Edmonton

'Very impressed': Izakaya Dorinku hits the spot for Twyla Campbell

If sake cocktails and fresh sushi are your culinary obsessions, there is a new place to satiate your appetite and quench your thirst for a taste of Tokyo.

'It was enjoyable from the moment we walked through the doors,' Twyla Campbell said

Edmonton AM food reviewer Twyla Campbell sampled this salmon sushi during her recent trip to the new Japanese eatery. (Twyla Campbell )

If sake cocktails and fresh sushi are your culinary obsessions, there is a new place to satiate your appetite and quench your thirst for a taste of Tokyo.

Izakaya Dorinku is the third Japanese pub-style eatery to set up shop on Whyte Avenue.

Loud, rambunctious, and decorated with all the trappings of urban Japan, the new restaurant held its grand opening this month.

First impressions are important and Edmonton AM food reviewer Twyla Campbell knew she was in for a treat when an izakaya staff member greeted her with the traditional saying, "irasshaimase" as she stepped through the door.  

"It was enjoyable from the moment we walked through the doors," Campbell said. 

"Everything from the decor to the staff, and then the food and the drink. I was very impressed."

On the corner of Whyte Avenue and 102nd Street, Izakaya Dorinku features an "extensive and interesting" menu of small plates of sushi, sashimi, rice bowls and ramen.

And for Edmontonians thirsty for a taste of Asia, the bar serves up a variety of signature cocktails, including yozo mojitos, featuring citrus, rum and fresh mint, and homemade ice cold ginger-ale.

'Visually beautiful'

Campbell started her meal with a heaping of age mochi mapo, a fried rice cake with spicy ground pork sauce.

Served piping hot, fresh out of the fryer, Campbell says, despite its chewy texture, this dish was strangely appealing on the plate, delicate and totally delicious.

Another standout was the pressed wild sockeye salmon and avocado sushi served with mint and cream soy sauce, all packed and layered in an elegant wood box, garnished with tiny pea shoots.

"It was visually beautiful," said Campbell.

"The presentation is wonderful, very precise, with everything in its perfect place."

'A refreshing addition' 

After a feast of rice and fish, Campbell delved into a plate of pork shabu salad. The sliced pork belly, which was was served with a spring garden mix, with a creamy sesame dressing and chilli oil, hit the spot. 

Although Campbell contests you "can never go wrong with pork belly," she says this dish was particularly impressive.

"Even with with pork belly, it was light and refreshing dish," Campbell said.

"The creamy sesame dressing should be bottled it's so good."

Campbell has no qualms about recommending the restaurant, and is already hankering for a return.

"It's a refreshing addition to Whyte Avenue," said Campbell. "I look forward to going back."

You can hear Campbell's reviews on Edmonton AM every second Friday. You can also see more of her reviews on her blog, Weird Wild and Wonderful, and can follow her on Twitter at @wanderwoman10.

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