[rating:3] :

Kingyo is a Japanese Izakaya bar that offers a variety of tapas in a trendy environment. It combines the look of old world Japan with a modern twist, which makes this place more swanky compared to the more rustic, traditional Izakayas. The ambiance is calming and the interior design is beautiful.

As soon as Tre and I stepped in, we were greeted by friendly staff, quickly seated and handed hot cloths to wipe our hands. I was impressed. Not because we were given hand towels, but because all the staff had happy faces and were very accommodating. The crowd here is different from Guu. There’s more hipsters and young people trying to look their most beautiful.

To accompany our house sake we decided to try some food. The Ahi Tuna Carpaccio is thin slices of ahi tuna over Japanese radish topped with green onion, garlic and lotus root chips, wasabi mayo and a soy based dressing. This dish was good, not outstanding, but good. The Beef Tendon Miso Stew is stewed beef tendon and veggies with thinly sliced red pepper on top. The beef was tasty, but lacked a little flavor and was a bit dry. But overall it was good, the broth was really tasty. The Ebi Mayo is deep fried tempura battered black tiger prawn dipped in spicy chili sauce. This dish was tasty and the shrimp was deep fried perfectly. We ordered a few more dishes from their daily specials and overall it was good. Even though the presentations of the food were beautiful, we felt the flavours were more tame than Guu.

Price wise, you pay a little more at Kingyo’s. But what you’re paying for is the ambiance and the service. Kingyo’s kitchen is staffed by ex-Guu employees, so the food is definitely solid. Combined with the more sophisticated environment, one would expect this to be an instant hit. But to me, it’s missing that little something. Would we come back? Yes we would, but only if we couldn’t get into Guu first.

The Details

871 Denman St. Vancouver

Kingyo on Urbanspoon

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