Kingyo Izakaya 金魚居酒屋 & Suika
Well here’s to me being lazy and putting two restaurants in one post. But it seems suitable since both Kingyo and Suika belong to the same group and really do provide similar quality in food, service and atmosphere. To me, the only difference between the two is their locations (Kingyo in the West End and Suika in Fairview).
Let’s start off with Kingyo, my most recent dinner spot. First up was the “Aonori” calamari and Ebi Mayo. Both deep fried with rich batter and paired with great Chili Mayo and Homemade Tartar sauce. The calamari dish was a lot bigger than I expected as the whole bowl was covered with a generous portion of deep fried squid. The Ebi Mayo’s tiger prawns were impressively large and juicy with just enough crunch and flavoured very well with the chili condiments and paprika powder. These are two great deep fried seafood dishes that I would recommend for the deep-fried-food enthusiasts.
The “main” courses we ordered were the Kakuni Bibimbap, Tantan Noodle and Pressed Mackerel Sushi. The bibimbap and noodles were more typical dishes but regardless, were very flavourful. I would like to point out that the tantan noodles were more like ramen in a thick peanutty soup than the typical thinner noodles in Sichuan spicy soup. I feel like sushi is really where restaurants like Kingyo stand out among the vast sea of Japanese restaurants in Vancouver and the Pressed Mackerel Sushi is a good example. Although the mackerel was marinated and seared, you could still taste the freshness in the meat that just melts with the rice in your mouth. The light smokiness is complimented with the green onion ginger and mustard dressing. $12.80 might seem a bit expensive for this 6-piece dish but I promise you that it’s well worth it.
I also got the Kingyo for a light drink which was made up of rum, shiso, lime, 7up x soda, tonic, goji berries, and yuzu J. Sounds like a lot of flavour for a little drink right? Well unfortunately, this was a bit bland for my liking. However, this is a very refreshing drink with all the citrus and berries. I’d recommend this for the I-want-to-drink-something-alcoholic-but-without-the-alcohol-taste folks out there.
Now moving onto Kingyo’s sister, Suika! I just want to start off by saying that Suika has some pretty cool decor. I mean look at the chandelier they have hanging in the front.
Anyways, unlike Kingyo, my trip to Suika involved much less dishes 😦 Luckily, I think I got a good taste of the amazingness this place has to offer. We went straight with the famous Beef Short Rib which was fried and tossed in this amazing sweet Balsamic-like sweet & sour pork sauce. This is definitely a must try. The meat is a perfect mix of half lean-half fatty portions and is crazy juicy. The juice is perfect with the fat that just melts oh so slowly when you take a bit out of it.
I definitely couldn’t miss out on the sushi so I got the Aburi “Shime-Saba” which is very similar to the sushi I got at Kingyo since it also just happens to be seared mackerel with mustard sauce. But nonetheless, this round was just as good as the last.
For drinks, my friend and I settled for the Suika Mojito and the Suika Calpico. Suika is actually Japanese for watermelon so it’s to no surprise that our drinks had a very refreshing and fruity taste to them. I used to love regular lime mojitos but I converted after getting the watermelon version at Suika. It is just so refreshing and provides a contrast to the heavy juiciness of the short rib earlier. The calpico-made with vodka, fresh watermelon puree, calpico, soda, and lime was definitely much sweeter and tasted less of alcohol despite the vodka. Definitely refreshing but a bit more milky due to the calpico. These are two drinks I’d recommend for people who want a light and refreshing addition to their meal.
My overall experience of the two restaurants in a nut shell:
Pros: Consistent quality food and drinks
Cons: Slightly on the pricey side of most Japanese restaurants.
Always packed (remember to book for seats!)
If I had to choose between the two, I would have to go with Suika over Kingyo simply due to the fruitier and more flavourful drinks that Suika has to offer. But don’t get me wrong, both restaurants are great and are consistent with their overall quality 🙂
Phew, well I’m done! Sorry for the long post today!