So I’ve taken a couple of days off from eating out and writing since it’s been a bit crazy this New Years. Today I was trying to find a sushi place to go to with a girlfriend, and found that sooo many of them were closed for lunch around the holidays or just for lunch on Saturdays. I must’ve looked up 5 or more places and called some until we came up with Kibune (which I had a recommendation about from another friend of mine not too long ago). It’s located on Yew Street, just by Cornwall right near the beach. I’ve probably walked past it quite a few times when I lived in the Arbutus Walk area not too long ago, but just never bothered to try it out.
After looking at the lunch menu, I wasn’t really all that excited about any of the options. There isn’t a lot of sushi or sashimi selection in any of the lunch boxes – it was mostly udon or noodle dishes, or else teriyaki with a small selection of rolls. As a result, we took a look mainly at the dinner menu, and then selected a couple of the dinner combination choices, which were a lot better in price than ordering a variety of items individually. I had a feeling that it would be decent and fresh sushi here, both based on the higher prices (quality and not quantity is key), and based on the comments and reviews I’ve seen on it before. Plus, our server and the chef were both Japanese! Always a good sign – it’s scary how rare this is at Japanese restaurants. 🙂
I decided on going with the Osashimi Dinner, while my girlfriend had the Sushi & Sashimi Dinner.
Starting off with the miso soup that came with both of these – I loved how they put the lid over top of it, so that it didn’t get cold. However, I did find that the miso soup itself was quite a bit saltier than some, and it was difficult to have too much of it. There was a slight seaweed flavour to it, but I didn’t see any pieces of actual seaweed and there were only a couple of pieces of tofu.
Gomae also came with both of these dinner specials. I’ve had some really bad peanut sauce with a lot of this dish at other places, while this one just had many more sesame seeds and soy sauce marinating the spinach. It was nice and light and it’s great to have some veggies with the meal, since I find that when I go for Japanese food, I often don’t have enough of them.
The shrimp sunomono also came for both of us. I really like all of the sesame seeds that they used in this version, and there was a lot of thinly sliced cucumber which was quite refreshing. The shrimp were also fairly large (I’ve seen some astonishingly small ones before that were really just pathetic).
Sushi & Sashimi Dinner
Now here’s where things started to differ a bit between our choices. My friend had the sushi and sashimi dinner as I said earlier, which included some tuna maki, some nigiri sushi, three types of sashimi, various tempura, and a selection of fruit as a dessert. The seafood tasted really fresh, and I loved the size and variety in these menu options. They were definitely enough to fill you up, and were well worth the $20-24 price range. Plus, you got to try quite a few different things in the process.
Meanwhile, I had the Osashimi Dinner, which also came with a great selection of sashimi, ranging from tako (octopus) to salmon, to tuna, and several others in between – all of these presented in a nice sushi boat.
It also came with some tempura – prawn, zucchini, carrot, and squash. This had a side of grated radish root on it, that I threw into the dipping sauce, mixed it all up and voila! Delicious.
The choice for dessert for my dinner was out of the types of ice cream they had available (vanilla, green tea, or mango). I always choose green tea at a Japanese restaurant if they have it, so that’s what I picked. I’m pretty sure it was Mario’s Gelati green tea ice cream, which is a favourite of mine, so I was definitely content with the finishing touch to my meal.
This place was great – the food was a bit more pricey (as you expect for better quality sushi) and the atmosphere was cozy as well. There was a lot of booth seating and heaters around the restaurant, which was nice on a cold and rainy day. I still prefer my other Japanese favourites, as they’re a bit closer to where I frequent now, but so far in the Kits area, this is the second best one I’ve stumbled upon (after Octopus Garden, my top choice).