Everyone knows about Kissa Tanto. It’s on the list of Canada’s Best Restaurants as well as beloved even by a critic from the NY Times. The hype is real and we wanted to experience it for ourselves. We made our reservations in July for a Friday night and some of the timeslots that night was taken up already. We were excited!

Carne Cruda at Kissa Tanto

First order of business: carne cruda with A LOT of parmesan on top. This one was a miss for us but that’s partly our fault because we didn’t realize it would be raw beef. Not our favorite but we forged ahead. As noted above and in the picture, we think they added way too much parmesan on it. It didn’t serve much purpose because it didn’t scoop well into the bread provided. However, the meat itself didn’t have much flavor. We think the cripsy bread they served was this was our favorite thing which is a bit sad considering this dish was $19. We chalked this one up to ordering the wrong thing and eagerly waited for the next dish.

Tajarin at Kissa Tanto

We love our carbs!! And if you promise our carbs to have mushrooms, miso cured yolk and butter then we are even more in love. The noodles they used reminded us of the egg noodles we ate in neighborhood Chinese restaurants. It was cooked perfectly but the eggy aftertaste tasted wrong with the creaminess of the butter sauce. This dish was more confusing than delicious and we were unimpressed. We understand this restaurant is Japanese/Italian fusion but this doesn’t seem right to us.

Whole Fried Fish with daikon soy sauce at Kissa Tanto 

When we saw this dish brought to the table beside us, we looked at each other and said, “Let’s get that too!” After two disappointing dishes, we were ready for the grand finale.

The server brought us over and made a big deal of letting us know that the soy sauce had daikon in it. The way he said it made it seem like a bold, innovative idea but…it’s just grated daikon at the end of the day.

When we tasted the fish, we suddenly knew why the server made such a big deal about the soy sauce. It’s because there is absolutely no flavor with the fish. It was like they had thrown a whole fish into the deep fryer and then served it to us. We kept dunking the fish into soy sauce to get some flavor but it was not much of an improvement. The fish was dry to begin with and no amount of soy sauce with daikon(!) was going to save it.

Lemon cheesecake with matcha at Kissa Tanto

To celebrate Ari’s birthday, Howie ordered a piece of lemon cheesecake with matcha and tangy sauce for dessert. It was a cute touch that the restaurant added a candle but it wasn’t enough to save how much of a letdown we found this restaurant. The cheesecake wasn’t anything special – Uncle Tetsu’s tastes better.

Even today when we hear people rave about how good Kissa Tanto is, we have to do a double take. While the interior was very cool and the restaurant was packed the entire night, we just don’t understand the hype.