Japanese snacks + drinks in an old garage.
Hanmoto could easily be missed. Even if you were looking for it, you may walk past the signless building extending north of Dundas West on Lakeview Ave. The lamp above the door with a solitary red bulb will let you know you’ve found the right place. No sign. Just walk in.
Despite being difficult to find, Hanmoto has attracted a cult following. Set in an old garage and furnished with salvaged objects and neon, you can order flavour-packed dishes that are reimagined versions of Japanese bar food. Much to the joy of the patrons who energetically converse, Izakaya bars are places to enjoy tapas-style dishes while knocking back cheap beer and sake.
We can solemnly swear that everything on the menu is delicious, having ordered everything on it more than a few times. One standout dish is the Dyno wings; whole deboned chicken wings stuffed with pork dumpling filling and then fried and tossed in house spicy sauce.
The Salmon Aburi makes for a good time as you pack torched sushi-grade salmon, all sauced up on rice into sheets of nori to make your own little hand rolls. Kind of like when you make fajitas, but better.
On the whole, Hanmoto’s menu is packed with umami, which even plays into their dessert offerings. The salty miso ice cream is well worth the adventure, rolled in arare rice pearls.
Hanmoto Izakaya was created by Leemo Han of OddSeoul, a popular Korean-inspired snack bar. Read about OddSeoul on our Ossington Neighbourhood Guide.
Visit Hanmoto at 2 Lakeview Ave.