Kingyo Izakaya, the same restaurant group as Suika and Rajio, is one of my favourite fusion-Izakaya next to Guu. With the same quirky name styles as its sisters, meaning ‘Goldfish’, it delivers in both food and ambiance. The whole package and experiences there is what makes me give it such a high rating, I have never been disappointed with any their dishes, and it’s always a good time with whoever I go with. Pricing is about average, but it does add up quickly with alcohol and their small dishes, such as this night with Cal, Mizu and Sheshe.
九平次 Kuheiji – junmai daiginjo
Something new that caught my eye for their sake. It was very sweet and fragrant, an easy drink, going down smoothly. The pricing was a pretty good deal, $85 for a 720ml Junmai Daiginjo, it’s even better than others I’ve tried at that level that are much more expensive. Sheshe and I enjoyed it, but the guys thought it was too ‘girly’ and light, yet they still drank it without complaint.
Sockeye Salmon Carpaccio; thinly sliced sockeye salmon topped with shaved onions, garlic chips, wasabi mayo, green onions, yuzu zest & soy based dressing plus genovese sauce
There was enough for about two pieces per person, not really ‘thinly sliced’, but thinner compared to their sashimi. The dressing was nice and tangy, very appetizing way to start off the meal. The wasabi mayo was very mild in flavour, it added more of a creamy fattiness to the dish than a flavour enhancer. I also really enjoyed the red onion garnishes, they were good too munch on with the zesty dressing.
Tomato Kimchi; kimchi marinated housemade tomato with Chinese chives, garnished with radish sprouts. seasme & original seaweed sauce
I saw that they had Tomato Kimchi here as well, so wanted to see how it fared compared to the one at Rajio. There were slight differences between the two, instead of having cilantro oil like Rajio’s, it was served with a seaweed sauce. I personally found this one to be a bit more tasty because of the sauce, it gave it an interesting saltiness to the dish. It was weird, but not off putting.
Cauliflower Karaage; deep fried soy based sauce marinated califlower, served with spicy yuzu kosho mixed cauliflower mousse
This was an item on their special menu, it was an interesting option compared to the deep fried corn that is found on the regular menu. The batter was light but rather soggy, it wasn’t as crispy as I thought it would have been. It was very flavourful, and the mousse was airy of soft, more like flavoured foam. It was a good alternative than the usual mayo.
Stone-Grilled Beef Tongue; stone-grilled beef tongue served with yuzu red pepper paste and green onion
Thinly sliced beef tongue, served along side a heated rock allows you the freedom of cooking the meat to your desired doneness. The tongue was nicely seasoned with salt and pepper, it melts perfectly in your mouth after a few seconds of searing on each side. This dish is a must-order for tongue lovers, such as Sheshe and I, the boys were missing out since they couldn’t eat beef.
Chicken Karaage; deep fried boneless chicken served with real Utah salt,Himalayan crystal salt & Hakata salt
The chicken was battered nicely, served along side a trio of salt for dipping. Each salt had their distinct flavours and levels of saltiness, it was an interesting style to serve, an otherwise, boring dish. The salt went well with the chicken, bringing out an unique flavour with each dip, it was as if you had three dishes in one.
Stone-Grilled “Kakuni Bibimbap”; slowly stewed tender pork belly “kakuni” & Korean style pickles on “Koshihikari” rice in a sizzling stone bowl
Of course, some rice for the boys. Despite the stone bowl arriving pipping hot to our table, it wasn’t hot enough to develop that delicious crust on the rice that I like. The pork belly was nice and tender, and packed full of flavour. More of the soy based sauce was added to the rice making it extra tasty. I didn’t get what made the pickles ‘Korean style’, they were exactly like the Chinese fermented vegetables that is usually served along side Taiwanese Beef Noodles.
Hamachi Kama; grilled yellowtail cheek
The size was pretty decent for the price, it was grilled perfectly with a very savory soy-based sauce that was salty and sweet at the same time. The meat was flaky and tender, almost as good as eating black cod, which was our second choice if this was sold out. The grated radish had julienned shiso mixed inside, I didn’t try it since it consisted of two things I hate, but the guys said it was interesting.
Mekabu Age Dashi Tofu; deep fried tofu with thick wakame leaves
Sheshe was the one that ordered this, but I don’t think it was what she expected. The tofu felt under fried, maybe because it was submerged in a very gloppy soup. The flavours were nice, a little bit fishy, but the texture was too weird for my liking.
Tako Wasabi – cooked; chopped octopus & pickles marinated in wasabi flavoured sauce
I like how Kingyo gives you the option of having their Takowasa raw, cooked, or half & half. Sheshe doesn’t like the slimy and fishiness of raw, so the cooked one was order. It was the standard, packaged ones so nothing special, but it was a great snack to go with our second bottle.
“Aonori” Calamari; deep fried squid with aonori (dried seaweed flakes) served with our special shiso herb salsa & housemade tartar sauce
With a newly opened second bottle, we needed more food to snack on that aren’t too filling. Calamari looked like a good choice. The salsa was very refreshing, luckily I didn’t taste too much shiso in it. The tartar sauce was nice, but average since I was so blown away by the cauliflower mousse from earlier. The Calamari itself wasn’t too impressive as well, I found the batter wasn’t as consistent nor did it fully cover the squid rings. The flavours of aonori were a nice touch.
Pressed Snowcrab Sushi; pressed snowcrab sushi with ikura, topped with ponzu jelly, radish sprouts, shiso herb & wasabi mayo
For our finale, a roll was ordered because the boys didn’t get enough carbs. For something new, Sheshe chose the Snowcrab. A very thin, sweet layer of crab was pressed against crumbly rice. However, the natural flavours of the crab seemed to be lost among all the other toppings. It was nice, but it backed fire because it felt like it was trying too hard.
Overall, their attention to detail is impeccable. After the bill is called for, you’re given complimentary frozen grapes, which was also a nice touch. Though there were dishes that weren’t such a good hit, it is never to the point of me not wanting to return. I can see where their success lies, and they continue to improve and offer more to make sure you’re never disappointed.