Sunday, December 28, 2014

Kingyo Izakaya 金魚居酒屋

I know I have the tendency to say "THIS IS MY FAVORITE PLACE" on every food post. But it's trueeeeeee, have you ever consider what if it's trueeeeeeeeeeee !!???? It is true ! Kingyo Izakaya is also one of my favorite Japanese Izakayas. I mean, just look at this cover photo, I'm drooling all over my keyboard already. Annnnnnd, do you know, that Kingyo is a sister restaurant to Suika ? Good things must come in multiple numbers.

I've been dining at Kingyo ever since the beginning of time, and their food quality has never changed. My favorite must order items, as well, has never left the menu, phrew. I love Kingyo's interior. It's upscale and casual at the same time. I'm not an interior expect, but it seems like a nice fusion between a western bar and a traditional Japanese izakaya house. And who is not impressed by the idea of using bamboo shoots to create a barrier in the middle of a long communal table to create enough privacy for diners.

There's usually a wait, of course. But not too bad if you go on weekdays and are willing to sit at the bar. Even if there's a wait, there's a bench by the entrance where you can wait and drool over the menu and stare creepily at everyone's food.

Kingyo means gold fish in Japanese.  Hence this cute logo that, errr, looks like a cute gold fish being cut into half and lay flat -__-" Why so symmetrical.

As usual at every izakaya, there's a monthly special menu and a regular menu. One bad thing about these izakaya is that, your bill can easily go into a fine dining price range if you are not careful with your selections, or if you go super hungry, which is me EVERY TIME. Places like Kingyo or Suika are not cheap to begin with too. But what can you do with a women who craves fooooooood. You can only work hard and stuff all the hard-earn money into your tummy in the form of yummy food.

I always tend to over order at izakayas (or everywhere else) thinking each dish is tapa size and I'm not going to be full. Prior to eating, I'm always fearful of not going to be full and unable to try all the food I want. And I go into a ZONE when I order, where I have crazy eyes and irrational mindset, and just forget about civilization, and order every single item I see on the menu. My friends have learned my habit and will always try to wake me from that frenzy. Frank, on the other hand, always encourage me to order more, so eating with him can sometimes turn into a disaster.

Just look at their menu. You seriously just want to order everything right ?

We had just the right portion that day, for two. When I say right portion, it means we ate until we are soooooooo full and have no more room for dessert and do not want to ever eat again the next day. I am usually only satisfied that way, otherwise I will feel like I could eat more, why stop, how is this the end of dinner. How do you define the end of dinner anyway ? I usually will only stop eating when I'm absolutely filled. This is of course, very unhealthy. And I've been trying to change this as it is the healthiest if you are only 70% full at every meal. On the other hand, I usually eat very healthy homemade food for breakfast/lunch, so I guess it's not too bad to indulge myself over dinner everyday from time to time.

Cute Coaster
Tuna Tataki 
Ebi Mayo
Pork Cheek
Stone Grilled Beef Tongue
Yummm, this is my No. 1 favorite at Kingyo. These perfectly salted thin slices of beef tongues are presented to you raw with a boiling hot grilling stone. You place the meat on the stone and grill to however you like it. For me I usually just put it on for a couple seconds and eat them medium rare. SO GOOD. Kingyo has the best beef tongue across Vancouver in my opinion. I will not look else where if I am craving for some GyuTan that day.

Yellow Fin Carpaccio

Chawanmushi with Sweet Corn
Kakuni Bibimbap 
This is my other super favorite item. (Is there such a thing call super favorite ? ) Kakuni is a very traditional Japanese pork belly dish where the pork is braised in the best sauce in the world. This hot stone rice bowl is inspired by Korean Bibimbap and this version makes Korean bibimbaps cryyyy. It's soooo flavorful and tender and mouth-watering as you mix the ingredients and the rice together. The bottle of the rice is especially good after it has been burnt to perfection by the hot stone bowl. OMGGGGGGGG GIVE ME MOREEEEEEE

The exciting journey ends with frozen grapes being handed to you like a Japanese floral arrangement along with your bill. Speaking of frozen grapes btw, it's a great healthy snack for you to munch on over the summer. Just throw grapes into your freezer and eat time like hard candies as you wish :)

Kingyo Izakaya 金魚居酒屋 on Urbanspoon

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