10205 82 Avenue NW, Edmonton
Last week I finally had the chance to go to Dorinku on Whyte ave. It opened a few months ago, so I always like to wait a bit for after the growing pains. It’s an Izakaya, and focuses mainly on Japanese street foods and is now the third Izakaya that we have in the city, after Izakaya Tomo, and Ikki Izakaya.
It’s located right on Whyte ave, just a bit east of Gateway Boulevard. There’s an ample amount of parking nearby, on the adjacent streets, and a bit of meter parking in front.
As it’s an Izakaya, they open mainly in the evening and late into the night and is kind of like a Japanese Gastropub, focusing on casual drinking and food. I went with Jenn, and we went directly after work and got there pretty much right around when they opened at 5:30PM and by the middle of our meal, the place got pretty packed for a Tuesday night. They had a projector playing some anime (I think it was Naruto?). They have some other cool decorations and empty bottles of sake for display.
For food, we went with beef tataki, assorted sashimi, tako wasabi, pork jowl, salmon pressed sushi, and their current seasonal special, pumpkin cream udon.
The beef tataki came out first. It was a relatively small portion considering how much it was. The pieces were cut a bit thicker than other places that you can get beef tataki. The flavours were not bad, and I did like the smokiness that came from the sear. I’ve only really had beef tataki which that smokey of a sear at Ikki Izakaya. Overall, not a bad dish if you’re a beef tataki lover! Easy way to ease into the meal.
The next thing we got was their pressed salmon sushi. They have 3 different kinds of pressed sushi, and we opted to get this one since it was one of their more classic ones. I’ve seen so many pictures of their pressed sushi on instagram, and dozens of people regramming. There is no doubt that this one is really picture worthy! It was, however, a bit heavy on the sauce, but overall, it was pretty good. I usually like my sushi a bit more focused around the rice and the fish, but once in a while, this kind of change is night, although a bit heavy.
Next we got their seasonal, a pumpkin cream udon. We wanted to get one more dish and this was recommended to us by our server. This was actually probably my favourite dish! The udon was cooked perfectly and was the right tenderness. The sauce was nice and savourey. There was a generous amount of bacon. Overall a really good dish. I’d definitely recommend trying this dish, or trying one of their other udons!
Next we had the assorted sashimi. This came with tuna, salmon, and some fresh scallops. Overall this was pretty good! I’ve never had a salmon that was quite that dark red. Really light and fresh. Fresh sashimi has always been one of my favourite things to get at a Japanese restaurant and it didn’t disappoint here.
Lastly, at the end of the meal, we got tako wasabi and the pork jowl. The tako wasabi came with small pieces of octopus cut up and served with seaweed. To be honest, this was a bit of a disappointment. It was way too salty, and was a bit unbearable to eat. We actually left this unfinished and on the table. The other dish we got was the pork jowl, and this was not bad. This is pork cheek, and it was cooked until it was super tender. It can be a bit stringey of a meat, but overall, it was pretty good.
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Dorinku. They have a pretty large menu, and I’d definitely come back and try some of their other dishes. The highlights of the night would have to be the pumpkin cream udon, the salmon pressed sushi, and the company. I definitely recommend checking this place out for yourself! It’s always great to have more options in Edmonton, and this Izakaya doesn’t disappoint!
Quality of food: 3.7/5