Friday, December 23, 2016

Episode #206: Kimu Japanese Cuisine

Vancouver (Southeast), $ (Budget)

About two months ago, when Kimu Japanese Cuisine first opened its doors, my Instagram feed exploded with pictures of sushi in virtually all the various forms I could imagine. At Kimu, there's the Sushi Cake, sushi with kimchi on it, and enough species of Sushi Pizza to give the pizza place next door a hard time. They might as well add sushi pasta and sushi fries to round off the selection. There were more things that I wanted to try than I could stomach, so I had Kyle and Emperor Enoch (thanks for the nickname suggestion, Luke) join me on this adventure.

Emperor Enoch doesn't exactly have the best of luck when it comes to traffic, so I had a good 20 minutes to comb over the menu and sip some hot green tea to relieve myself from the cold weather outside before his arrival. I was quite surprised by how quickly the restaurant began to fill up, despite its rather inconvenient location. By 5:30 p.m., the place was bustling, and by 6 p.m., it was full. All that Instagram coverage combined with very reasonable prices seemed to have worked wonders for the restaurant.

Okonomiyaki - A-

Oddly enough, first to arrive was the Okonomiyaki, which was a success. The pancake was soft with a slight crispiness around the edges. There were plenty of bonito flakes on top, as well as a good balance of Worcestershire sauce and mayonnaise. 

Bomb Roll - B+

Arriving quickly afterward was the Bomb Roll, which consisted of mayonnaise, lettuce, avocado, cucumber, masago, prawn tepura, spicy tuna, and chopped scallop. Of course, we ordered this because the name suggested that it would be bomb. Indeed, it was neatly constructed, and the flavour of the prawn tempura was projected well. However, the other ingredients were a little hard to discern. A light spiciness added some depth of flavour to the roll.

Sushi Cake - B+

The Sushi Cake, which is effectively Kimu's poster child, consisted of sushi rice dough, crab meat, avocado, shiitake mushrooms, torched salmon, spicy tuna, tobiko, BBQ sauce, spicy mayonnaise, balsamic reduction, garlic chips... actually, scratch that. Simply put, the Sushi Cake consisted of sushi rice dough and the entire T&T Supermarket. If you want a single item with as many sauces as possible, then this is it. I liked how the dough was crispy and not too chewy. A seared flavour was evident in the creamy seared salmon, and the garlic chips provided a nice zing. To top it all off, the Sushi Cake was only $9.50!

Aburi Salmon Nigiri - B+
Aburi Tuna Nigiri - B+
Aburi Hamachi Toro Nigiri - A-
Aburi Amaebi Nigiri - A
Aburi Hotate Nigiri - B+
Aburi Beef Nigiri - B+

Next, I had the Aburi Sushi Combo, which came with six pieces of Aburi (seared) sushi. The highlights were the hamachi toro, which was topped with a light helping of spicy mayonnaise, and the soft and creamy amaebi, which had the best seared flavour out of all the pieces. The other pieces were decent, and the sushi rice was packed correctly.

Salmon Sashimi - A-
Tuna Sashimi - A
Hokkigai Sashimi - B
Hamachi Sashimi - B
Ika Sashimi - A
Tai Sashimi - B+

Finally, because we all needed something Snapchat-worthy, we ordered the Deluxe Sashimi, which came with three pieces each of salmon, tuna, hokkigai (Arctic surf clam), hamachi (yellowtail), ika (squid), and tai (snapper). Most of the sashimi was very fresh, including the creamy and buttery salmon, the very melty tuna, and the soft ika. The parts of the tai near the scales were chewier, but it was otherwise quite soft. The hokkigai could be sweeter, and the hamachi was slightly fishy, though smooth.

The service was sparse at times due to the high number of customers, but overall, we were more than satisfied with the food given the prices. There wasn't a single item we found below average. With wallet-friendly prices, ample creativity, and well-prepared food, this restaurant deserves the customers it is getting, and I have Instagram to thank for this great find.

KIMU Japanese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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