cheese 2/5

* Stir fried pork belly and kimchi with cheese on top for $6.50
* I find this to be more of a side dish
* It is too salty/spicy to be eaten by itself
* I would probably order a bowl of rice to eat this
* Pork belly balances out the spiciness of kimchi
* I didn't really enjoy this very much

Ordered: Amaebi Karaage 4/5

* 5 pieces of shrimp karaage for $7
* I was surprised to see the shrimps be so big in size
* With the head attached, the entire thing is fried with the shell on
* Be careful when you eat this because you can cut inside of your mouth
* This didn't arrive at the table very hot
* Inside of the shrimp was filled with eggs
* I liked it but my sister was creeped out with the tiny eggs
* This is def worth $7, bang for your buck!

Orderd: Curry Korokke 2/5

* Deep fried potato with grounded beef in curry flavor for $5.50
* I found this to be lacking in flavor
* It was quite bland the texture was boring
* Everything was too mushy
* I felt like I was eating curry flavored potato

Ordered: Gunkan Sushi

* Spicy salmon gunkan sushi $2.50 each
* This is slightly bigger than your average nigiri sushi
* It was filled with fresh salmon pieces covered in delicious spicy mayo
* Topped off with some green onions
* Too big to be eaten in one bite
* I def enjoyed this a lot although my sister found the sauce to be a little too rich

Summary: I really wanted to like Chou izakaya, some dishes were hit or miss but overall- I felt like it was missing something. They have potential and the dishes were well made, but nothing overly impressed me. They did just open couple months ago so I feel like the restaurant can improve over time, the dishes are good but they all lack a little something to make it amazing. I am glad I gave it a try and maybe if it's around in another year or two, I will give it another go.

Chou Izakaya on Urbanspoon

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Reader Comments (2)

This was on my to-eat list, having seen some of their Facebook photos. Sad to hear that it missed its mark, but I think Ill give it a shot, and maybe order some of the items that you didn't order.
Also, "Gay Village", haha .. I think "Boys Town" would be a nice description of the area.
December 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKen
I specified location as 'Gay Village' because apparently that's what the area is actually called on urbanspoon! I didn't just randomly come up with it haha
December 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterJustine Ha

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