Address: 115 Yorkville Ave, Toronto, ON M5R 1C1
Phone: (647) 348-7000
Situated in the heart of Yorkville neighbourhood in Downtown Toronto is a chic Japanese restaurant of Kasa Moto. It is one of the restaurants under the Chase Hospitality Group. Once again, a big applause to their success in bringing diversity in their culinary empire. The attention to detail makes the dining experience pleasurable.
The beautiful decor was an awe and was splendid to dine in such an environment. The natural lighting from the side windows brought an airy sensation into the space, brightening every corner, very relaxing. But in the dark, the dim lights made the environment romantic, a great date restaurant. The wall art were very pretty. Closer to the entrance, they are more of a pastel themed sakura trees. As you make the way to the back of the restaurant, the theme suddenly becomes more vivid or serious, with traditional Japanese cultural geisha hair styles, dark against pastel colours. Everything seen within the restaurant is a strong representation of the American influenced Japanese culture, and sets the theme for the fusion menu.
These beautifully designed, unique, one-of-a-kind menus were exciting to look at. Drinks, dessert and a la cart menu has its own design. I must compliment how the colour theme of the menus compliments or follow the interior decor of the restaurant. Who knew the designers were that considerate to coordinate every little bit of detail with one another to give the restaurant a certain form of grandeur and class.
Kasa Moto Roll ($22), a house specialty, has spicy scallop, lobster and salmon, topped with avocado and sprouts. The roll was made with daily fresh ingredients from the market; flavour was sweet. I enjoyed the bite size, where the roll had a consistent thin layer of rice, making the texture less powdery. However, there was nothing special to note about.
8oz American Wagyu Skirt Steak ($36) is made with steak spice and yakiniku sauce. The even spread of the fat on the wagyu beef was used to the chef’s advantage, making the steak extremely tender, a melt in your mouth texture. It was cooked to perfection. However, the steak was on the saltier side, which was expected, as Japanese cuisine loves salt to bring out the freshness of the ingredients.
Kamameshi ($18) is a hot rice dish mixed with wild mushrooms, burdock root and truffle soy butter. This was my favourite selection of the evening. The rice was brought to us in a stainless steel warmer, with the truffle soy butter on the side. The server mixed the ingredients and the sauce into the rice in front of us, to keep the rice moist and the wild mushrooms tender. This prevents the rice from over absorbing the sauce. The thought of having the rice in the stainless steel warmer ensures the rice does not dry out and stick to the sides, hence, scraping the rice is much easier.
The rice had a resemblance to risotto, in both appearance and texture. The rice was very creamy, soft al dente in texture. It tasted very savory and rich in butter. The mushrooms were nicely infused into the rice too, where the truffle oil helped bring out the natural flavours of the fungus. I highly recommend this rice dish. After all, how Asian are you without eating rice?!
Hamachi Ponzu ($18) is yellowtail fish marinated with yuzu ponzu sauce, topped with crispy carrot and shiso oil. The ingredients were very fresh. The thin slices of hamachi fish were submerged in the sauce and was made easy for the sauce to penetrate through. The fish was thoroughly marinated. Yuzu is a citrus fruit related to pomelo that is found in Asia and ponzu sauce is a Japanese cirtus based sauce. Therefore, the dish tasted a bit tart, but the sweet freshness of the fish and shiso oil offset the sourness. Texture was crunchy becuase of the crispy flakes and the sprouts sprinkled on top. Nonetheless, this is quite a basic Japanese appetizer that can be easily found at other restaurants or easily replicated.
Rock Shrimp Tempura ($16) is chopped fried shrimp pieces mixed in yuzu pepper aioli and wasabi. This is not the typical deep fried strips of tempura that you find at ayce or any restaurant. The creativity of this appetizer was admired because the chef made a twist to it by chopping up the fried shrimp and mix it with the tart citrus juice, hot wasabi and garlic. It was extremely refreshing, with a candy like texture. It overall tasted a bit like the thousand island sauce but slight bit more fiery.
With no doubt, I admired the freshness of all the ingredients, the magic mix of the elements to creative distinctive savory pieces. All was like an artwork, that ends up in my belly. Good job!