Kissa Tanto | Dining in Vancouver

Voted 2nd best in Vancouver, and ranked in the top 20 in Canada, Kissa Tanto has quite the reputation, but does it have the consistency it takes to stay on top? We took a chance on this odd but uniquely decorated location. As you walk in, you're taken into a retro chic world. The service is friendly and very knowledgeable - everyone was such a foodie!

The appetizers were quite tasty; we experienced their wagyu tartare (carne crudo), which was quite decadent for a starter, and then had the eggplant fritters which were quite largely sized deep fried balls. The porchetta agnolotti was really well made - the pasta was cooked perfectly and the thickness of the agnolotti was precise. The insides however did not entirely taste of porchetta, more of a ham than the smoky and meaty flavours we had hoped for.

We then had a taste of the slow-cooked wagyu steak. This was definitely a wow! Everything you're looking for in a wagyu: a melt-in-your-mouth experience. The special that evening was a pork belly - which was massive but it was divine. Lastly, the dessert of the night was tiramisu. Airy, light, fluffy, not too sweet and just purely indulgent; the tiramisu won our hearts.

We highly recommend you make a reservation (well in advance) to dine at Kissa Tanto. The wine list includes all sorts including sake, as seen in the carafe in the images below. Kissa Tanto's fusion of Asian and Italian cuisines, proves that fusion culinary can be done.

Food: Carne Cruda - Snake River Farms wagyu, pearl onion petals, salt, charred scallino sauce, parmesan, arima sansho, fresh herbs, gnocco frito, Frittelle di Melanzane - garlic eggplant fritter, Porchetta Agnolotti, Wagyu Lifter Steak - 24hr slow cooked, fermented cabbage, Calabrian chili and parmesan, Special of Pork Belly, Dessert Special of Tiramisu.
Made by: Kissa Tanto
Location: 263 East Pender Street, Vancouver

Torafuku | Dining in Vancouver

A great spot for sharing plates and having delicious cocktails (during or not during happy hour). They also have a delicious sake list, including one of our favourite producers, Kozaemon Brewery. 

Torafuku features some great dishes with great ingredients, such as fresh seafood like octopus, or rice bowls and a very unique ramen bowl. There are different combinations of foods in each dish and they all have particularly delicious flavours. If you want a unique and tasty experience, Torafuku proves to be quite intriguing. The menu does change and the cocktails as well. 

Be sure to check them out in the Chinatown area of Vancouver! 

Food & Beverage: Bison Grass Fizz Cocktail, Ramen Bowl, Rice Cakes with Pork, Calamari, Octopus and Tuna poke, Egg and cream mushroom rice bowl, Oolong Infused Yuzu Jello Dessert with condense milk and crispy salted caramel.
Made by: Torafuku
Location: 958 Main Street, Vancouver

Kingyo Toronto

Not to be confused with Kingyo in Vancouver, Koji San recently opened Kingyo Toronto in Cabbagetown.

The second you walk into the large, open space, the glowing and flashy casino machines are the first thing that capture your attention. From Japan, these machines were flown in especially to create an old school feel with stone like walls. Pots of water, filled with little coy fish/goldfish are placed throughout the restaurant (be sure to check the one just outside the bathroom.) A large table also has its centre filled with water and more fish to look at.

The food as you can see, was super tasty and fun to look at. The presentation was impressive and the taste pretty much matched what you saw. Simple foods, turned into glamorous and delicious dishes. My favourite of the night came at dessert - the green tea brûlée was amazing!! I've had them before elsewhere but these ones were so true to the taste of proper green tea. Lastly, what topped my night off was the frozen grapes in a vase. I had no idea what I was looking at but flowers in a vase. But with a second take, I then came to realize, "wow! Grapes!" The perfect last touch to just clear your palette. Koji San, thank you for a wonderful and memorable meal!

Affordable and great location, Kingyo Toronto will definitely be a hit for a while. This city needs a simple, japanese restaurant that provides great products of all sorts: fish, vegetables, meat - you name it! Check them out here.