It was a challenging year, but I completed Ryerson’s MA program in Immigration and Settlement Studies! My family of five celebrated my recent graduation at Nomé Izakaya (4848 Yonge Street), a Japanese tapas place in North York. I was mostly interested in this restaurant for its ‘Buck-A-Shuck’ deal on Tuesdays and Wednesdays: $1 for each fresh oyster!
I made a reservation on the same day for five people at 7pm on a Wednesday night. I got an e-mail confirmation shortly after and was notified of a two-hour seating limit. We drove and parked nearby, though the izakaya is easily accessible from Sheppard-Yonge subway station, which is just down the street.
The interior is dimly lit and got progressively noisier, (though no where on the same scale of loud as Guu Izakaya or Guu Sakabar!). We could all still hear each other in conversations pretty comfortably.
My mom and I shared a pot of green tea while my dad got a big can of Sapporo ($8.80) and my brothers got water. It’s probably a shame that we came to an izakaya without trying more of their alcoholic beverages, but I was more keen to spend money on food!
10 FANNY BAY OYSTERS (VANCOUVER ISLAND)
sweet with an aftertaste similar to that of a cucumber
$12 (normally $2.20 each)
10 MALPEQUE OYSTERS (P.E.I)
the perfect balance of sweetness, brine, and pickle-like liveliness
$10 (normally $2 each)
We ordered one set of meatier West Coast oysters (Fanny Bay) and another set of smaller but juicier East Coast oysters (Malpeque). I loved both but actually preferred the Malpeque oysters a little more. A simple selection of sauces were provided for the oysters and I loved experimenting with the different tastes. My favourites were the tabasco sauce and balsamic vinegar. My parents and I ate most of the oysters and were very satisfied with the amount we had.
DEEP FRIED PORK BELLY
deep fried marinated pork belly with seaweed paste
This was a hit with everyone and definitely one of my favourites of the night! Perfectly deep fried and delicious. I didn’t taste a whole lot of the seaweed paste, which was fine as it didn’t overpower the pork belly goodness.
slightly seared salmon, smoked in-house and served with sliced onion and sliced garlic
Also really delicious! Though small (and one of the more expensive plates), the fatty salmon slices offer enormous taste. I’m just noticing now that this wasn’t served to us with sliced onion as stated on the menu, but the salt, garlic, and wasabi were great with the salmon.
BUTTERED SCALLOP & SHRIMP
baked scallop and shrimp, simmered in garlic butter
This was good and nicely plated. It didn’t really stand out (especially considering the previous two dishes) to me though, perhaps because the garlic butter flavouring was a little too subtle after the dishes I already tried.
Nomé’s original homemade sliders made with sliced rib eye meat and topped with tomato, spring mix, onion, smokey bbq sauce and garlic seasoning
$8.80 (+$2.90 for extra Japa-Burger)
This is probably Nomé’s most well-known dish (which usually comes with three sliders) so we had to try it! I’m not a huge fan of barbecue sauce and this has quite a lot of it, so I wasn’t that into it. I did really enjoy the crispiness and the tenderness. Both of my brothers enjoyed this a lot more than I did and we ended up buying another set for them.
deep fried sweet potato with a house dipping sauce
Nicely crispy sweet potato fries! I liked the house dipping sauce though it wasn’t really anything special; the rest of my family didn’t like it. The price really isn’t bad for the amount of fries you get – the picture is kind of deceiving!
MARINATED SHORT RIBS
arguably Toronto’s best marinated beef short ribs immersed in our secret blend of spices
Decent, but nothing special and didn’t stand out from short ribs I’ve had elsewhere. Perhaps a good safe choice though for less adventurous eaters or people who don’t enjoy seafood.
A new item on their menu! Slightly sweet and spicy, and well grilled. I really enjoyed this dish.
MAGURO & AVOCADO TARTARE
diced tuna sashimi and avocado, garlic oil, sea salt with a balsamic reduction sauce
As expected, this is a tiny portion, but it was really good! So much flavour. Hard to share though, and luckily for me I was the only one really interested in this dish.
THE BALSAMIC STRIP
aged and grilled to perfection strip loin (AAA) steak, served with a balsamic burdock sauce
LOVED THIS. Also one of the highlights of the night for me! The balsamic sauce on the steak and salad was a great combination. The steak itself was incredible, too.
I enjoyed this place! A lot of the dishes were interesting and tasty. Service was a bit of a weakness though; it started out fine, but got much slower after we put in our second order of food (and, to be fair, after the place filled up a lot more). We also had to ask several times for our waters to be re-filled. One waitress took the time to explain the dishes while another just set food down and left. I thoroughly love tapas-style dining because of all of the different food I get to taste, but it can end up getting a little pricey. Nonetheless, I enjoyed celebrating my graduation dinner here!