What’s on the menu at Omai, a new sake and temaki bar in Baldwin Village
Name: Omai Restaurant
Contact: 3 Baldwin St., 647-341-7766, omairestaurant.ca, @omai.restaurant
Owners: Jason Ching (WonderPho) and Edward Bang
Chef: Edward Bang (Patria, Canoe and NYC’s Eleven Madison Park)
Inspired by the small izakayas found in Japan, Bang’s short menu features a whole bunch of temaki (hand rolls) made-to-order with fresh seafood and served pre-seasoned, one at a time. Other small snacks are made using local ingredients but infused with international flavours influenced by Bang’s training in Japanese (Togo, Richmond), American (Eleven Madison Park), Canadian (Canoe, Weslodge) and Spanish (Patria) cuisines. Weekday lunch sets feature an assortment of hand-roll combos, and smaller versions of kitchen favourites, like fried chicken or butternut squash croquettes.
Beer (some Japanese imports, some from Leslieville’s Godspeed) and a variety of sakes, all available by the glass.
Omai, Korean for “mother,” is an ode to the days Bang spent in his mom’s kitchen, learning how to cook. A place at one of the 24 counter seats means that service is provided by the chef and cooks behind the bar, who can also guide guests through the dishes and sake.