Rajio

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Rajio is the third sister company of Suika and Kingyo. Rajio has been on my to visit list for some time now since I love izakaya food and I’ve been pleased with my experiences at its sister restaurants. I gave them a call at around 5:30 asking for a table at 6:00 and the waitress told me yes, but only until 7:00 and that I could come even earlier. No problem since we weren’t going to eat for long anyways, so an hour was perfect.

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When we arrived, the restaurant was starting to pick up with the arrival of many other diners. While seating us, the waitress stressed to us again that we would only have the seat until 7:00pm. We get it! She seriously didn’t have to repeat it so many times… Anyways, the interior of the restaurant is quirky with Disney lights and wooden tables. It’s quite a small restaurant, so I would suggest making reservations.

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Dinner started off with complimentary salad. The salad used a type of cabbage that I’ve never had before. The texture was quite thick and hard and was quite flavourless. The dressing was quite delicious though, with a bit of sweet and tangy flavour to it. Would much prefer Suika’s salad though.

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Black Sweet & Sour Pork Rib

We started off with the Black Sweet & Sour Pork Rib, which came sizzling hot and looking impressive on the plate. The pork ribs were slightly battered and fried and topped with a balsamic vinegar sauce. It had a tangy sweetness to it and was very flavourful. I especially liked the parts which had some fat to it since the meat around those areas were very tender. Some other parts of the meat were rather overcooked and became very dry. I was worried that there would be more bones than meat, but it proved me wrong. Tons of meat for you!

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Imperial Kitchen Tested Peking Chicken

Next was the Imperial Kitchen Tested Peking Chicken. This was crispy chicken skin with green onion and Rajio’s original sweet bean glaze wrapped in a warm soft tortilla. S and I were both underwhelmed by this. The portion was so small as well! It only came with 3 small rolls. The chicken skin was crispy, but that was about it. Nothing too special and you really don’t get much value out of it.

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Kakuni Bibimbap Stone Bowl

Lastly was the Kakuni Bibimbap Stone Bowl, which featured stewed pork belly, glazed with peppery sweet soy, and placed on top of rice with green onion and savory shrimp. The pork belly was juicy and very tender. The waitress mixed this up for us and the overall dish was very flavourful. You can never go wrong with some juicy pork belly!

And 10 minutes before 7:00, the waitress came by again to make sure we were going to be out by 7:00. Clearing up our plates and letting us know it would be our last call. Like seriously, we get it. No need to be so pushy. Overall, service was pushy and food was just average. Nothing really blew my mind and made me excited to come back and try the rest of their menu. I’d much rather just return to Suika, Kingyo or even Guu.

Pros:
– Fun, quirky ambiance
– Decent izakaya items

Cons:
– Service was pushy
– From the items I tried, nothing blew my mind

Price Range: $15-30

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 2 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 3 Overall: 3

Rajio Japanese Public House on Urbanspoon

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