Kingyo Izakaya Part 1 – Japanese, Vancouver

Kingyo Izakaya 金魚居酒屋 is one of the popular izakayas in Downtown Vancouver. I visited Kingyo for the first time in May, 2010 after hearing about their great food. The interior is pretty unique and quite similar to Suika since Suika is Kingyo’s sister restaurant. The interior and logo designs at Kingyo have an oriental/Japanese feel.



This time, I made plans to visit after receiving a dining pass from VANEATS – a deal site that offers dining packages every month. It is similar those online deals that offer you a discounted set meal, only VANEATS offer very limited dining passes.

In the package: Sashimi Salad, Seared Negitoro Sushi, Chicken Breast Tender&Cod Roe Spring Roll, Deep fried tofu and mushrooms in sizzling stone bowl, and Petit Almond Tofu.

If you read the About Me page, you probably remember that I don’t eat sashimi! So of course I went to Kingyo with friends who love sashimi, who couldn’t be happier because they get to have all the sashimi to themselves! 🙂


My camera did a crappy job with night time photos. If you want to see more interior photos, VANEATS has a Photo Album of Kingyo on Facebook.

This is a photo I snapped when I passed by the kitchen. It appears to be a tuna cone in sushi form..?

The VANEATS Kingyo Craze dining package:
Sashimi Salad, three kinds of sashimi (changes daily) on a bed of organic springs dressed with soy based vinaigrette and garlic oil.
I only ate the lotus and salad pieces so the only comment I have is that the salad dressing was really light. The 3 kinds of sashimi were ebi, salmon and something I couldn’t remember.

Chicken Breast Tender & Cod Roe Spring Roll, served with a side of mayo & special soy sauce
The dish contains one spring roll, cut in half. I liked the spring roll for its really crispy shell and the chicken filling was dense. When I think of spring rolls I usually expect soft vegetable fillings, but this spring roll tasted more like a “well-made chicken nugget”. However, I thought the soy sauce was enough for the spring roll and mayo was not necessary. I would have liked it better if the mayo and special soy sauce were separated into 2 sauce dishes, but maybe the sauce was supposed to be mixed together? Hearts: 7.4/10

Seared Negitoro Sushi, chopped tuna & green onions with seaweed paste and Kingyo’s original sauce
My friends said the sushi was good so I’ll believe that. Kingyo actually offers 4 kinds of pressed sushi, that I don’t usually see in izakayas. If you eat sashimi I think it would be worth a try.

I took another photo to show that the light was coming from a candle inside a Daikon wall! The presentation was pretty interesting.

Deep fried tofu, okra and mushrooms, served in a sizzling stone bowl
I really like dishes served in sizzling stone bowls because of good presentation, hot food, and if it’s rice in the hot stone bowl, the crispy rice at the bottom is to-die-for! I liked that this dish is healthy and not too salty, but without the stone bowl it’s basically a tofu/veggie dish you can find in Chinese restaurants. It seems that the hot stone bowl was there for the presentation only instead of improving the dish.  Hearts: 6.7/10

Petit Almond Tofu, Kingyo’s famous super smooth and refreshing almond tofu with persimmon sauce
The petit almond tofu was very tiny indeed. I could eat all of it in one scoop. From the description it may sound like the almond tofu has a cream texture, but it is actually a little bit watery like the Chinese tofu pudding (豆花). I couldn’t taste the almond flavour in the tofu, although my friends did. I’m not a big fan of watery tofu pudding because I prefer denser desserts like creme bulee. Hearts: 5.3/10


Jenny Says:

  • Overall, my experience at Kingyo was good because the service was superb, and the ambiance was fun. Two birthday celebrations actually happened while we were there!
  • When it comes to dining deals, I would prefer choices over a strict set menu. Since I didn’t eat everything in the VANEATS package, it doesn’t make sense to say whether I like this package or not. If I’m just judging from the food that I ate, I thought it was alright, but perhaps the sashimi/sushi could have been the highlights for people who eat sashimi?
  • Regarding the value, I would say it doesn’t hurt to spend $19 for a 5-course set menu, since Kingyo’s dishes are pricier compared to other izakayas. It’s a good thing that you know what exactly you’re getting from the deal so you can decide to purchase it  if you like the dishes included in the package.
  • The items in the dining package, except the sushi, were small. However eating all the items in this package is very likely to fill you up.

P.S. If I don’t make any sense, it’s because I’ve been blogging at very late nights (3-5 AM) for several days in a row now! z_z
But if I reward myself with good food, that means I will have more restaurant entries to blog!…My goodness.

Kingyo Izakaya
871 Denman St, Vancouver

-By Jenny Shen, Eat With Jenny


5 thoughts on “Kingyo Izakaya Part 1 – Japanese, Vancouver

  1. Hahaha…don’t ask me what I’m doing up so early in the day. I’m a little surprised that you don’t eat ANY sashimi at all. There must be some type of raw fish or raw food you must like?

  2. Too bad you didn’t enjoy your meal at Kingyo as much as you could have. Set menus can be a bit restrictive in that way. Plus, I sometimes find that the quality suffers a bit when there are set menus. Personally, Kingyo is one of my favourite restaurants. So a set menu might be a nice change.

  3. Pingback: Kingyo Izakaya Part 2 – Japanese, Vancouver « Eat With Jenny

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