Friday, August 15, 2014


J is done university which is totally to be expected but worth celebrating anyways!
Where: 51 Winchester Street, Toronto, ON
Price: $$$ (Our bill was $72 for 2 people, tax and tip included)
Note: Reserve ahead of time because it can get VERY busy, especially on weekends

The area is much larger than Guu (seats approximately 120 people), for those who use Guu as their bench mark for izakayas and fortunately, it's not as crowded or loud! In the centre of the restaurant, a long fish tank is embedded in the table and filled with goldfish (kingyo in Japanese means goldfish!). There were little drinking games at the bar and electronic arcade machines that lit up on the walls (you can find them outside the washrooms and if you win the jackpot, you get a gift card to Kingyo!). There were even projections of anime shows on the wall. Hooray for Doraemon!

A note on the service: absolutely wonderful. They constantly changed our plates and our water glasses were always topped up. The servers were extremely gracious and knew the menu very well. Very impressed with the service :)

The TAKOWASABI ($4.20) was a delight for the eyes and for the stomach. The presentation was on point and I almost didn't want to eat it! You have the choice of asking for the octopus fully cooked, raw or half and half. We went with half and half and were served two small bowls (one with fully cooked, the other with raw). The presentation was so extravagant for just takowasabi!

We didn't hear too many good things about Kingyo's fresh fish but decided to give it a shot anyways. We ordered the MAGURO CARPACCIO ($11.20) and were pleasantly surprised by the size of the dish. Thinly sliced ahi-tuna carpaccio were placed on a bed of spring mix, avocado, radish sprouts, daikon radish, onions & topped with crispy garlic chips and their house dressing. While it was great that there were so many ingredients, this can also be a pitfall as you lose the delicate tuna flavour amongst all the other ingredients. Still a refreshing started and we really can't complain about the size of it!

KARAAGE has always been a must-order for us as we love our fried chicken (or well, C does..). Kingyo's famous deep fried chicken karaage from "O-Sho restaurant" in Japan was served with a magic powder (a sansho pepper blend) and a small lemon wedge. The portion was quite generous with large, moist pieces of crispy fried chicken. The chicken was delicious on its own and the magic powder was not necessarily needed.

We were hoping to order uni shooters when we went but they didn't have any on their special menu :(

The STONE GRILLED BEEF TONGUE ($10.20) was an incredibly fun dish. Thin slices of raw beef were placed in front of us along with a sizzling stone. You cooked the meat yourself on the stone for about 1 minute or so before dipping it into one of the sauces provided. Interactive dishes like this are so much fun :) Just a note, the stone loses its heat after while and they will replace it for you.

We got two pasta dishes: KIMCHI UDON ($8.80) and the GOMA RAMEN SALAD WITH SPICY COD ROE ($7.80). J didn't particularly like the Kimchi udon as it was too creamy but I really enjoyed it. We both agreed it could have used a LOT more kimchi though especially when thats the name of the udon!

The Goma Ramen Salad had a combination of BBQ pork, cucumbers, marinated sea kelp and spicy cod roe. It was tossed in a tangy house sesame dressing. Cold ramen done right! The sesame dressing was addicting and this was a really refreshing dish

We ended off the meal with their 2 COLOUR ALMOND TOFU ($5.80). A small Jasmine jello layer at the top and a layer of berry sauce in the middle of an almond tofu. Now that I've learned to make almond tofu, it seems like a waste to get it in restaurants but this was freaking delicious. We made the regrettable mistake of only getting one almond tofu - get two, you won't want to share.

The food and presentation were amazing at Kingyo. You're definitely paying a premium, in comparison to other izakayas but it is worth your money.