Price: $5-10/dish (tapas style)
Rating: **** (Highly recommended)
A couple weeks ago, my friend D and I went downtown for some Japanese food at Kingyo Izakaya on Denman Street (Vancouver). Our original plan was to go to Hapa or Zakkushi but I couldn’t really find parking nearby and we ended up stumbling by Kingyo. What a great find! We waited about 10-15 minutes for seating. The place really isn’t that big but it’s got a nice casual atmosphere, with a touch of Japan to it. I actually have yet to travel to Japan to really comment on anything about authenticity but it was a pretty cool place to be nonetheless.
Initially, we ordered four dishes which were enough items for two people but then decided we were still hungry and ordered two more dishes, which was probably enough for three. All in all, we had chicken karaage (not shown), three kinds of sashimi (fresh daily specials), stone-grilled beef tongue, negitoro sushi (usually three pieces but the server told us we could change it to four instead), beef sukiyaki, and a rice bowl (sorry, I don’t remember the meat in there, I only remember that there were a lot of onions). The beef sukiyaki and the rice bowl were quite filling and I believe if we had ordered those first, we would not have ordered as much. The tab came out to around $72, which is pretty reasonable for the deliciously, delectable dishes we ate.
While D and I were there, we heard one of the servers sing “Happy Birthday” to someone. It was quite an effortful and amusing off-tune version, I might add. In fact, I was so amused by it that I’ve decided to return there for my birthday which is coming up soon. Of course, I’m really going back for the food and I’m sure my friends will enjoy the place as well, if they haven’t been there already. D claims Kingyo is the best Japanese food he’s had in four years since moving away from Vancouver. I’ve lived here almost all my life and I must say it’s some of the best I’ve had in quite a while too!