Kishimoto – Classic and Modern with Big Flavors

Kishimoto is a Japanese restaurant located on Commercial Drive. They describe the food as classic and creative. The website highlights a few positives: wild/local ingredients, imported fish from Japan, making things in house and garnishes from their garden. The chef is from Osaka and has training in Kaiseki cuisine from Kyoto.

Its a small place so I recommend making a reservation in advance. Our server presented us with two types of soy – traditional and one they infused with Jalapeno. The infused version was very well done. Our first dish was blue fin nigiri. Sadly, they were out of chu toro and local uni. The tuna was good. Nice fatty texture. The rice was decent also. I prefer smaller bites but if portion is important to you, you will get certainly get a generous piece. The server informed us that the blue fin was from Mexico.

The second dish we tried was salmon oishi. My benchmark for this is Miku, and a lot of places try to copy it. I would say this was well done though I still prefer Miku. A little too much rice on this one.

Following this we had the Unagi Ishinabe. Its basically eel on rice served in a hot bowl which the server mixed table side. Very tasty. What I noticed was that the rice was perfectly cooked. I could feel the textures of each grain and they were not too mushy or firm but perfect.

Another very tasty dish followed which was the black cod belly nigiri. The cod was so buttery and tasty. Definitely a winner.

Next, spicy karage. Another dish which was very delicious and had very unique flavors. It was the perfect balance of sweet, salty, umami, spicy and crispy. I got a hint of sesame and something else unique but I could not put my finger on what it was. In any event, very well done.

The chef gave us a gift at this point, a smoked Oishi. They used cherry wood and it was very well executed.

The final savory dish was shishito peppers stuffed with prawns. They were good but I wished they came with some sort of dipping sauce or salt.

For dessert we had “tempura” ice cream with caramel and white chocolate sauce. Also very good.

Overall, service was pretty good and the food was VERY good. I would definitely return. They also have a Kaiseki (tasting) menu which I will also make a point to try in the future.

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