My brother suggested we give Ematei a try when we were struggling to decide on a restaurant. It’s located right by OCAD U, which is where I attended university. During the four years living by my school, I would walk by the restaurant but I didn’t try it out! There is plenty of parking in the area, you can find street parking, underground parking and parking garages. The exterior of the restaurant really reflects traditional Japanese architecture. Banners and lanterns hang from the make shift shingle roof and it’s identified by 3 Japanese characters. Inside you’ll find a sushi bar near the entrance and an intimate dining space.
We ordered a few dishes to share between the 3 of us. The starters were chicken leg yakitori, chicken gizzard yakitori and gyozas.
Both of the yakitoris were delicious, tender and perfectly seasoned. The gyozas were pan fried to a beautiful golden brown and the meat mixture was tasty. More dishes started to full our table… Ematei Ramen, Hokke Kirake (half cured Atka mackerel), sashimi dinner and spicy salmon skin roll.
Surprisingly, we were able to finish everything. I was the most excited about the sashimi, it was fresh, sweet, tender and presented beautifully. We had a relaxing and enjoyable dinner. The prices were pretty average and I thought it was worth it.
The staff are all Japanese (I think) and were really welcoming. We had a minor communication problem because of the barrier but another staff member was able to help us out. Definitely give Ematei a try if you’re in the financial district area struggling to find a low key Japanese restaurant. Your dining experience would be comfortable, relaxing and tasty!