Tuesday, December 09, 2008

bonus features: come be pampered


Like DVDs of motion pictures, sometimes posts I write for other web sites merit bonus features. Before browsing this entry, read "Vintage Toronto Ads: Come Be Pampered", posted on Torontoist on Nov 25/08.

Vintage Ad#669: House of Fuji-Matsu
Sources: The Toronto Star, February 29, 1956 (left), The Toronto Star, February 23, 1956 (right)

A pair of ads for Toronto's first Japanese restaurant, the House of Fuji-Matsu (operated 1955 to c. 1958-59). Based on the ads I've unearthed, the house specialty was sukiyaki, the Japanese dish most often found in mid-century cookbooks whenever the editors wanted to present something slightly exotic. My lone experience eating sukiyaki came at one of the cheap sushi joints in The Annex and I wasn't that enthralled—maybe it was the runny egg that didn't mix well with the other ingredients.

Vintage Ad #670: Tanaka '87
Source: The Toronto Star, February 6, 1987

The last trace I found of Tanaka of Tokyo while digging through the local newspaper archives was an ad included among other restaurants pitching themselves to lovebirds for Valentine's Day in 1987. At least they spelled "Tokyo" correctly in this one.

Tanaka appears to be have remained on Bay until 1990, then spent its final year of operation on King Street in the Entertainment District...where my sister dined on her grade 8 class trip to Toronto. She remembers little about the meal other than the name.

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