Shibui Robata Bar #RobataTO – Permanently closed

Posted on June 15, 2014


Whenever an event has Japanese cuisine, it doesn’t take me too long to decide whether to attend or not.  I have confessed so many  times of my love for Japanese cuisine that I would consider trading my heritage of Filipino cuisine for it.  It’s the aesthetics combined with its freshness never fails to amaze me.  I never tasted anything Japanese that I haven’t liked yet.  Last Wednesday, Abe and I got to indulge in delicious Japanese food as we joined the opening launch of Shibui Robata Bar by Adelaide St and Simcoe by the Toronto’s entertainment district.

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The word Robata was new to me.  I found out it means the use of charcoal to grill fresh fish, meats and vegetables.  I was giddy with anticipation as I read that.  I grew up back in my country grilling food the same way, I just know that the night would be filled with amazing food.  Just the smell can make my mouth water.  There is nothing like the aroma of fresh fish or juicy meats to get your appetite started.

When we walked in, Shibui was already filled with expectant guests.  Just a few steps down from street level, I appreciated the high ceilings that made the room spacious.  Handsome panelling, deep and dark wooden tables donned the walls and glass tiles gave the place the sparkle it needs.  There was a big bar that covered the length of the room adjoined to the sushi bar where a lot of people were gawking as the sushi chef created delicate morsels of maki for people to sample.   I was greeted with a glass of proseco and grilled sweet garlicky corn.  Just imagine my face with a big smile on my face.  It was good note to start.

That bite was followed by a parade of Kinoko salad, Crispy Rice maki, Shibui Salmon Maki, vegetable and Pirikara Ebi Maki.  I appreciate the little details of carefully crafting each  maki roll as there was spectacular attention to detail in their maki presentations.  It definitely heightens the dining experience seeing how much care goes to crafting their food.

Moving to the bar, Abe picked up one of the three feature cocktail drinks that was the Kyuri Sake.  Tasting it, I wanted one myself. A mix of  gin, sake, Yuzu sour and cucumber,  I like the clean finish and it definitely made me go wanting for more.  Picking up some more food, Abe and I lined up to sample more of the featured cocktails.  There were two more, Pink Blossom and Ume & Yuzu Mojito.  The Pink Blossom had hints of citrus and I found out that it was a concoction of vodka, elderflower, pink grapefruit and orange.   The last of the three, the Ume and Yuzu mojito was of Rum, Yuzu sour, plum syrup and Shiso leaf.  I could easily finish all three drinks but I was mindful that I had to drive.  It was one of those rare times that I really wanted to indulge but I had to curb it with one of the Kyuri Sake.  Better with one than never, eh?

We spent a few moments by the robata grill too and I was entertained once again with the skill of cooks proficiently plating food samplers.  I just love watching the dynamics of two or three people silently building something so beautiful that there are no words to fill any gaps.  They just know what to do and how to complement each other’s skill.  As we stood there, we enjoyed grilled Lamb, Black Cod and Chilean Sea Bass and sweet potato. While all of them were delicious, what stood out was the Black Cod.  I could easily eat a big plate of that myself.

Thank you for inviting us to the official launch of Shibui Robata Bar.  I am totally in love with your food.  Congratulations on your successful launch!

Shibui Robata Bar on Urbanspoon