Thursday, January 9, 2014

Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen 岸本


Kishimoto, one of the most talked about Japanese cuisine restaurants on Commercial Drive. Many people comment on Kishimoto's food presentation and the restaurant's banner even says, "eat with your eyes!". This makes me hesitant and gives the impression that Kishimoto may possibly be an average Japanese restaurant, focusing more on presentation than quality. On a weeknight, the restaurant had a short wait of ten minutes. A friendly customer was kind and told me to write my name on the wait list, rather than waiting for one of the waitresses to speak with me. The restaurant's interior is dimly lit and had African music playing in the background. I am not a fan of the dim lighting because I feel like a Japanese restaurant should always be well lit. Also, Kishimoto is a small restaurant with less than twelve tables, no wonder people always say there is a line up.


PRAWN TEMPURA, PASSION ROLL, OYSTER MOTOYAKI, NABEYAKI UDON, AMAEBI NIGIRI, SAKE, 5 KINDS SASHIMI, UNI, EBI, HAMACHI AND TORO NIGIRI, AND SALMON ISHINABE.



PRAWN TEMPURA ($7.95).
The tempura has a flaky as well as crisp batter but the pieces broke in half. Since the gap between the prawn and the batter was too big, the batter slipped off every time I tried to pick up a piece. Aside from the broken tempura pieces, regular sized prawns, stretched, are used rather than jumbo prawns. I do not mind regular sized prawns but the batter could have been less thick to prevent the tempura from breaking in halves.

SALMON ISHINABE, SOCKEYE SALMON ON RICE, EGG, SESAME, SPINACH, GARLIC SOY REDUCTION ($14.95). The salmon ishinabe has three thin slices of salmon, an egg, shredded seaweed and is topped with sesame seed. This reminds me of a Korean dish rather than Japanese, like a knock off of bibimbap. I did not really enjoy the ishinabe and thought it tasted kind of bland despite the garlic soy sauce, however, I am partly bias because I do not like fillers (especially when they taste ehh).


SAKE ($5.00).

OYSTER MOTOYAKI, LOCAL BC OYSTERS IN CREAM SAUCE ON THE HALF SHELL ($8.95). The oyster motoyaki has a creamy heavy mayonnaise taste and resembles an overdose of mayonnaise, stuck to a few pieces of chopped oysters with two leaves of spinach. I did not enjoy these and think it is pricey for what it is.

PARADISE ROLL, IMITATION CRAB, AVOCADO, MANGO SAUCE, SLICED SALMON AND MANGO ON TOP ($8.95). 
One of the reasons for Kishimoto's popularity - the presentation, a sheet of daikon wrapped around a tea light candle resembling a paper lantern, and a glass filled with shredded daikon and sheets of daikon pinwheels, centred with an edamame bean. The paradise roll is a california roll topped with salmon sashimi and mango, drizzled with sauce. The sauce tastes like a syrup with a slight mango taste and a hint of sweetness. The only complaint, I am not a fan of the thin slices of canned mango. There is not much of a mango taste in the roll and the thin slices did not help either.

5 KINDS ASSORTED SASHIMI, TUNA, SALMON, HAMACHI, TAKO, HOKKIGAI ($14.00).
The tuna and salmon sashimi are sliced decently thick and the tuna is the proper lower body portion. Next, the hamachi is sliced pretty thin, like hamachi nigiri. I have not been to any restaurant that slices hamachi so thin, unless used for nigiri. Continuing, the tako tastes average and looks rigid rather than smooth because the pieces are closer to the tentacle. The last item is tai, which I thought was supposed to be hokkigai? I am not a fan of tai and actually hate it. The tai tastes mushy and not pleasant for me (but I guess normal people unlike me, would appreciate tai rather than hokkigai because it costs more). Overall the sashimi tastes average and pricey, despite the nice ice block presentation.

NABEYAKI UDON, NOODLE SOUP WITH 3PC TEMPURA PRAWNS, CHICKEN, MUSHROOMS, SOFT BOILED EGG, KAMABOKO, GREEN ONION, SERVED IN A BOILING HOT STONE BOWL ($13.95).
Prawn tempura and battered deep fried seaweed is provided on the side rather than in the bowl, which is nice for customers who like to add it themselves. The nabeyaki has a couple of beech mushrooms, small slightly chewy diced pieces of chicken thigh meat, a slice of seafood roll, a fried tofu pouch and an egg. The udon has a nice rich seaweed taste, is served in a stone bowl rather than a nabe, and the noodles taste soft as well as pleasantly chewy. Overall the nabeyaki does not have much ingredients and is considered pricey compared to other restaurants that add a couple of prawns, or more mushroom and chicken.

UNI ($3.50), EBI ($1.75), HAMACHI ($2.50) AND TORO NIGIRI ($3.50). Each uni nigiri has two pieces of loosely packaged uni which seems stingy for $3.50/EACH. Both orders of nigiri combined only has $1.00 worth of uni. Next, the ebi is pretty tasty. The restaurant removes ebi from the package and soaks them in sushi vinegar to highlight the taste of the prawn - properly done. Continuing, the hamachi and toro nigiri tastes average and the only complaint is that the rice tastes too warm.

AMAEBI NIGIRI ($4.00). The amaebi tastes slightly sweet and unfortunately the rice tastes warm, like the previous nigiris. For the presentation, I do not understand the cold stone plate. The nigiri on the cold stone plate is nice, however, defeats the purpose because it makes the rice cold rather than the whole nigiri. The cold stone plate makes the rice taste stiff and hard. Is that why the rice was warm? To be cooled on the stone plate? I am guessing it is for presentation purposes but there was no need for the stone plate to be cold.

POSITIVES
- Unique presentation for BC?
- Friendly and genuine staff
- Nabeyaki udon has a nice broth despite the stingy amount of ingredients

NEGATIVES
- Seems like a place for only rolls
- Restaurant is a bit small and cramped
- Some dishes are pricey for what you get
- Every piece of prawn tempura broke in half
- I hate warm rice with sushi

LITTLE THINGS
- If food presentation is the point... the wasabi only looked "pretty" on the paradise roll plate and on every other plate, it was just a small round ball
- Prices are similar and pricier than Takumi Japanese, but I rather visit Takumi for a more comfortable dining atmosphere and better quality food
- For the same price, Ebisu (only West Broadway location) and Kamei Royale are a lot better

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 3/5

  Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen 岸本 on Urbanspoon

6 comments:

  1. you should really use flash next time!! in the uni, there is a orange and yellow piece on the 2nd one, is it the lighting or diff color?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll try to use flash, I just hate the awkward looks I get! The color's different for the uni but it doesn't really matter since it's packaged and doesn't mean it's a poor quality.

      Delete
  2. Kishimoto is a good restaurant and the ambiance is amazing! Very classy. People in Japan love sushi rolls! If I are looking for sashimi go to cheap place like Sushi Garden

    ReplyDelete
  3. Agree, overrated

    ReplyDelete
  4. You have to try the aburi sushi next time. Word on the street is it rivals Miku's.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's a "classy" Sushi California & Sushi Garden, no authenticity here

    ReplyDelete

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