Type of restaurant: Izakaya: is a type of Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks
Price Range: $$-$$$
Background Information: Kingyo is a popular Izakaya situated on Denman Street. It is open every day during lunch, dinner and late night. It is most popular during dinner and late night. They have received numerous awards.
Ambiance (out of 5): The ambiance is laid back and fun. Like other Izakaya’s the server’s shout out Japanese phrases that indicate welcome and thanks. If you enjoy it when they do that throughout your meal then this is the place for you. I am a person who usually doesn’t mind these enthusiastic and friendly greetings. But for some reason this time I found it a bit annoying after awhile. It started making me uncomfortable but the servers were very helpful. I would give the ambiance a 3.5 (okay-good) out of 5.
Setting/Design: The interior and exterior is clean. The interior is dark with minimal lighting. It is decorated with bamboo and on the walls there are pictures of Japan. You can see the chef’s at work in the kitchen. They have roughly around 10 tables for either groups of 2 or groups of 6. There is a big table in the middle (where I sat) which can seat 10 people. There is also a table at the bar. The only complaint I have would be the chair. The pillow on my chair kept sliding out whenever I moved.
Recommended: Chicken mayo rice bowl, Frozen Matcha Brulee
Overall: 8 (good) out of 10
(1-4: will never come back, 5: pass (I’m okay with a tinier morsel), 6: acceptable, 7: okay, 8: good, 9: Wow! Please enlarge my morsel. 10: Perfection. I could eat a morsel of this every day!)
Will come back?: Yes: I want to come back and try their carpacio’s, rice and drinks
The view from my seat
What I ate:
Chicken-mayo rice bowl (cost: $8.80)
Rating:9 (Wow! Please enlarge my morsel)/10
Chicken was crispy and juicy
The rice had a sauce that left me wanting more
After taking a bite there would be a small garlic aroma which made my mouth water.
The stuff that looks like green snow on top (I’m assuming) is a wasabi infused finely grated white carrot. It helped balance out the strong flavours of the rice sauce and the mayonnaise.
It was actually quite a large portion. I almost couldn’t finish it but I kept going because it was so good!
I strongly advise you to try it.
Grilled Fish Combo (cost: $10.80)
Rating: 7.5 (okay – good)
The grilled fish combo comes with 2 fish, miso soup, rice (isn’t seen in picture because they wanted to replace it), and fried lotus root.
I forgot what the two types of fish were (They were talking so fast I couldn’t understand them and was too embarrassed to repeat the question because they were busy)
The smaller piece of fish with the unattached head was very flavourful.
It had a lovely charred flavour to it.
The piece of fish beneath the smaller piece of fish was very soft and delicate and the flavour was not as prominent as the first but was still good.
Both fishes had different flavours and textures. I disliked the amount of bones in both fishes. It made it hard to eat and I disliked getting my hands all dirty.
Sashimi Combo (cost: $15.80)
Rating: 7 (okay)
It contained 5 types of fish: salmon, ahi tuna, tuna, scallop and shrimp (varies by season) It comes with miso soup and rice
The salmon, ahi tuna and tuna had the same kind of almost grainy kind of texture. It was acceptable but could have been better
The scallop had a very strong salty ocean taste which I also disliked.
The shrimp was the only part I enjoyed. It was sweet and had a good bite to it.
I give it 7 out of 10 because the texture was a disappointment but the flavour was still good. Also I thought it wasn’t worth the price I paid for it.
Frozen Matcha Brulee ($6.80)
Rating: 8.5 (Good – Wow)
Since I have had good experiences with desserts at other Japanese restaurants before, I decided to give Kingyo’s desserts a chance.
It was really good. The little swirl on the bottom of the plate is a red bean paste combined with cream. Truthfully the red bean mixture wasn’t strong enough to make a difference in the overall taste.
But I liked the idea of the brulee on top; it added a crunch to the Frozen Matcha ice cream and it gave it a smoky taste.
The Frozen Matcha ice cream has a strong green tea flavour and the texture is very smooth. I could eat buckets of it.
I give it an 8.5 because of it’s creativity and smooth texture. I deducted some points because I thought the portion could have been bigger and I could have done without the red bean mixture
Yum, will definitely be back to try more food! I would probably go back for dinner to check out the night time atmosphere. I am looking forward to eating more Brulee~ so addicting.