The wonderful folks at VANEATS.ca invited us to preview Kingyo Izakaya’s upcoming dining package, called KINGYO CRAZE! Kingyo is a one of a kind Japanese izakaya located on Denman Street, in Vancouver’s West End – just a couple blocks down from Robson Street. For the past four years, Kingyo Izakaya has won “Best Casual Japanese” from Vancouver Magazine. This seemingly traditional Japanese restaurant is far from ordinary, offering unconventional tapas-style bites, and the chefs at Kingyo compliment their dishes with warm welcomes, mindful service and fine attention to detail designed to enlighten customers’ entire dining experience.
Serving funky tapas for lunch and dinner, the restaurant is similar to Suika (same owners), but with a less noisy atmosphere than both Guu in Gastown and Guu on Thurlow. Kingyo is an intimate restaurant, with more room between tables than other izakayas in Vancouver. Counter seating in partitioned with tall bamboo plants, bringing a bit of outside-in, while rich dark wood carvings adorn the walls, adding to Kingyo’s warm and relaxing ambiance.
Launching December 1st, the KINGYO CRAZE dining package provides two unique items that are not offered on Kingyo’s regular menu. Also, like all of VANEATS.ca’s delicious dining packages, the KINGYO CRAZE is only offered for a limited time and is a one-time-only-deal. At our sneak-preview KINGYO CRAZE dinner, we were first presented with Sashimi Salad – three kinds of exceptionally fresh sashimi (changes daily) on a bed of organic greens, sprouts, carrot and radish garnish, dressed with soy based vinaigrette and garlic oil. The salad was then followed by Chicken Breast Tender & Cod Roe Spring Roll – presented extra crispy and piping-hot, this deep fried chicken spring roll was served with a side of mayo & special soy dipping sauce.
Our third dish was the Deep Fried Tofu & Mushrooms – soft tofu, enoki mushrooms, topped with bonito flakes and sliced okra (also known as “lady fingers”) and served in a sizzling stone bowl. This dish was presented on a platter, and then our served ladled the dish of sauce into the fiery-hot stone bowl at our table.
Beautifully presented on a glass platter and resting on a green banana leaf was the Seared Negitoro Sushi – chopped sashimi tuna & green onions with seaweed paste and Kingyo’s original sauce. “Kingyo” means goldfish in Japanese, so it was very appropriate for the chef to include cute little goldfish carrot cutouts (pictured above), served on our salads and sushi. Another nice touch was that a thin slice of daikon/Japanese white radish was wrapped around a little tea-light candle. Kingyo has mastered an impeccable attention to detail!
For dessert we were served Petit Almond Tofu – Kingyo’s famous super smooth, creamy and refreshing almond tofu with sweet blueberry sauce compote. Also, frozen red grapes topped-off the evening of Japanese tapas and super attentive service. All staff were very helpful throughout our dinner; at one point, we dropped a chopstick on the floor, and a server was at our table within seconds with new pair!