Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ki-Isu Japanese Restaurant

Restaurant: Ki-Isu Japanese Restaurant

Cuisine: Japanese/Sushi
Last visited: October 2, 09
Area: Vancouver, BC
1275 Pacific Blvd
Price Range: $10-20

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4
Service: 4
Ambiance: 3
Overall: 4
Additional comments:
  • Heavily West coast influenced Japanese
  • Trendy, moderately priced, Japanese food in Vancouver
  • Sushi/special rolls/udon/donburi/sashimi
  • Fresh ingredients
  • Brown rice available
  • Made upon order
  • Lunch specials - $7-10
  • Attracts locals within the area
  • Outdoor seating available
  • Dine in/Take-out
  • Delivery from 5pm everyday
  • Dinner only on Sunday

Hara Maki, Healthy fried rice, Crazy Roll, Chicken Udon

A moderately priced sushi restaurant in Yaletown. It's not tradition Japanese food and I doubt all their chefs are Japanese although some maybe. It's heavily West coast influenced so you see a lot of fusion items and specialty items. There's a focus on fresh and healthy options available so you feel good after eating it. They have some creative specials (which I ordered) and I have a strong feeling that the owners are young and perhaps raised in Vancouver. (That's at least what the menu and atmosphere suggest). It's actually quite busy at lunch and dinner although I didn't need to wait for a table. For trendy presentation and this level of freshness I think it's reasonably priced.

On the table:
  • **Hara Maki 4/6
    • Fresh mango, avocado, squid, romaine, tuna, red bell pepper and cucumber rolled in rice paper. Topped with masago, salmon caviar and a wasabi salad dressing sauce. Around $6 I think.
    • This was really good, but it was hard to eat and fell apart easily because the wrapping wasn't tight enough. I really appreciated the presentation though.
    • The ingredients were nice and fresh and the texture was great. Different types of crunchiness from the variety of veggies and then you get the smooth creaminess from the avocado, mango, and tuna. The tuna was good, but not a high quality.
    • It was a little bland because it lacked a savoury note. Everything was different levels of sweetness so they needed something savoury to bring it all together. They could have achieved this by doing more with the sauce. The wasabi dressing tasted like Thousand Island dressing mixed with a little wasabi paste. I would be surprised if it came from a bottle. The dressing needed some savoury notes and was a let down for me. The roll was good though.
  • House Roll 3.5/6
    • Salmon, tuna, crab, tomago, cucumber, avocado and masago. Half $5.95 Full $9.95
    • This was a good size for a house roll, not too big and they didn't use rice to make it big. The ingredients were really fresh and you could taste it.
    • It was interesting though because I think they used a sockeye salmon for the salmon sashimi instead of regular salmon...I really appreciated that because sockeye is more expensive and tastes better. The tuna on the other hand wasn't as great in quality. The tamago was made properly too which is difficult to come by.
  • **Mixed Healthy Fried Rice 4.5/6
    • Rice, mixed greens, cucumber, chicken,sauteed carrots, cabbage and bean sprouts topped with a fried egg. Served with spicy sauce. Around $8 I think.

    • You mix everything together and you'd be surprised with how much you get. It's a pretty large bowl and it loaded with fresh ingredients. The rice is sushi rice so it was almost like eating a sticky rice bowl. The portion of each item was spot on. I really liked the thinly sliced cucumbers they added. It gave great texture to the overall dish and they even cooked up slightly with the help of the hot toppings. The hot chicken and sauteed veggies wilted the salad as you mixed it altogether so everything combines easily.
    • This would have been really tasty if the egg wasn't overcooked which made the dish more dry. The yolk is supposed to be nice and runny for this dish, it aids in the mixing and texture. It also needed a savoury sauce because nothing was seasoning except for the chicken. There was a white pepper from the chicken and a slight sweetness to the sauteed veggies, but still not enough flavour overall. It's served with a spicy sauce that doesn't have much flavour, but is just spicy. It tastes like Sambal chili sauce but looks like sweet and sour sauce.
  • **Chicken Udon 3.5/6
    • Better than most places. It's a decent size and it's loaded with big pieces of chicken. it's chunks of chicken and I think we got three pieces. They pan fry it first so it intensified the flavours. It well marinated and seasoned with white pepper so it was tasty throughout.
    • $7.55

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