Yakitori, in Japanese, traditionally meant grilled chicken, but the word has now been widely adopted to include other kinds of Japanese styled grilled skewers.  Yakitori Kintori is that latest concoction by the company who originally brought Guu Izakaya from Vancouver to Toronto, under its umbrella there’s also Kinton Ramen and Ja Bistro.  As Torontonians’ interest in Japanese cuisine is on the rise, we are beginning to see a lot more investments in Japanese restaurants around the hood.

Conveniently located in downtown Toronto, Kintori’s merely 3-minutes walking distance away from Christie subway station.  In the 2 stories building, the ground floor is the second Kinton Ramen (first one opened up in Baldwin Village), while Kintori sat on the upper floor.  The clean and sleek dining room, without the usual hustle and bustle of most Izakaya, roughly seats around 30 guests.  Perhaps that’s also because we went on a rainy Tuesday, hence the restaurant was unusually quiet, and we could sit for however long we want without having to worry about the 2-hour seating limit.

Kintori features binchotan, a traditional oak charcoal.  It’s a favorite for Japanese grilling as it doesn’t let off too much smoke and other disagreeable odours.  That being said, if the restaurant gets crowded, sometimes the smell could still become unbearable, therefore ventilation is key, and Kintori scored well in this regards (again, keeping in mind that the restaurant was only half full).

In terms of food quality, I’d say most of the skewers were good, but there were a few hits and misses, and I enjoyed the ones seasoned with salt better than those with sauce.  Our waitress for the night had some trouble understanding us, so we had to keep our sentences short and sweet.  Otherwise service was good.

Considering its location and the fact that food was decent and prices were reasonable, I wouldn’t mind returning in the future.


$45 Momo Kawa organic Junmai Ginjo Sake

$8 smoked ankimo (fish liver), $4.5 takowasabi, and $5 kale gomaae ~ The ankimo was the best tapas dish of the night, but the other two were loaded with too much sauce and too salty.


Beef, tuna & avocado skewers ~ Both came with sauces, which for me, have overwhelmed the taste of the food.  Pork intestines for $2 were ok.



$2 per chicken wing is a must-eat.  Lightly salted with crispy skin, delicious.  Nankotsu (soft bone) was nothing special, rather, the $5.5 Nankotsu karrage (deep fried knee cartilage) offered so much more bang for the buck.



$7 Kitsune udon ~ The tofu skin was excellent, and the idea original.  Too bad the texture of the udon was soft and soggy, I gotta say that the frozen udon from supermarket tastes much better, what a waste!


Suggestions for improvements:

1.  Go easy on salt, especially in sauces

2.  Substitute with better quality udon.  I have higher expectations on noodle soup coming from sister company of Kinton, who specializes in noodle soup.

KINTORI YAKITORI Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato