Akimitsu is a Japanese restaurant specializing in the art of crispy tempura.
It's the first Canadian location of Akimitsu, a derivative of the renowned 120-year-old Japanese chain Dote No Iseya born in Asakusa, Japan.
Launched by Iseya's fifth generation chef, Tanihara Akimitsu, this more recent brand has exploded across the world, and now has stores in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, and the Philippines.
The owners of this Canadian location also own another lauded Tokyo export, Konjiki, so the tempura spot sits below the ramen restaurant in a sort of shared, Japanese food-dedicated historic house on Elm Street.
The speciality at Akimitsu is tendon: not the fibrous white stuff found between muscles and bones, but Japanese tempura rice bowls ('don' refers to rice bowls, the 'ten' refers to to the tempura on top.)
While many restaurants serve a battered and fried praws, seafood, or veggies that are crunchy and oily, the recipe here produces a tempura that's distinctly light.
Using a shallower mix of canola oil and sesame oil is part of the secret, as is a special batter.
While airy and crispy, portions like the Asakusa tendon ($18.50) are definitely heavy on the wallet. Still, your bowl of rice will come piled high with a prawn, veggies, and four types of seafood.
Tempura sauce doesn't come in a bowl on the side; instead, you'll get a full serving of their light housemade sauce which comes with bonito and dashi. Pour it directly onto your meal to taste.
Thei ebi tendon ($17.50) is all about the prawn, with five pieces of these crispy crustaceans, and a single piece of veggie. Veggie tendon ($12.50) is meat-free and is a portion of okra, cherry tomato, eggplant, pumpkin, and mushroom.
Deep fried stuff is by no means healthy, but this might be the closest you can get.
You can also order a side of onsen tamago ($1.50), an egg with green onions and nori to add on top of your rice.
You'll also be given a side dish of pickled lettuce and peppers, which will help clear your palate between deep fried bites.
While not cheap by any means, you're guaranteed to feel full after one of the hulking, cripsy meals here.