Kimura- Amazing Japanese food tucked away on Rupert Street
Tucked away on Rupert and 23rd, not exactly a foodie hotspot, is Kimura Sushi and Japanese Restaurant. If I wasn't a food nerd always on the hunt for great places to eat, I don't think I would've heard of Kimura- but many a positive review and a lot of love from my fellow Vancouver food bloggers put Kimura on my radar. Apparantly, their $30 Omakse (chef selected tasting menu) is THE thing to order- but since I was with the vegan-ish sous chef, we ordered a la carte, with a veg focus.
The outside is very unassuming and its surrounded by a variety of other small businesses. It's a hidden gem as it's a small operation with food and interior atmosphere that rises above its exterior and location. Chef Itsuroku Kimura is the man behind the sushi bar and the quality of his food and passion for food (and jazz music which is pumping through the speakers.) He's worked and owned Japanese restaurants in Japan, Shanghai, Mexico City, and LA. The menu has a focus on fresh and local ingredients with a slight global influence. He seems like a real character (and has a sweet mustache to boot) and I would like to sit at the bar next time to watch him work. Everything had a really authentic Japanese feel to it and service was really great. On to what we ate....
Eggplant-Sauteed Eggplant with Miso Sauce $3.00 Slightly singed and a little crisp on the outside and soft, buttery and tender inside. Perfectly cooked with a heavenly black thick goopy soy-miso sauce.
Shiitake Mushrooms Grilled Shiitake Mushrooms $3.30 With Bonito flakes. A little dry and bland but when dipped in the eggplant miso sauce....pretty tasty.
Spinach Goma-Ae Boiled Spinach with Sesame$3.00 Fresh- subtle sesame- not drenched in thick goopy dressing, which I liked, but some people might miss.
Red Yam Tempura 4 pieces Deep Fried Yam $2.50 Super Light batter- I would say this was the best tempura I've ever had. It was not oily or overly salty so you got mainly yam taste and flavour.
Unagi Avocado Roll Eel and Avocado $4.50 Delicious with a smoky-salty BBQ flavour and creamy avocado with a thick delicious bbq/miso drizzle.
Spicy Tuna Roll Ahi Tuna with Special Spicy Sauce $4.75 Flavours well-balanced and a light rice to filling ratio- savoury, salty, lots of toasted sesame seeds. Tasted amazingly fresh.
The one disappointment was that we weren't able to order the awesome sounding "Avocado Tempura" since they had a stock issue- the sous chef is a Avocado junkie and was blown away to see that item on the menu. We polished all of this off and shared a large Asahi beer. It was a great meal and dinner experience....it felt like a "special" sushi experience and I can't wait to go back for Omakse at the bar!!!!