Showing posts with label rock shrimp tempura. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rock shrimp tempura. Show all posts

Chotto Matte (Toronto)

Nikkei is a term that describes Japanese people who live outside of Japan. In the food world, the word is also synonymous with Japanese Peruvian cuisine, which combines both countries’ love for seafood with traditional ingredients found in each culture (miso soy with Inca corn anyone)?

There’s also the tried and true sushi. Chotto Matte dresses it up Nikkei style ($28) by topping the seafood with elements like aji Amarillo (a hot pepper), black garlic, and truffle. Traditional condiments like yuzu also make an appearance to give the sushi a burst of freshness. The tuna, salmon, and yellowtail were all delicious; the scallop even better.


Most of the tuna tartare found in Toronto is made from the lean and vibrant Albacore tuna. Chotto Matte serves their’s ‘o-toro’ ($23), the fattier cut releasing a flavourful rich bite. Just make sure to get to the bottom of the dish where you’ll find sweet soy with a hint of wasabi, it’s where you’ll find the flavours. Yet, the dish really needs something like toasted nori as an accompaniment: to add a textual contrast against the soft tuna and act as a chip to eat the tartare from.


For the price, I was surprised to only see one shrimp spring roll ($14.50) arrive, but I guess it was a really really tasty one. Filled with succulent pieces of nobashi shrimp and shiitake, a shisho leaf is layered with the wrapper adding a citrusy herbal taste.


The kitchen made a terrible decision serving the barriguita de chanchito ($18.50) and gambas huacatay ($29) together. The pork belly is such a powerful bite having been marinated in a salty and spicy aji panca and aji amarillo chilli sauce … it reminds of a fattier deep fried chorizo.  Biting into the rock shrimp tempura afterwards tastes like eating plain batter. The gambas are said to be accompanied by mint and butter ponzu, but the dish seemed like overly soft tempura batter with what could be pieces of diced shrimp mixed into it.


From the robata, the pollo den miso ($21) is surprisingly tasty for a dish that’s really just grilled chicken. The miso glaze gives the dish flavour without rendering it overly sweet like teriyaki, while the yellow chili salsa bring in the Latin flavours of Peru. In the end, it’s also that lovely charcoal smoky aroma of the robata that ties everything together.


Peruvian fried rice is one of my favourites - the arroz chaufa ($9.50) is a bowl that needs to conclude each meal. Each kernel of rice infused with spicy soy and augmented by bits of herbs that adds a lovely freshness to an otherwise heavier dish. The bits of crusted rice strewn throughout creates a lovely toasted aroma and enough texture that the hard corn nuts are really redundant and frankly really annoying to bite into.


Chotto Matte brings a westernized version of the cuisine to Toronto (original outposts can be found in London and Miami). But then, it’s not trying to hide that it’s not authentic - the Andy Warhol like dining room and the black light bathrooms are a dead giveaway. It’s a place to be seen, shout over loud music, and sample Nikkei cuisine in the safety of corporate Toronto.

Indeed, the Brookfield Place address brings with it high price points. Luckily, Chotto Matte is offering Toronto Life Insiders a 50% discount off of food items from now until early December, just by showing the membership card. If you’re going to visit with a large group, the membership will likely pay for itself, especially using the discount code below. Note: amounts listed in this post are the regular menu prices.  

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

Want to become a Toronto Life Member? Toronto Life is providing Gastro World readers a $15 off discount code to become a member!

Just use discount code GASTROWORLD at the Toronto Life Member checkout and the discount will be automatically applied.

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 161 Bay Street

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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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