Lots of Great Umami Exists with a Kiss at Kissato Sushi

20221116_175220Kissato Sushi
2027 Oak Bay Ave
Victoria, BC

Hours: Tues to Sat, 11:30am to 2:30pm and 5 to 8pm.
Phone: (250) 370-5195

I’m surprised that I never noticed Kissato Sushi before in my sojourns to the municipality of Oak Bay, which is one district over from where I live. The main reason is that there aren’t a lot of areas to park my car. It’s almost a must bus in the zone, given how restrictive the area is for vehicle traffic along the strip.

When I am here, I make the most of my time here. The avenue is even more of a throwback to the yesteryear than any other area, and I’m glad there are no signs of modernisation here, except maybe one operation or two.

The best known operations for eats here include the Ottavio Italian Bakery & Delicatessen and The White Heather Tearoom (review link). For where to buy alcohol, I highly recommend The Cork and Barrel; they are one of the few places that keeps a good stock of Strange Brew’s holiday drinks. Also, the Penny Farthing bar can be hit or miss, but as for buying delicious meats, I heartily believe The Whole Beast is tops. I go there to purchase their maple rosemary bacon. 

With all that said, this district has only three sushi operations still running. Sadly, Osaka Sushi (review link) is permanently closed, and I consider them one of the best. Thankfully, Kissato can fit the bill, even though their selection is not as extensive. That is, sea urchin isn’t available. In what they offer is a terrific catalogue of the staples. The fish was especially fresh since my friend Max and I arrived at the opening, and we had enormous appetites going on. 

Continue reading

Advertisement

[Port Angeles, WA] When All Residents Need is Songoku Hibachi and Sushi!

20221009_142702Songoku Hibachi and Sushi Japanese
134 W Front St
Port Angeles, WA

Hours: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm (daily)
Phone: (360) 477-4315

In a small town like Port Angeles, the primary industry is fishing and tourism. In October, it’s the 21st Annual Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival. For the adventurous hiker, there’s Hurricane Ridge and the Olympic Mountains, but they are typically closed when the seasons change. Because there’s plenty of rainforests nearby, harvesting mushrooms (as my review from a few weeks ago explored) is no doubt next.

But instead of local delights, I had to see how Japanese food and the Pacific Northwest can be fused up. Fusion food is a big thing and can be a selling point for some operations, and Songoku has crawfish! I don’t think I’ve seen it offered in sushi before! Out of all the places I’ve visited in the past, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it offered in the menu.

Continue reading

Too Hungry While At North Park Multicultural Festival

20220724_113628DK: Victoria, BC’s North Park Multicultural Festival is unique for a couple reasons: 

  1. Vendors aren’t charged any fees 
  2. It’s explicitly marketed as culturally diverse. 

Does this make the quarterly event wildly different from any of the other market-type events hosted throughout the CRD? I certainly hoped it would!

ES: I wasn’t aware of this event until Don told me, and I suspect it started up when health restrictions were lifted to allow for such gatherings. Out by my neck of the woods, Saanich, we also have a similar type of show but do I really want to go to Uptown Mall? 

Downtown is a better choice–North Park is west of the city core, and it’s a beautiful area with a handful of diners and other goodness to wander around in. 

With this event at Royal Athletic Park, it took up one side more than to use the baseball diamond field. All I can say is batter up! Don and I were there to see what was offered, and there were some interesting goods that I could’ve picked up, but I wanted to fill up instead. I didn’t have breakfast.

Continue reading

Konnichiwa Nori-San!

20220219_193223Hello Nori
1165 Robson St
Vancouver, BC

Hours: Sun to Sat 11a.m.–11p.m.
Menu: hellonori.com
Phone: (604) 564-9595

Hello Nori is a relatively new operation that opened in Vancouver’s Robson Street strip during the pandemic, and since they’re both dine-in and takeout, the difference is in whether or not the rolls are cut up for you. However, the taste will be slightly different based on how fast you eat them. The selling point is in how crunchy the sheets of seaweed are. I spotted a butane torch in the preparation area and it’s used for their aburi dishes rather than standard rolls. There are also daily sashimi offerings to which I shouldn’t have passed on. After seeing how they looked at a few bar seats away, I knew I’d have regrets. 

However, in the back of my mind, I wondered if the fish were caught Ikejime style or West coast. I suspect it’s the latter (this is BC after all), so what’s offered isn’t necessarily ‘authentic’ Japanese and more designer style to convince patrons in.

Continue reading

Some Cheesecakes are Lighter when Made by Uncle Tetsu

20220218_180804Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake
1151 Robson St
Vancouver, BC

Hours: Open every day from 10am to 8pm
Phone: (604) 265-4087

The best time to ensure the best selection of Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake is to stop by late morning, as they are fresh from the oven. This franchise operation makes a surprisingly fluffy and delectable cake to which I finished two successive days. I doubt it could keep its texture beyond that, but after tasting this delight, it’s a stop I’ll have to make every time I’m in Downtown Vancouver. Sorry Cartems, but I think you’ve been beat out for which sweet cake I like to partake in. Even the various  Beard Papa operations are out as I’ve found the quality inconsistent.

Continue reading

[Vancouver, BC] On Why Kingyo is King!

20220220_194834871 Denman St
Vancouver, BC

Hours: Mon to Sun 12–2:30pm, and 4:30–10pm
Menu: kingyoizakaya.ordereze.net
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.

Continue reading