Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Vancouver: Kingyo Izakaya

Date of visit: May 3, 2014

As we were so disappointed with the lunch at Guu Garlic, we decided to have another Japanese lunch this weekend. This time, we made sure that we went to somewhere that would satisfy our craving for Japanese food, so we went to Kingyo Izakaya.

Kingyo is now a well-established izakaya in Vancouver, and it owns some other Japanese restaurants such as Suika and Rajio Public House. For lunch, Kingyo is quite well-known for its Assorted Deluxe Bento Box ($16), but they only serve 10 sets every day. I know it usually comes with agedashi tofu, seared tuna, chicken karaage, some grilled fish, a bowl of rice, miso soup and some other few small Japanese dishes, but I have never tried it because it just does not interest me.

Upon arrival, we were brought the lunch menu and informed that the bento box was sold out for the day, which I was not surprised as it was almost 1:00pm when we arrived. Though the restaurants was not completely full, it seemed quite under-staffed and thus we waited for about 10 minutes before we were seated despite there were quite a few empty tables there.

My boyfriend initially had in mind that he was going to order the Chefs Choice Sashimi Combo ($15.80), but then he saw all the stuff on the lunch menu and then it took him a while to make the final decision. In the end, he went with the Chefs Choice Sashimi Combo ($15.80), as sashimi was what he was craving. I wanted a little sashimi, but I also wanted something cooked as it was raining, so I went with the Assorted Sashimi, Salmon Flake & Ikura Bowl ($14.80). My boyfriend also ordered the Tako Wasabi ($3.80), which I am not a big fan of.

We waited about 20 minutes for all our food to arrive. I am not sure why they were so short-staffed, given that the restaurant is usually busy for weekend lunch hours and they should have scheduled more people on the floor.

I used to like this dish: Tako Wasabi ($3.80) for a very short time, but now I try to avoid it. I think the version at Guu actually tastes better.

Chefs Choice Sashimi Combo ($15.80) came with 2 pieces of each: Salmon, Tuna, Hamachi, Scallop and Sweet Prawns. The combo also comes with a miso soup and a bowl of rice. I did not try anything on his plate, but he seemed to be super happy with what he got.

Sashimi, Salmon Flake & Ikura Bowl ($14.80) just came in a big bowl of rice with everything on top. I prefer the rice to be cold for my sashimi on rice, but the rice in the bowl was still warm. I also find it very common that a lot of times the sashimi on rice here in Vancouver is served on warm rice. I get one piece of Salmon, Tuna and Sweet Prawn but no scallop. The Ikura was quite salty, so it made a perfect paring with the rice. I find the quality of all the sashimi to be okay on the day; unfortunately, they were not as fresh as they should be. The miso soup was really good. It was not bland or overly salty, and it also came with lots of green onions and veggies (which I like).

Service: 3/5 (friendly server, but the restaurant was super under-staffed)
Value: 3.5/5 (a bit pricy for lunch and the quality of the fish was not as good as I expected)
Food: 3.5/5 (again, quality could have been better)

Kingyo Izakaya 金魚居酒屋 on Urbanspoon

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