Delightful scents of smokey meats, fresh fish, and Japanese sake fill the air as you walk into Kemuri. The owner’s of Ramen Tatsu-Ya opened up this izakaya, a casual pub eatery, with a mission – serve solid Japanese food and pay homage to the building’s previous eatery, Live Oak BBQ. The fact that they would think to include the former business as part of their plan speaks volumes to their character and heart.
I was lucky enough to be seated with a good friend of the owner where we were treated like royalty. We were served a bottle of the amazing Cowboy Yamahai sake from the kitchen, and then brought EVERY SINGLE ITEM on the menu to our table. I have never been treated to such amazing delicacies, made with passion and love.
I’ll get straight to it – you need to go here, immediately. A look at these pictures will be evidence enough.
I loved the different skewer options – I have never seen a more beautiful spread than the skewer plate they served us! The chicken skewers are called yakitori and the other options are listed under kushiyaki. My favourite was the beef tongue – incredibly tender but thick, juicy but hearty. It paired nicely with the scallions on the skewer as well! The prawn was also another amazing skewer – it had a hint of sweetness in the body that was great for the palate!
In the smoked section of the menu, you’ll see amazing dishes like the duck breast, brisket, and bbq eel (pictured on the beautiful boat). Soon after, we were served the rest of the smoked section, which included the fish collar, mackerel, and pork & rice sausage.
The fish collar and bbq eel were definitely my favourite! I’d never had either of those before and am now HOOKED. I know when I return (which will be sooner rather than later) I am getting those two things. The mackerel was also incredibly delicious and was perfectly smoked.
The guaca–poke was another really special dish. It took the best of raw fish and avocado and harmoniuosly combined into a guacamole with poke. The freshness factor was huge, and the color of the tuna was so bright, I knew it was of high quality. This is a must have too!
There were so many special things on the menu that I can’t hit on every one, but another few notable items were the dank tofu, smoked sashimi, cucumber sunomono with octopus, and TX butter tsukemen.
I highly suggest taking a trip to Kemuri and enjoying as many of these sharable items as you can! You won’t regret it. This new east side eatery is definitely a prized gem.
Have you already been? What were some of your favourite items on the menu?