Izakaya lovers rejoice: Vancouver’s Kingyo is coming to town

Izakaya lovers rejoice: Vancouver’s Kingyo is coming to town

Kingyo head chef Koji Zenimaru at his Vancouver restaurant (Image: Shinsuke Ikegame) 

When Vancouver-based chain Guu touched down in Toronto in 2009, it set off a craze for izakaya food (i.e. Japanese pub grub) that verges on the ludicrous (although the opening of Guu’s Annex location and the competing DonDon Izakaya have abated the lineups somewhat). Now, it looks like there’s another Vancouver izakaya coming to town: over on Toronto.com, Corey Mintz is reporting that Kingyo Izakaya will open a Toronto location sometime this year. One thrilled ex-Vancouverite told us that Kingyo has a cult following in that city, and is known for its inventive cocktails (many using soft drinks imported from Japan), shabu-shabu and sukiyaki, and a signature chopped negitoro roll, drizzled with sauce. The crowd? “Japanese students, expats and trendy west-enders, drinking and munching—and buying beers for their waiters to down, tableside.” This sounds like it could be the arrival of Guu all over again.