Kishimoto serves authentic Japanese cuisine made with care using all of their own recipes, not premade ingredients.
I cannot recall enjoying an evening of fine Japanese food as much as I did on as recent Tuesday evening. The space once occupied by Clove is tiny but cozy. There was a short wait for a table as the resteraunt was bustling around the 8pm mark when we arrived. A smiling hostess/server seated us and we looked over the fairly expansive menu and daily/fresh sheet. There was a chalk board out front listing 3 or 4 specials as well though our new-to-Canada server neglected to mention this. Her cheerfulness and real attempts to converse despite a rather limited grasp of English made it easy to overlook. We ordered gomae(blanched spinach/sesame paste) and agidashi (fried, spicy firm tofu) to start. Both were good, particularily the agidashi which was accompanied by a delish, sweet and tangy sauce which complimented the crisp exterior and soft, pillowy interior of the tofu very well. Good start. Next came the Green Eyed Roll. This riff on the ubiquitous Cali Roll was made steller by the addition of a mango puree naped over the top and a band of cucumber encircling each piece. No need for soy or wasabi for me. The rice was perfectly seasoned and the crab mix was bang on. By adding the essential tanginess of the mango and the crisp texture of the cucumber the chef/owner made this dish pop. We both thoroughly enjoyed this roll and would order it again in a heart beat. The very well-informed caucasion young woman server highly praised the marinated black cod served with sweet potato puree. We followed her advice and were happy we did. Initially we were slightly put off at the rather small portion for $12 and change but after diving into the slightly sweet, charred flesh of the cod filet we agreed that the small quantity quibble was outweighed by the precise and professional treatment that the chef gave to this dish.In other words, it rocked. The puree itself was noteworthy for its peculiar richness. I am certain he didnt use cream to attain it. Finally and again and the behest of our second server (they work as a team for the casual, pleasant service) we chose a sushi item that is apparently a very popular choice. The cooked sockeye salmon is set atop the rice and rich sauce, then using the blow torch, the chef caramelizes the fish lending it a subtle sweetness that ratcheted the flavor quotient to near orgasmic levels. The same effect was used on the aforementioned cod dish. At this point we could eat no more though we were almost game to try another roll so impressed were we to this point with everything we'd tried.
As previous reviewers have alluded to, Kishimoto charges a little more than your average Vancouver sushi trap. This only makes sense as the food was expertly handled and cooked. Everything tasted fresh and was served with an artist's eye for presentation. The Green Eye Roll was almost too beautiful to consume. The chef and his team are Japanese trained and it would appear passionate and determined to produce exceptional Japanese food in a town busting at the gills with the banal. The food plus a large warm saki and two import beer including tax/tip was $85.
The hardest part is getting yourself to destroy something so well crafted. They make it look so nice. But once you taste it you can't stop yourself from ravaging the rolls.
The service is fine, lots of smiles and hardworking ladies. If it gets busy, you might have to wait a little, but not long.
The atmosphere is great. Very clean. Maybe not as much decor as other Japanese restaurants, but that can be a good thing.
The price is the only thing I am concerned of. It is definitely worth what you paid. More expensive than most sushi joints, but that is because the quality is much better. So you get what you pay for.
I'll come back. For sure. But not everyday, because I am not a rock-star. Once a month fits the budget.
You must try this place if you haven't done so.
For those who care, the people are Japanese who are making the sushi. I personally don't care, but some people do.
This is one of my new go-to and favourite sushi restaurants. Their presentation is simply beautiful, and their food is fresh, high quality, and made to order. Their unagi is especially fantastic, they grill the fish on a stone-plate the moment you order it, it's amazing! Also, their stone-bowl rice is very delicious. My favourite though is their chirashi don, you get a great assortment of sashimi (salmon, tuna, hamachi, unagi, tako, hokigai), and also big salmon roe! That's not the great part, they mix their rice with a very mild sauce with finely chopped shiitake mushrooms and japanese pickles. All this for $13. It blows my mind!
You get great food and service for your money, come here instead of those crappy sushi joints that give you terrible service and mediocre food (*cough*sushigarden*cough*).
The ONLY thing I can ask for an improvement is that they space out the tables a bit more? At this point, the restaurant is still small (just opened) so the tables are pretty close together. Last time I went with my mom, this really rude couple got sat next to us and kept staring at our food and making rude comments about how they could never eat sashimi like we did. That really offended me, and I wish that I had more privacy when I'm eating so that even if the table next to me wanted to make comments about what I'm order - that I won't be able to hear it.
Other than that, awesome place, you really should come check it out!
Like many of the places on "the drive", they can look like a hole in the wall as you walk on by. This place doesn't really stand out on the outside, but once you sit down, and look through the menu and see what the other diners are eating, you'll notice that you've stumbled onto something very special. From the Daikon pinwheels with edamame centres, to little carrot butterflies over wasabi, you'll find that the sushi chefs take presentation very seriously. You eat with your eyes before your mouth, and your eyes should be ready for an amazing feast! But looks are only 1/2 the battle. The taste from each dish offers the same in terms as flavour as the visuals gave your eyes. The nasu dengaku (eggplant) was incredibly succulent with a delicious miso glaze that kept us coming back for more! The spicy agedashi tofu was wonderful, as was the OMG role, which did make us think OMG this is good. There was not a single thing that was poorly done. This will definitely become a regular place for us for when we wish to go for sushi.
Kishimoto shines through with their attention to details. The food here is superb, and the presentation of that food leaves a wonderful first impression. The staff are friendly, though the waitresses tend to be a bit reserved. Every time I go in I get the impression that they really care about giving customers an enjoyable meal... maybe 'an enjoyable experience' if you want to get a bit cheesy. You can eat the decorations they put about their food platters, for the most part!
I had some friends out to this restaurant and one, who has spent most of her life living in different cities along the west coast and Japan, had said that the food here is some of the best that she's tasted for the value. More regularly, my partner and I visit on a $10 budget between the two of us and share two to three rolls. It tends to get busy in the evening, so lunch (noon to 2:30 I think?) might be the best time to go.
First off, I place much more weight in how I view a restaurant on the food and if the service doesn't cause a problem then that is good enough for me. Having known about this place for sometime now, yesterday - 8/26/2011 - I decided to give it a shot. I hate to say it but, you can tell that the Chefs are real live Japanese people. The care and skill that they take to prepare the food is evident and so are the menu offerings. I gave my wife a choice b/n Aji Sashimi (sounds delicious) or Black Cod Miso (was delicious) and we had tuna tatake and a couple of rolls. The rolls weren't all rice with a little bit of the main ingredients in the middle - no it was a nice balance. To give you an idea of how good this place is, to me, Torarenbo in Richmond would be a 10 and Sushi Kimira on Rupert and 22nd would be a 9, this place would be a 9 as well. Most other sushi restaurants that are run by "asians" (as if we can't tell the difference b/n who they are - what do they think we're stupid???) that churn out bulk crap would be a 5 in comparison. If you like good sushi, support this place and keep it going.
PS - although I ordered take out I didn't order until I got there so I spent 20 minutes in the dining room and the Japanese rock was a nice touch.
I am super impressed with the freshness and quality of their food. It is the best I have had on the east side, and better than most everywhere else in Vancouver too. I have been there four times so far.
I don't even need to stray from their bento boxes — they are so good, varied, and a great deal for the amazing quality. But I do stray: everything I have had has been excellent. I particularly like their Unagi stone bowl lunch special — it comes piping hot and generous!
The service is attentive. The atmosphere is calm and lovely. Kishimoto has ruined all the other Japanese restaurants in the area for me!
I highly recommend it — but don't make it too busy for me! I hate line-ups.
My wife and I had lunch at Kishimoto today with our nine month-old daughter - our first time there. Our server had some strange compulsion to try to clean up after our daughter while she was eating, and tried to take a plastic bowl that she was playing with out of her hands. Maybe she was just unfamiliar with small children, but the impression that it left was that we were not really welcome. The food was okay, nothing amazing, but I don't think we'll be going back.