Yamato Japanese Restaurant (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 24 Bellair Street
Website: http://yamato.sites.toronto.com/
Type of Meal: Dinner

Wanting a decent, but not overly expensive teppanyaki dinner, we headed over to Yamato. It’s a Japanese method of cooking food on a flat iron surface in front of guests.  Chefs often juggle the cooking utensils and make their food preparation a show before you eat.

Yamato has a number of protein options - I opted for the rib eye teppanyaki ($30).  Each meal begins with a simple green salad (consists of ice burg lettuce and a creamy & lemony house made dressing) and clear onion soup (a savoury and flavourful consommé like broth that was a nice change from the regular miso).

To begin, the chef made the fried rice (supplement of $5) - otherwise the meal comes with a bowl of steamed rice.  Get the fried rice; it was the highlight of my meal! Cooked in garlic and herb butter, the rice absorbs it and has such a rich flavour.  Sprinkled throughout are micro pieces of carrots and green onion giving the rice some fresh and crispy contrast.  Overall, it’s well flavoured and has a hint of smoke from the soy sauce being caramelized from grilling.

Meanwhile, the rib eye was okay; cooked to a nice medium rare but the teriyaki sauce covers all the meaty flavour.  Additionally, Yamato should have cut the steak into slices rather than cubes as the presentation gave me the feeling of eating dog food.  There`s an accompanying dish of garlic soy and mustard dipping sauces but were so watery and the terriyaki so strong that you really couldn`t taste them.

The side dish consists of a stir fried mixed medley of mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, peppers and bean sprouts, once again overpowered with copious amount of garlic butter.  However, always a good show to see the volcano onion demonstration.

All in all, Yamato offers a decent meal at a reasonable price.  During my next visit, I would request the chef to leave out the sauce and garlic butter in my main so that the ingredients can retain their natural flavours.  Unfortunately, it may be too much to ask the chef on how to cut up the steak, so the dog food feel may remain.   

Overall mark -  7 out of 10

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Gastro World's Grading System
  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!
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