Have you been inside Toronto’s narrowest cocktail bar yet?
Squeaking in with a liquor license just in time for its official launch, BarFish, nestled as cosily as you can get alongside neighbourhood veteran BlowFish, made its King West debut elegantly.
Take one step too many and you’d walk straight past this modern addition, wedged between the old Bank of Montreal building (that has housed BlowFish for 13 years) on the corner of King and Bathurst and somewhat dwarfed by office spaces next door.
The black and mirrored-glass obelisk seems impenetrable from the outside. In fact, the only way to get in is through the doors of BlowFish.
BarFish might be one of the narrowest bars in Toronto, but with the two-storey height ceiling and skinny dangling lights, it feels quite open and airy. The once-exterior wall of the bank forms an architecturally impressive interior, faced by a massive Japanese canvas mural.
If you’re hungry, there’s no need to head elsewhere. BarFish serves food from BlowFish, so take a seat at the bar and settle in for a lounge-y evening of sake and cocktails.
The Cucumber Dream ($12) doesn’t disappoint on the cucumber flavour. It manages to pack a 2oz punch while remaining light and refreshing. An instant winner in my eyes.
Calamansi, kind of like a hybrid between a mandarin orange and a kumquat, is a favourite of bartender Nishan. It features in The Cucumber Dream and The Flamboyant Green ($15), living up to its name quite literally with a flaming sugar cube finish.
Also on the menu: the cognac-based Luxury Burgundy ($18) finished with a skewered fresh fig, Caribou Crossing ($16) served in your grandmother’s teacup, and The Tiki Jallab ($18) with Middle Eastern flavours like dates and rose water, served in a tiki mask.
You can also order classic cocktails like the negroni and the manhattan, as well as a dizzying array of sakes ranging in price from $64-$160 per 25oz bottle.
Showy drinks demand showy snacks, so order the giant ebi shooter ($14), packed full of tiger prawns, mango, avocado, tempura bits and spicy kewpie sauce.
Other standout options include: hot oil hamachi ($18), asian salsa maguro ($18), and roasted miso-marinated black cod ($19).
BarFish and BlowFish make for cozy companions, but this new King West haunt might be worth a visit for the inventive cocktails and impressively squeezed but airy spacealone.
For now BarFish is just open on weekends, but keep an eye out for expanded opening times in the near future.
Location: 668 King Street West, Toronto Opening hours: just weekends for now Twitter: @BlowFishResto #BarFish Phone: (416) 860-0606