Kanpai Can Do
A friend of mine is a regular at Kanpai in Cabbagetown and cannot say enough good things about it, so it was time for a visit. Myself and 5 friends headed down to see what the fuss is all about. Everything about their menu is entertaining, take a look! They have a lot of options, many are gluten free, if that’s your thing. They even have gluten free beer! (It's pretty good!)
It's a small restaurant and you can only make reservations if you have at least 6 people. We grabbed seats at the bar overlooking the kitchen, a front seat to the action! Everyone was working hard as the orders in house and UberEATS piled up. It was a crazy night, but the wait for food wasn't too long.
We ordered the Redneck. It came with 6 PBR, 12 sexy pieces of fried chicken, Taiwanese antipasto, choice of fried rice, naked bao with butter and tater slaw. It's a lot of food, but the perfect amount for 6 people.
First up was the bao. Soft and fresh, this was my first time trying bao, but any bread product is a friend of mine. Next up was the Taiwanese antipasto. There were housemade pickles and other veggie delights. Good start!
My friends are spicy people, so our choice of rice was Red Rooster. It was a little spicier than I can handle, but everyone loved it. It had and heat, a lot of spicy dishes don't get that combo, but this one was on point. The tater slaw was tasty. Not too much dressing to overpower the of the crunchy veggies.
Now for the main event, TFC! It was beautiful. Piled high and garnished to perfection, it was hot, fresh and ready to get on my plate. The batter was crisp and lightly seasoned. Not overly greasy, but not one of us picked the crunchy batter off. We were all fully impressed and full.
The drinks! How to choose?! Their drink menu is equally as entertaining as their food menu. I chose the Silky Johnson. A sweet drink with vodka, muddled fruit, and of peach and lemon. Amazing.
For dessert we shared Ping Pong Beignets. Dough balls covered in sesame seeds fried and covered in sugar. I expected a Timbit like texture, but it was unique as they are made with yam and sweet potato. A must try!
My second visit was equally delicious. I tried the OG Bao and Fingers of the Sea. I was also able to sample some You're Sizzlin Baby and Edamame Said Knock You Out. The OG Bao was ok, there was a lot more fat in it than I'd like, but the sauce was great and the cabbage gave it great texture. Fingers of the Sea wasn't what I expected. There did seem to be any batter, which was nice. The fish was a little sweet. The tartar sauce was perfect! The sizzling pork, arrived on a sizzling platter, was fantastic. Tender and peppery, it would be perfect on rice. The edamame wasn't special, but who doesn't love a little edamame?
The service was pretty good on both visits considering how busy it was on the weekend. All of our food and drink arrived in a reasonable amount of time. Can't complain since they were all nice and working hard. The is simple and functional with wooden furniture and walls. Great vibe!
Oh, I'll be back.