Kaka All You Can Eat (Markham)

KAKA All You Can Eat (AYCE) - aburi offerings

All you can eat (“AYCE”), a situation that sounds like bliss, yet often ends in disappointment and guilt. Disappointment because the food is generally satisfactory at best and guilt because I just succumbed to the glutinous monster in me; eating far too much unnecessarily.

When the positive comments from fellow bloggers started emerging about KAKA, the monster started stirring. There was the warning that KAKA was pricier than others: dinner is $27.99 for weekdays and $31.99 on the weekend, while lunches $27.99 on weekends and a la carte during weekdays. However, with the higher prices also came better quality and fancier options not found at other AYCE establishments.

For example, their aburi sushi offerings, where pieces are lightly blow torched and adorned with garnishes. The salmon with jalapeno is always a good choice, given the fish oils lends itself to being heated; the beef tataki with the citrusy sweet grated daikon (?) was tasty as well.

The oshi or pressed versions were equally appealing, both the tuna with marinated shiitaki and shrimp with pesto were flavourful. However, the rice to toppings ratio in the oshizushi leans much heavier towards the carbs side.

Relying on the technological age, each table is equipped with an iPad for self-ordering. No longer will you need to flag someone down, have them frantically write on slips of papers and risk having dishes go missing. Additionally, with the exception of some desserts, the menu also includes pictures to help you decipher differences. Best of all, you order by piece, which helps satisfies the table while keeping down wastage.

A large number of maki rolls graced our table that evening, some better than others. Aside from the beef tataki roll, I found the typical spicy salmon and dynamite versions more suited for me as the others tended to include sweet and tangy sauces on them. 


My first experience with sashimi was at an AYCE restaurant and made me detest the unadorned raw fish: cut too thick and simply felt cold and fleshy. At KAKA, the ingredient’s quality and preparation is much better - the platter of salmon, tuna, tai (snapper) and hokkigai (surf clam) was nicely presented and delicious. They even offered beef tataki, slices of lightly seared meat with a ponzu soy sauce. 

Other notable dishes include the spring egg: slowly poached so the yolk’s left runny and runs into the slightly sweet miso broth. The simmered seaweed pieces were a smart addition to add some contrast to the silky egg.

The shrimp skewer was hot and cooked nicely so the shrimp retained its natural sweetness, much better than the pork belly, which I found rather plain.

Juicy and well marinated, the deep fried Asian-spiced quail was delicious and worth ordering.

Although the noodles could be cooked less, KAKA’s beef ramen was a satisfying way to end the meal. Still a sizeable portion, the broth was piping hot and it had tons of other ingredients including a slice of fish cake, seaweed and green onions.

Not everything was good, some of the grilled dishes were cooked much too long and became dry: enoki beef roll and grilled salmon neck. Moreover, the saba (mackerel) released an unpleasant odour when cut into (although tasted fine).

The salmon belly teriyaki and grilled beef ribs are better options, having enough fat to help retain moisture.

For a vegetable dish, the grilled eggplant (which has a creamy sauce in the centre) is quite nice. It’s just too difficult to share as cutting it into pieces with chopsticks is impossible.

The baked mussels or oyster with cheese were both nicely flavoured but could have been hotter as the cheese was somewhat congealed by the time it was presented.

For the starters, the lobster bisque is decent with its thicker consistency and even a single bite of lobster added for good measure.

Finally, their fried options are also good interpretations, hot and crispy without too much excess oiliness. Things like the gyoza, pork cutlet, calamari, shrimp tempura and scallop tempura, hit the spot for a bit of crunch.

KAKA doesn’t skimp on the desserts either, with enough options to make choosing difficult. However, many, although listed on the menu, are actually not available by the time you attempt to order. Both the mango lychee slush and green tea crème brulee were delicious – the slush cool and refreshing after having so much hot food and the green tea creamy and well balanced. The sole dessert that didn’t impress the table was the lavender chocolate pots, which had an after taste reminiscent of soap.

Even during our Monday visit, the restaurant was packed. So, our table wasn’t ready by the reserved time and they did get behind at clearing away empty dishes. Nonetheless, the food came out quickly (either eat fast or order in small batches) and service was still friendly (at least they made sure to address that they would be back to clear the dishes).

Their popularity means you have to make reservations, often far in advance. For me, indulging in AYCE is generally a short-term decision, as I have to have the craving to consume copious amounts of food. Of course, I could always just eat a “normal” amount, but somehow in the heat of the moment when everything is presented the Hulk in me comes out. And have you tried to silence the Hulk before? Good luck.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Markham, Canada
 Address: 3235 Highway 7 East (at First Markham Place)

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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!

Kaka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato