This Japanese-fusion restaurant has been a King West hotspot since opening in 2003. Fast forward over a decade and Blowfish (@) has unveiled its new cocktail destination, BarFish, an addition to the east side of the restaurant.
I remember dining at Blowfish years ago in the outdoor space which is now the BarFish addition and without a doubt this is an incredible transformation. Designed by Antonio Tadrissi and built by Prototype Design Lab, BarFish is a distinct space which replaces the restaurant’s bar (which has now turned into the sushi bar).
The sleek and modern interior features a long bar as well as velvet banquets for larger groups. I love the west wall of the space which exposes the bricks of what was previously the exterior of the building. The opposite wall, which features a Japanese mural is just as stunning.
Mixologist Nishan Nepulangoda has whipped up a great cocktail list of unique and seasonal drinks including the Pomegranate Saketini (with sake, razz rum, prosecco, fresh pomegranate and pineapple juice) and Caribou Crossing (a balanced mixture of vodka, Cointreau, house made lime cordial, grapefruit bitters, jalapeño black pepper, grapefruit syrup, yuzu and fresh grapefruit juice).
The cocktails are complemented by Blowfish’s menu favourites. I was recently invited to BarFish’s media preview and had the opportunity to sample some of their delicious offerings:
Blowfish Giant Ebi Shooter – tiger prawn, mango, avocado, cucumber, lettuce, tempura bits, spicy kewpie, tobiiko, wrapped with soy paper
Hot Oil Hamachi – yellowtail seared with hot olive and sesame oil, served with ponzu sauce
Orange + Black – salmon, mango, avocado, orange + black tobiko, yuzu drizzle
Jalapeño Hamachi – with avocado, tempura bits, cilantro, golden tobiko & sriracha kewpie
Spicy Tuna on Crispy Sushi Rice – topped with jalapeño
Spicy Rock Shrimp – tempura style tossed in hot garlic kewpie sauce
Roasted Miso-Marinated Black Cod – with egg miso
Japanese A3 Wagyu Striploin – on hot stone with enoki, negi + sesame & ponzu dips
Japanese A3 Wagyu Striploin – cooked on a hot stone!
Mochi Ice Cream Trio – green tea, red bean & mango
You can’t go wrong with the sushi rolls at BarFish. Sure, they’re far from traditional but that’s exactly what makes them so much fun to eat. And they’re perfect for sharing!
In addition to cold dishes and sushi rolls, they offer hot tapas including the delicious spicy rock shrimp consisting of plump shrimp tossed in a kewpie sauce which had just the right amount of spice. And let’s not forget about the miso-marinated black cod. So buttery and smooth!
For something fun, the Japanese A3 Wagyu Striploin is a must. Servers will bring over a plate of incredibly marbled wagyu and a hot stone for you to cook it on. Dip it in some ponzu, sprinkle some salt on it, wrap it with some negi and you’ve got yourself a perfect bite!
With a sleek new cocktail bar, a nightly DJ and delicious Japanese-fusion tapas, there’s no doubt that BarFish will be another King West hotspot.
*This was a complimentary meal. The opinions in the post, as always, are my own.*