Kinkaku Izakaya

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Waterloo is full of AYCE (all you can eat) Japanese restaurants, the majority of which serve primarily sushi. However, if you’re willing to spend a little more to get better quality food, definitely check out Kinkaku Izakaya, located across Kitchener City Hall.

Kinkaku Izakaya
Location: 217 King St W
Kitchener, ON
N2G 1B1
Hours: Closed Mondays
Tuesday to Thursday: 11:30am to 9:30pm
Friday: 11:30am to 10:30pm
Saturday: 12pm to 10:30pm
Sunday: 12pm to 9:30pm
Price: $$
Atmosphere:
Service: Efficient

They only allow 1 hour and 45 mins of dining time, and they are very strict on this. We saw them informing tables that their time was up, and telling them to vacate the table and pay at the front. This may come across as off-putting to some, but I think it gives you enough time to eat to your heart’s content.

Okonomiyaki
Okonomiyaki

I highly recommend booking a table, especially for weekends, as the wait can be up to an hour and a half.

Takoyaki
Takoyaki (fried octopus balls)
Ebimayo (tiger shrimp with spicy mayo)
Ebimayo (tiger shrimp with spicy mayo)

My favourite dishes were the salmon carpaccio, takoyaki, karaage, mango salmon roll, and Queen of Fish roll.

Salmon, white tuna, and red snapper carpaccio
Salmon, white tuna, and red snapper carpaccio

Everything tasted great and came freshly prepared. Their rolls are small, which is great for AYCE, but I think it is the combination of their sushi offerings along with izakaya items that are normally not available at sushi places.

Salmon and surf clam sashimi
Salmon and surf clam sashimi

One thing that did catch me off guard; I found a bone in a piece of salmon sashimi, something that has never happened to me or anyone I know to date.

Grilled pork cheek
Grilled pork cheek

For dessert, they offer many items you don’t normally see. I’ve never wanted to pay money for a deep fried candy bar, but seeing as it was AYCE, I got one of the deep fried Mars bars and was pleasantly surprised.

Deep fried Mars bars
Deep fried Mars bars

Their creme brulee also hits the spot, but their green tea pudding is probably the most special. A jelly-like pudding hides sweet red beans underneath, and is a nice light cap to dinner.

Green tea pudding
Green tea pudding

Overall a great place for AYCE. Definitely a bit on the pricey side, as a dinner will set you back $25.99 before tax and tips (+$1 for weekends), but they do give a $2 discount if you pay with cash. I’m already making plans for my next trip here.

Kinkaku Izakaya on Urbanspoon

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