Monday, September 28, 2015

Cheap and delicious at Kingyo

Kingyo Izakaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Kingyo means goldfish, and the little restaurant that feels like an old tavern in a period kung fu movie is heavily branded with goldfish images. Definitely worth checking out for the decor. Keep your eye open for the free mouthwash, toothpicks, cotton swabs, and air freshener in the bathrooms (in this respect similar to their sister restaurant, Suika).

It's a busy place even on a Sunday night, but turnaround can be quite fast, and after 8pm or so you can probably expect to walk in and get a table for a small group. Or, even easier -- reservations are allowed.

It's an izakaya, so I recommend against tunnel-vision and looking for the sushi. In fact, the one sushi we had was intensely boring. Luckily we had two Japanese girls at our table who helped with the ordering and we got lots of tasty stuff (and some duds, sadly).

Deep Fried Fresh Corn ($5.80) - deep fried fresh corn with soy butter
  • Whole corn cut into quarters lengthwise, so you get some of the inedible cob (seed rack) and rather small kernels.
  • You can eat the entire stick served to you, but the cob is tough and tasteless.
  • Net amount of kernels is very small. Get this at Suika instead where they use canned sweet corn. You don't get any cob there.
  • Total waste of time no matter the price.
Our Famous Invincible & Undefeted [sic] Tantan Noodble ($9.80) noodles in pork bone & shrimp broth; seasoned with sesame, miso, cashew nuts; topped with ground pork, chili marinated chinese chives, and black sesame
  • Wow was this tasty. And price for portion is really decent as you get a sizable bowl that wasn't mostly soup.
  • A little bit of spicy heat really kicked up the tastiness a notch without any burning of the tongue.
  • For one person, this could possibly be a light meal all on its own -- under $10!
  • We ordered three for our party of seven and the orders automatically came with sharing bowls!
  • TIP: Ask for extra spoons and chopsticks if you want to distribute the noodles first instead of everyone dipping in their chopsticks.
Pressed Snowcrab Sushi ($13.40) pressed snow crab sushi with ikura (salmon roe) topped with ponzu jelly, radish sprouts, tobiko, shiso herb, and wasabi mayo
  • Don't share this with too many people. I got a lousy end piece and it was basically rice with a bit of crab on top. Not very even, so not every bit will be tasty.
Chicken Karaage ($8.40) deep fried boneless chicken served with real salt, himalayan crystal salt, and hakata salt
  • Completely unnecessary tiny portions of three types of salt for dipping -- the chicken itself is flavourful enough, and in any case there's not that much salt to go around.
  • Our Japanese friends agreed it was the most authentic chicken karaage they have had.
We also had some items from the special September menu. If it shows up, definitely get the cold udon noodle "salad". Good portion, very tasty, and under $10.

New Generation Fresh Ginger Ale ($5.50)
  • House-made ginger ale.
  • Our Japanese friends said the bitter ginger taste makes it a hit with Japanese girls back in Japan (?).
  • Not enough gingery bite for me, but enough. And tempered with 7-Up so it came in on the sweet side.
  • Refreshing palate cleanser.
  • Quite a bit of ice in my tall glass, though (at least 50%?)
Overall, price for portion for the filling carbs was very good. Go with a group and order a few other times for a cheap but tasty time, probably coming in under $15-$20 for a medium-filling meal.

Our male server was upbeat, friendly, and chatty despite us having come in just at the tail end of a very busy night.

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