UPDATE: As of May 1, 2012, Sushi Kimura has been sold and Kimura-san is no longer the chef there.
On my last visit to Vancouver back in November, not only did I go to Sushi Kimura for lunch, I went again a few days later for dinner to have the omakase. This was my fifth time (Visit #1, Visit #2, Visit #3, and Visit #4) having omakase at Sushi Kimura. Kimura-san never fails to impress as he constantly uses his creativity to come up with new dishes and there have been very few repeat dishes for the omakase. I’ve always been amazed at how he manages to keep track of what dishes he’s already served in the past.
On this visit, we started off with a well-dressed Arugula Salad that was topped with jako fish or chirimen jako to be exact. They are very tiny fish that have been salted and dried. While the appearance of the jako may be a bit off-putting for some people, it didn’t bother me at all. The jako served as a crunchy topping for the salad and they did not taste fishy at all.
Our second course was a Scallop and Salmon appetizer consisting of thinly sliced salmon and scallops layered on top of cucumber slices that was topped with diced tomatoes, garnished with a strawberry, and finished with a red wine vinaigrette and orange zest. This dish was one of Kimura-san’s fusion creations and not one that I would have expected at a Japanese restaurant. The different flavours and textures really worked well together.
Next up was the Italian-style Tako, which is another fusion dish consisting of baby octopus pieces served atop a portobello mushroom and topped with a tomato sauce and garnished with a broccoli floret.
Our fourth course was a Tempura Natto Dumpling. This was indeed a very creative dish. Kimura-san made the dumpling using gyoza wrappers stuffing them with a mixture of cheese and natto (fermented soy bean) along with a shiso leaf. The dumpling was coated in a light tempura batter and deep-fried. It was then served on a small bed of grated daikon and finished a light tempura sauce. Though I’m not usually a fan of natto, mainly because of the smell and the gooeyness, it actually worked really well with the cheese as a filling. The natto provided a nice nutty flavour and the usual pungent smell of the natto was toned down by the cheese as well as the shiso leaf.
Our fifth course was another rather unusual find at a Japanese restaurant. It was another one of Kimura-san’s fusion creations. It consisted of Braised Oxtail and was served with steamed vegetables and a slice of garlic toast. The oxtail was flavourful and fall-off-the-bone tender.
For our sixth course, we had the Chicken Meatball Hot Pot (Tori Dango Nabe). The hot pot contained minced chicken meatballs, tofu slices, snow pea pods, button mushrooms, yu choy, and potato noodles. This dish was not new to us as we had it as part of our omakase set during our previous visit. This was the first repeat we’ve ever had in the omakase repertoire. I didn’t mind at all as this dish was one of the highlights of my previous visit. I loved the depth of flavours in the broth and couldn’t stop drinking it until I finished every last drop. I wish that it would be on the regular menu at Sushi Kimura as it would be perfect for lunch on a cold, rainy day.
We then ended the omakase with a nigiri sushi course. The sushi course consisted of a piece each of Fresh Uni, Hamachi Toro (belly of yellowtail), Maguro (bigeye tuna), and Seared Maguro Toro (seared belly of bigeye tuna). My favourites were the Hamachi Toro and the Seared Maguro Toro as both just melted in my mouth.
We ended the sushi course with a Salmon Skin Hand Roll. The hand roll was filled with a mixture of chopped salmon skin, shiso leaf, and diced oshinko (also known as takuan, which is pickled daikon).
For dessert, Kimura-san prepared a variation of the special dessert he had made for us during our lunch visit. The dessert consisted of persimmon slices, which were served alongside a scoop of ice cream that Kimura-san had made by hand. The flavour of the ice cream was really complex and unique as he had reduced balsamic vinegar and mixed it with caramel. The persimmon slices and ice cream was on a bed of creamy sauce that was a combination of tofu and mascarpone.
Again, we enjoyed this omakase experience at Sushi Kimura. Of all the times that I’ve had omakase, we surprisingly had the most number of fusion dishes on this visit. Considering the number of courses that we had in this meal, I thought this omakase set, like usual, was great value at $40 per person.
3883 Rupert Street