UPDATE: As of May 1, 2012, Sushi Kimura has been sold and Kimura-san is no longer the chef there.
For me, a trip to Vancouver is not complete without having omakase at Sushi Kimura. I think the omakase at Sushi Kimura is such great value for the price and I always look forward to the creative dishes that Kimura-san has in store for us. Again, I was there on this visit with my regular partners-in-crime – Grayelf, her SO, and my friend C. This time we decided to try the $40 omakase.
For our first course, we started off with an Arugula & Parmesan Salad. The arugula was lightly dressed in a simple vinaigrette. I thought this was a refreshing way to start off the meal.
Next up was a Seaweed Shooter. It contained seaweed, grated yamaimo (Japanese mountain yam), a raw quail egg, and a splash of soda water to give it a bit of carbonation. The yamaimo is really interesting as it is mucilaginous when grated and the texture becomes thick and gluey. This was my first time trying yamaimo and it took me a little bit to get use to the texture. This was definitely a creative shooter and not like anything I’ve ever had before. I did enjoy the different flavours and textures.
Our third dish was a Scallop Fondue. The fondue comprised of two cheeses – an old white cheddar and a “secret” creamy cheese that Kimura-san wouldn’t divulge. This was the perfect bite. The scallop was perfectly cooked and the combination of melted cheese complemented the scallop well.
Our fourth dish was the Kampachi Kama, which was the grilled collar/neck of the Hawaiian Baby Amberjack. I’ve always been a big fan of Hamachi Kama and this was similar in texture and taste. The Kampachi Kama was perfectly grilled. It was so tender that the meat just melted in my mouth. The collar/neck is one of my favourite parts of the fish as the meat is so fatty.
Next up was the Maguro Sashimi. The Maguro (tuna) was topped with grated yamaimo (Japanese mountain yam), lime juice, olive oil, garlic puree, and some toasted pecans. This was an interesting combination of textures and flavours. The flavours worked surprisingly well together and were very well-balanced. The garlic puree provided the right amount of punch without being overpowering and the lime juice provided just the right amount of acidity.
Our six course was Seared Sea Bream. The sea bream sashimi was lightly seared on the outside with a butane torch and then topped with a Dolcelatte (Gorgonzola Dolce) sauce. I never expected to pair a blue cheese with sashimi but it worked surprisingly well together as the sea bream was quite meaty and the Dolcelatte sauce was quite mild. This was one of Kimura-san’s fusion creations.
For our next course, we had a Seafood Salad consisting of chopped octopus (tako), Japanese cucumber, maui onion, tomato, and cilantro. This was like a Japanese version of a “horiatiki” or village salad. I loved the crunchiness of the Japanese cucumbers against the slightly chewy octopus chunks. The salad was dressed with the perfect amount of acidity.
Our eighth course was Kampachi Sashimi. This was the second course showcasing Kampachi (Hawaiian baby amberjack) in this meal. Earlier we had the Kampachi Kama. The Kampachi sashimi was served with some hon-wasabi (real wasabi) and a special shoyu with kombu and sake for dipping along with some mashed Kabocha squash. The Kampachi was so fresh and tender. I loved the hon-wasabi as it has a more refined hotness than the powdered wasabi.
As we were finishing up the Kampachi sashimi, Kimura-san treated us each to a piece of Hamachi (young yellowtail) with some hon-wasabi again. He told us to eat the piece of Hamachi with the shiso leaf. Normally, I’m not a fan of the flavour of the shiso leaf but to my surprise, it worked really well together with the Hamachi and I actually enjoyed it.
For our next course, we had Grilled Japanese Flatfish. The Japanese name for this dish is Karei Shioboshi. Karei is the Japanese name for flounder/flatfish. Shioboshi describes the preparation technique. The fish is brined, washed in sake, and hung to dry in the fridge before grilling. After grilling, this fish was then finished with some fresh lime juice. I really enjoyed the delicate flavour of the fish although for me, it was slightly on the salty side. The fish was served with a jellyfish and sharkfin salad.
For fun, we created a challenge amongst ourselves to see who could polish off the whole fish while keeping the bones in tact. My friend C won the challenge. I was really amazed that she could get every little bit of meat off that fish while keeping the bones in tact. I reckon she must have been a cat in her past life! 🙂
For our tenth course, we had the Lotus Leaf Steamed Salmon. The salmon along with Shiitake mushrooms and Eringi mushrooms (cultivated hiratake/oyster mushrooms) were wrapped in a lotus leaf and steamed to perfection. Though I usually like my salmon undercooked, this salmon was perfectly moist and flaky. The salmon was served with a dipping sauce containing yuzu, pesto, and chili.
For our eleventh and final savory course, we finished off with a Chicken Meatball Hot Pot (Tori Dango Nabe). The hot pot contained minced chicken meatballs, tofu slices, snow pea pods, Shiitake mushrooms, yu choy, and potato noodles. As simple as this dish looks, it was actually one of my favourite in this meal. I was really impressed with the depth of flavours in the broth and couldn’t stop drinking it until I finished every last drop even though I was already really full from the previous 10 courses. I also really enjoyed the potato noodles as they were cooked perfectly. It’s too bad this dish is not on the regular menu at Sushi Kimura as I would want to have this for lunch on a cold, rainy day.
Like always, we finished off the meal with choice of ice cream. This time we could barely fit the ice cream in as this is the most number of courses we’ve had yet for omakase at Sushi Kimura. Again, Kimura-san has managed to impress us with the variety of dishes as there were no repeats from the previous omakases that we’ve had.
3883 Rupert Street