Robson and Denman is fast becoming the izakaya corridor of downtown Vancouver. Zakkushi, Hapa, Guu, Gyoza King.. and now Kingyo.
Service: disorganized. As soon as we entered the restaurant, they asked if we had a reservation (to which we replied no) and then asked us to sit and wait (even tho half of the restaurant was empty, hey they could ALL be reserved, I can not assume anything). 10 seconds after this, we were once again approached by staff and asked the SAME question, and once again asked us to sit and wait. We were seated about 7 mins after.
Food: Everything was luke warm when it arrived, suggesting that either it was not made fresh, or items had been sitting under a food lamp (especially for deep fried items). The pork cheeks were tough and bland, the squid was chewy, flavourless and borderline cold upon arrival.
Ambiance: It seems they spent alot of money gutting this place, as it was a deli/casual dining restaurant before (Enthuze). I give them props for trying to dress the place up, albeit in a cheezy manner. The CHAIRS were horrendous tho, my butt was numb after 10 mins of sitting on those awful chairs. Note: I am a slender built person.. good luck if you are more robust or tall!
MUSIC: Yes, normally this doesn't register on my food reviews, but the music they played was just atrocious! An izakaya is a lively pub, people go there for some nibbles, booze and laughter.. but the ambiance there was like a funeral, as they had sad country-esque music playing throughout the time we ate. We were the only ones though -- the table beside us complained, and not in a friendly manner either!
Service: Food was steady for the first 3 dishes, then it fizzled. I understand that it's not a dine and dash establishment, but to boil some noodles and broth shouldn't take more than 20 mins to prepare.
All in all, I am not sure if I would return to Kingyo. With so many other izakayas around town, I won't be going back any time soon.