Isabella’s Boutique Restaurant focuses on Japanese home-cooking and comfort food. Isabella’s Wafu set, $16.95. A traditional Japanese breakfast with a rice ball, wafu salad, homemade miso soup and dashimaki egg. Photo courtesy: Isabella’s Boutique Restaurant.
TORONTO — Japanese comfort food has a new home, at Isabella’s Boutique Restaurant in the Toronto Beaches. This family-owned and operated restaurant was founded in 2016 and started as a small restaurant in the beautiful east Beaches neighbourhood.
Since opening, the restaurant’s popularity has grown and Isabella’s has recently moved to a new, larger location, still in the neighbourhood, at 2066 Queen St. E. The menu centres around Japanese comfort food and Japanese home cooking. The owners, Cecilia and David, wanted to create a restaurant that introduced Torontonians to an authentic home style Japanese food. Cecilia was raised in Japan and David lived there for eight years. They named the restaurant after their daughter, Isabella.
A unique offering at the restaurant is their mochi mochi pancakes, which are amazing and can also be made gluten-free. Because of the mochi flour, the pancakes are heavier and chewier than your average pancake. The best part is the option of toppings you can order on your pancakes—matcha, chocolate-banana, bacon and eggs, ube (purple yam), berries (berry sauce made in-house) or good old maple syrup and even karaage fried chicken. There is even a children’s pancake meal option that comes in the shape of Mickey Mouse.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Isabella's Boutique Restaurant (@isabellasbeaches) on
Isabella’s has quickly become one of my family’s favourite places to eat, and one of our favourite dishes is the Japanese curry poutine. Although curry and poutine are not your usual brunch fare, this dish becomes the perfect Japanese Canadian dish, combining crispy fries with cheese curds and Japanese curry. Japanese curry is not too spicy and pairs surprisingly well with the cheese and fries.
The chicken karaage is another brunch option that is delicious and gluten-free. The chicken comes with both mayo and soy-based sauce for dipping.
My favourite brunch dish is the Wafu set, a traditional Japanese breakfast that comes with a rice ball, wafu salad, homemade miso soup and a dashimaki egg.
The best way to end off your meal is to grab a mochi mochi donut. Flavours come in two categories, classic and seasonal. The classic donut flavours are cinnamon sugar, sugar glazed, sprinkles, matcha, houjicha (roasted green tea), chocolate, ube (purple yam) and white chocolate. The seasonal donuts change, but the current offerings are butterscotch gingerbread cookie crumbs, Black Forest and hot chocolate with toasted marshmallow. Just in time for the holidays!
Isabella’s also offers other baked goods that are all baked in-house. Shiro pan, budou pan (raisin bread with raisin and cream cheese filling), kare pan (curry bread, panko crusted stuffed with vegetarian curry), lemon pan (lemon bread stuffed with lemon peel and white chocolate) and melon pan, a Japanese style sweet bread in vanilla and chocolate.
The restaurant continues to expand, and have recently started serving an Izakaya menu on Thursday to Sunday evenings. A few of the menu offerings include okonomiyaki, yaki tori, gyu don, tonkatsu and yaki udon.
Isabella’s Restaurant, 2066 Queen St. E., Toronto. 416-699-5050