Yes, I’m still alive.
For those wondering where I’ve been, I’ve been around but decidedly absent for the past couple of months. A few weddings out of town, and just general summer festivities. I’ve still been eating out, but just not as much.
Anyway, back to it. I have a lot of catching up to do!
On my birthday in June, I went to Kingyo on Denman Street for a late dinner after my beach volleyball league. It’s one of my favourite Japanese izakayas in Vancouver, and I’ve been there for dinner quite a few times to date. It’s also been memorable in terms of watching the small female servers matching customers in heavy beer drinking contests (you’ll have to go there sometime to see what I mean).
After walking in to the usual boisterous welcome of Irashaimase, we walked passed the central sushi bar and were seated at a back window corner table and settled in to take a look at the menu while sipping on some delicious Japanese roasted rice tea. Since there were only two of us, we needed to order carefully so that we could have many different items without getting too full.
The Seared Scallop arrived first, covered with some mayonnaise and tobiko, with a lemon wedge on the side. This dish stood out the least during the evening, as I found it to be a bit too plain unless I managed to get all of the components into a single mouthful.
Next up was the Scallop and Crab Roll (not the imitation version here, of course), with plenty of tobiko and roe. I found these morsels to be quite good, although a little bit on the large size when trying to bite into one piece.
Although I didn’t feel like anything too deep fried that evening, we went with the My Ebimayo prawns with a spicy mayo sauce. These were served piping hot, and we managed to eat every last one, including the tails (which were crispy enough to easily manage).
Something for those a little more adventurous was the Stone Grilled Beef Tongue. I really enjoyed the thinly sliced meat, and being able to cook it myself on the stone and then cover it with the Yuzu hot pepper paste, green onions and lemon.
Finally, our filler for the evening was the Stone-Grilled Kakuni Bibimbap, mixed together with egg, tender pork belly, and Korean style pickles, in a sizzling hot bowl. We both really enjoyed this version of the dish, and managed to satisfy ourselves without burning our fingers. A big plus for me (since I’m usually either spilling, breaking, or burning something at pretty much all of my restaurant outings)!
Once we had completed our meal, the server brought over some frozen grapes to finish things off while settling our bill. Luckily, no one mentioned that it was my birthday, as two years before there was a large group of us that ended up listening to an entertaining (read: ear-crunching) rendition of Happy Birthday sang by the staff.
Overall, I really enjoy dining out at Kingyo Izakaya, and will go back when I’m feeling like eating in a loud and lively atmosphere with some great shared Japanese tapas.