Best Casual Japanese 2012
May 1, 2012
GOLD: KINGYO IZAKAYA
Silver: Guu | Bronze: Sushi Kimura Restaurant | Honourable Mentions: ShuRaku Sake Bar & Bistro & Dan Japanese Restaurant & Bar
About our Gold winner Kingyo Izakaya, a West End room that sets the standard for Japanese tapas, the judges noted “despite the veneer of yelling and good cheer, there are no short cuts with the food, which is very well executed and features tightly focused flavours.” Every location of Guu (Silver) teems with hungry English-language students and thrill-seeking foodies, settling in for plates of grilled pork cheek with ponzu sauce or, more controversially, basashi sashimi (perfectly marbled horse meat offset by soy and burnt-garlic dipping sauce). At Bronze-winning Sushi Kimura, chef Itsuroku Kimura, an industry vet who has owned rooms in Shanghai and LA—lending what our judges called a “ramshackle friendliness” to his food—offers an omakase menu (traditional multi-course dinner) that is “astounding for both quality and generosity.” ShuRaku and Dan earned Honourable Mentions for “inventive sushi creations” and “easy charm and friendly, welcoming service,” respectively.