The Joy of Kinka

Well, we’re back from Ethiopia! Getting married in Addis Ababa was quite the exciting event. Surrounded by so many family and friends and love and laughter was momentous and unforgettable. Now we’re back – regular jobs, regular life, regular eating – and so here’s a more “typical” post on a neat new place we discovered: Kinka!


Kinka is a Japanese izakaya (i.e., Japanese pub) that’s right in the heart of downtown Montreal. The place is raucous, the staff is overtly enthusiastic, and the food is both reasonably priced and pretty tasty.

Also, in what was a bit of a pleasant surprise, the serving sizes of the things we ordered were considerably more than we’d expected. Izakaya portions tend to be a bit more on the smaller side, so we were pretty happy when the first dish, okonomiyaki, showed up in ample quantity.


We were also a wee bit worried, since, having assumed small portion sizes, we ordered a good number of dishes…


Then there was the Japanese-style fried chicken…

Karaage Chicken

A bowl of bibimbap…


And dessert too!

The fact of the matter is, just the chicken and bibimbap alone would have been probably enough. We were spoiled quite some bit, oh yes 🙂 . Of course, just having large servings will only get you so far – the food has to be good before it’s memorable in any meaningful way. Luckily for us, it was all pretty good! Of course, there was still a range here – despite it all being good quality, some of what we ordered stood out more than others.

The okonomiyaki and takoyaki were definitely mouth-watering, but they wouldn’t be what brings us back (and the same can be said of dessert). That honour falls to the karaage chicken and the bibimbap. The fried chicken was tender and juicy, and its batter was crunchy and thick. Happily, there were quite a few pieces to be had! Meanwhile, the bibimbap was alternately crispy and soggy depending on where in the bowl the ingredients lay, and was just well-seasoned all over.

[Henry: My mouth is watering now just thinking about the chicken!] [Mariam: When doesn’t your mouth water when talking about fried chicken anyway? 😛 ] [Henry: Heeeyyyy… 😛 ]

Outside of the food, there was something to be said about the décor. They obviously put care into selecting decorations and furniture. The artwork that adorned the walls was evocative of scenes from Japanese media. The tables and chairs were like those in Japanese restaurants in Tokyo, and the walls and ceilings were sleek, modern, and shiny.

A moody painting

A beer commercial drawn in classic style

So, let’s recap. Raucous, lively pub? Check! Modern, welcoming interior? Check! Tasty Japanese food? Check check checkity-check! We do believe we’ll be back 😀 .

Where to find Kinka Isakaya Montreal:

Address: 1624 Saint-Catherine St W, Montreal, QC H3H 2S7

Phone: (514) 750-1624

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