Tomorrow, I am leaving for a three week trip in Asia. I’ll be in Beijing, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok so get excited for the food blogging thats about to come your way! So today, my friends and I went to lunch since it would be what is my last meal in Vancouver for three weeks. This later turned out to be untrue, as my mom and I went to Takeya for dinner. Anyway, my friends let me choose where I’d like to have lunch so we settled with Kiriri. Kiriri is a more authentic Japanese restaurant in my neighbourhood. It’s Japanese-operated so that must account for something! If it were cheaper, I’d head here every day for lunch since it is within walking distance from my house.
Kiriri is in a strip mall across from Garden City Plaza at the corner of Blundell and Garden City. It’s tucked away at the end, among a random variety of businesses. Beware that they are closed on Mondays.
My favourite part of Kiriri is the decor. The tables are a gorgeous earthy finish and each is set with care. The chopsticks are provided on special Kiriri business card holders. It gives a very nice ambiance.
The restaurant itself is decorated okay. It’s definitely very clean and that is always welcome. This photo was taken around 1pm on a Tuesday afternoon. The restaurant was literally completely empty except for us. However, as we progressed through our meal, more patrons trickled in and it was actually almost a full house by the time we left.
I also love all their tableware. It’s clear that they are all imported from Japan because I have only seen dishware of this quality in Japan. We were also served real green tea. More Japanese restaurants should do this! The only thing missing is complimentary edamame and I’d be set.
Since I knew I’d be away from Vancouver for three weeks, I knew I had to get one last sashimi fix in. I ordered Chirashi ($13.00), Served with kobachi, miso soup and pickles. The miso soup was very, very good. It was so good that it stood out! It was noticeably better than the instant stuff and the tofu itself was exceptionally good. I’ve never had tofu with such flavour. None of us knew what “kobachi” was when we ordered and it seemed to come with all of our meals. According to the internet, it just means small bowl. The kobachi we received today, I guess it was the kobachi of the day, was a cold dish with cooked white radish in a clear meat broth. It was interesting; not particularly good but not bad.
On my chirashi, I had (clockwise): hamachi, salmon, tuna, two pieces of tamago, octopus, mackerel, squid and an unidentified fish which I suspect to be red snapper? The rice was very good. I thought it was the perfect sushi rice. The sashimi was also very good. It was fresh and delicious. Eating chirashi though, was not good. It’s always so awkward to eat a chirashi don. I just don’t know the correct method. With a spoon? With chopsticks? Do you dip the sashimi into the soy sauce? Or do you poor the soy sauce onto the sashimi? The saba was good but it was definitely not the best I’ve ever had. There were two pieces of tamago and they were the best two pieces of tamago I’ve ever had in my life. Seriously, I cannot emphasize this enough. It was better than the tamago I tried in Tokyo last year. It was amazing. I’d seriously come back just for that. The salmon did not look wild- it just didn’t look lean enough to be wild. It was okay and so was the tuna and hamachi. The rest I personally do not like as much as I will not comment.
Fiona and Nicole both chose Combination B ($12.50), Chicken teriyaki, udon, agedashi tofu, green salad, sushi. Includes miso soup & kobachi. First of all, what a good darn deal! $12.50 for all of that? I’m so into it.
The chicken was a smaller serving but it was tender. It was good, like a 7.5, they said. The udon was plain udon so it was average. Again, like me, both Nicole and Fiona enjoyed the miso soup.
The agedashi tofu was the best out of the entire combo. It was better than regular tofu and the seasoning was great on it. The very thinly sliced nori and bonito flakes make it a gorgeous dish. The salad was average but it was nice to have.
They didn’t comment on the futomako and inari sushi as it was their first time having it. They said it was good but they have no relative perspectives. It was well worth the $12.50, they both said, because you get a variety of everything and it’s always nice to try a little bit of each thing.
Dom ordered the Pork Katsu Donburi ($10.00), Served with kobachi, miso soup and pickles. He said it was really flavourful but not too sweet. The pork chops were nice and tender. He also really enjoyed the miso soup, like the rest of us. That was some special miso soup!
He thought his katsu don was a good serving size and was quite full by the bottom of the bowl. The egg was fluffy and divine. His words, not mine. I’d love this try both this and the combo B next time because they both look so good!
All in all, I really enjoyed my lunch here. Kiriri is slightly pricier than some Japanese restaurants in Richmond but hey, if you want quality food, you have to be willing to pay the premium. I probably can only afford to come here at lunch but there are tons of lunch boxes to try so I will be back! I’ve previously tried the saba lunch box (so inexpensive at $10 but Seto has the same for better) and the Kaiseiki lunch set, which is the popular $23 set that everyone comes to try. Kiriri is a great little gem in my neighbourhood.
Thanks for eating with me!