Yuugi Izakaya is a restaurant in Baldwin Village serving up a lean rotating menu of Japanese eats.
The decor here is woodsy, but Yuugi feels slightly more contemporary than some other izakayas thanks to a more minimal design. Their patio is small but cozy.
It also differs in that there aren't multiple pages in the menu. No more than 20 dishes make up the seasonal selection here at a time.
The restaurant, which is run by a chef from Nagoya, makes an effort to use local ingredients sourced from Toronto, or alternatively, directly from Japan.
A tonkatsu sando takes a very popular item from yōshoku favourites, but forgoes shokupan for bread from Black Bird Baking Co.
Veggies are from St. Lawrence Market, and a panko-breaded ham (rather than more commonly used loinchops) comes from Sanagan's in Kensington. Whether or not you're team crust-on, it's a tasty sando.
A karaage dish (which is usually served with mayo) comes with a nanban-style tartar sauce that requires you to mix garlic aioli with an onsen egg yourself.
Mix thoroughly or leave some yolk intact for dipping your bit-sized karaage into.
A hotate Hokkaido wasabi is a small and satisfying dish of slimy scallops mixed with Japanese horseradish.
A signature Yuugi sushi is flame-seared and pressed salmon smoked in house with maple wood chips.
No soy sauce is provided or needed.
Hamachi tataki is flash-fried with a housemade batter and served on a bed of onions. It's recommended you eat this within two minutes of serving.
After 10 p.m., Yuugi Izakaya becomes more of a bar, with a bar menu focus and drinks until 2 a.m.
The Ginza Blue is a sake-based drink with blue caracao.
The Shibuya Mango, their most popular cocktail, has rum, Amaretto, mango and plum.
The Roppongi Colada is definitely pretty and not bad-tasting, either, with rum, matcha, and pineapple.