What’s on the menu at Chotto Matte, Toronto’s new Nikkei restaurant and cocktail lounge

What’s on the menu at Chotto Matte, Toronto’s new Nikkei restaurant and cocktail lounge

Name: Chotto Matte
Contact: 161 Bay St., 416-988-8097, chotto-matte.com/toronto, @chottomattetor
Neighbourhood: Financial District
Owners: Kurt Zdesar (NZR Group)
Executive chef: Jordan Sclare (NZR Group including Chotto Matte London and Miami, Black Roe and Fucina; London’s Aqua Kyoto, Buddha Bar, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Savoy Hotel)
Accessibility: Accessible entrance through Brookfield Place; accessible washroom behind the host stand on main floor.

The food

A full spectrum of Japanese-Peruvian seafood dishes served with Nikkei dipping sauces, and sharing plates of robata-grilled meats. Besides vegetarian and Nikkei sharing menus, there’s a by-request “Chef Experience,” as well as luxury bento boxes and express toban yaki (sizzling beef) sets for lunch.

The Nikkei sashimi is made with yellowtail sashimi, cherry tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro and yuzu-truffle soy. $19.50.


The Chu-Toro tiradito features medium fatty tuna sashimi topped with fresh wasabi, green onions and aji amarillo in a mango-yuzu sauce. $29.50.


The Nikkei gyoza are stuffed with pork and shrimp, and come with an aji amarillo-sweet potato purée, and a red pepper ponzu. $20 for five.


The dinner-only beef tataki on smoked aji panca is dressed with passion fruit salsa. $19.


The Barriguita de Chanchito features char-grilled pork belly that’s been marinated in aji panca and aji amarillo chilli. It comes topped with nashi pear and yellow tomato salsa. $18.50.


The drinks

Japanese whiskey, sake and pisco aplenty, plus a few local beers on tap, a few Japanese beers in bottles and a list of international wines by the glass and bottle. There are also classic and signature cocktails, like the Yuzu Martini and the Nikkei Negroni.

Flor de Manzana is made with Stolichnaya mango vodka, sake, passion fruit, apple juice and elderflower. $16.


Moshi Moshi is made with Hayman’s gin, nigori sake, St. Germain liqueur, house-made sesame water and yuzu. $20.


The Nikkei Negroni is made with Hayman’s gin, Martini rosso, Campari, green tea and aji amarillo. $18.


She’s So Smoking is a mix of Courvoisier VS cognac, peach, ginger, lapsang and hickory-infused yuzu. It’s garnished with a shiso leaf. $20.


Here it is again.


A visual spectacle, Holy Water is made with Miguel Torres pisco, junmai sake, roses and citric extract. Here it is, pre-lit. $18.


This drink is lit.


The flames reveal a hidden rose.


NZR Group’s executive chef Jordan Sclare (left) with C.E.O. and founder Kurt Zdesar.


The space

The 10,000-square-foot, Andy Martin Architecture–designed space is decorated with dramatic murals and includes various sitting areas, including a robata grill counter, a sushi bar and a main dining room that can seat 220 guests. AkACHAN, the cocktail lounge, will host nightly DJs and live entertainment. Coming soon: a Front Street–flanking heated terrace that will accommodate up to 150 people.

Here’s the lobby.


This is the main dining room.


Photo by Renée Suen
Here’s the robata grill counter.


Here’s the cocktail lounge, Akachan. Japanese for baby or infant, Akachan is the brand’s first cocktail lounge.


The cocktail lounge has a DJ booth.


And more of the great art that adorns the restaurant.


There’s even a mural on the way to the washrooms.


This is the Brookfield Place entrance.


And from the street.