Location: 170 Baldwin Street, Toronto
Joining places like Little Pebbles, Sakoshi Mart, and Millie Creperie, the Japanese domination of this stretch of Kensington Market continues with Koi Koi Sake Bar, which features a tasty selection of Japanese eats. I, for one, welcome our new Japanese overlords.
I tried a few things. First up was a nice little snack that every table gets by default. I meant to ask what these were and completely forgot, but they were crunchy, savoury, and a little bit sweet.
Next up was the katsu sando, which is a fried pork sandwich topped with a generous amount of mayo and tangy tonkatsu sauce, with some romaine lettuce for added crunch and freshness. It’s a solid sandwich, though the pork was overcooked (I had a hard time even biting through it in parts).
The miso nasu followed, which is a dish consisting of grilled, miso-glazed eggplant. It feels like it’s missing something (a crunchy counterpoint to the soft eggplant, perhaps?), but it’s enjoyable enough; it basically tastes like they distilled the flavour of miso soup into a glaze and then brushed it onto an eggplant.
The last dish was the bacon fried rice, which food writer David Ort called “possibly the best fried rice [he’s] ever had.” This is mostly what made me want to come here.
I’m not sure if it’s the best I’ve ever had, but it was definitely top-shelf fried rice, with a nice meatiness from the generous bacon and a satisfying level of crispiness from the fried garlic slices. The creamy mayo on top was a nice touch.