Ematei

Definitely a Japanese jewel. I mentioned it to my Japanese co-worker and she approved that this one of the few traditional places in Toronto.

APPEARANCE

dark, silky

This place is hidden in St. Patrick's street, so that only if you are looking for it you will find it, after you go slightly under the building in a dark foyer. I once read about Japanese aesthetics, this place is writing in real life.

NOSE

earthy, black cherry

We were quickly greeted by the chefs at the sushi bar and then another man slightly bowled and lead us in. Dark wooden floors, small tables, paper screen separators, quiet, at the end of the restaurant big rooms with screen doors and shoes waiting outside for traditional dining.

SWIRL

complex, hint of rose petals

Waitress was very polite, we were quickly given tea and

small chef's appetizers.

We ordered a warm sake and processed looking through the diverse menu. Even though it used Japanese terms, the begging of every section had a sentence or so explaining what the term means, very considerate and educational.

PALATE

delicate, medium bodied, smooth

We shared a beautiful baked eggplant with soybean sauce appetizer. Next, I had a soba noodle soup, which came with a hot sauce, while mon cheri had an awesome don buri - rice with thinly sliced seasoned beef, onions and a few veggies and a cracked raw egg.. it was unique and very delicious. There was no direct lighting on our table, which added shadows and tones creating this mysterious and intimate experience.

FINISH

complex, long, fruit bouquet

Half way through, we heard the background salsa music, which was rather quick, urgent and to say the least - non-japanese. But overall is was warm and private with a lot more to explore from the menu.

overall.. a delicate fine pinot noir.

Ematei Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Aunties and Uncles

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