871 Denman St
Hours: Mon to Sun 12–2:30pm, and 4:30–10pm
Phone: (604) 608-1677
On my latest trip to the mainland for Fan Expo Vancouver, I explored the West End and visited Kingyo. Getting here isn’t that bad at night, but I’d still recommend taking a cab or Uber if safety is a concern. The stroll back along Robson Street to your hotel will help burn the calories.
This smaller sized operation is like Maneki Restaurant in Seattle’s International District; the external decor hides a warm and welcoming interior. Their daily specials have a wider variety of seafood and protein offerings than the usual fixings. It’s rare to see any place offer truffle in this style of cuisine. Next time, I’ll be back for their Pork Miso Carbonara–a pasta dish that uses the black fungi as a garnish.
Between this type of mushroom and sea urchin, I was divided on what to sample first. I went for the latter. At $18 for a sashimi salad, it better be darned good! The crispiness of the greens said it all; even the flavourful slices of prime blue fish tuna and salmon say it all.
The Hokkai Mashi was just absolute perfection. It was one of their daily specials, and I hope it’ll stay on the menu for a long time. What caught my attention was the soy sauce used to bring out the scents. It’s infused with sea urchin and garlic flavours, and it helped make the sweet snow crab meat pop. The chilled tiger prawns and scallops on a bed of Koshihikari brand rice made me think this is a dish for Amaterasu-Ōmikami to enjoy!
To keep me warm, I had a strawberry mojito, a flavourful lightly sweetened cocktail which wasn’t too mint. It paired perfectly with my meal, and I was bouncing all the way back to my hotel.
The first weekend with lifted pandemic restrictions made nearly every diner and restaurant I walked past busy all around town! I recommend getting reservations, so folks aren’t waiting. Some places still required diners to show their vaccine card and I was fine with that. I got lucky with getting a quick seat.
Even after this meal, I still felt peckish and made a stop at Konbiniya Japan Centre. Was glad I did, because I’ll gamble on those the capsule toy dispensers whenever I see a product I must get. The weekend must’ve been magical for me, because on the second attempt I got the limited edition Jiji (from Kiki’s Delivery Service)!
All I bought were rice balls for tomorrow’s lunch. Waiting for me at my hotel was what’s left of Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake, and that review will be coming in two weeks.
5 Blokes out of 5