The first time I ever laid eyes on Kilala Sushi, I could not make out the actual name of place. In big letters "SUSHI" is quite evident; but "Kilala" almost seems like an afterthought. Thus, I merely ignored the place thinking that it was some cheesy joint. You know the kind. The kind that has the sign that exclaims "CANADIAN-CHINESE FOOD"; but you would never be able to figure out the name. So, I essentially avoided the place like it was Knight & Day. Well, how wrong was I. According to a friend, it is a true sushi bar run by a Japanese couple. Despite this, I still did not flock to it immediately. I was nearby once and attempted to eat there; but one look at the menu, it was obvious that I had to come without the kiddies. Other than a few donburis, it is strictly a sushi bar.
So it was only natural we started with a plate of Assorted Sashimi. Now, I'm not a big stickler for small details; but do you notice anything strange about the presentation? If you answered, "What's with the spring mix???", you are right. Normally, there would be julienned daikon. Not a huge problem; but I do like eating the daikon with my sashimi. And about that sashimi, it was pretty good. The tuna was a tad on the mushy side (well, tuna is a bit mushy in general), while all the other textures were what they should be. We particularly liked the tako since it was not that chewy while still exhibiting a nice snap. With the obligatory "have to try the sushi rice here", we ordered some Nigiri and a Scallop & Tobiko Roll. We got one piece each of inari, tuna, wild salmon, scallop and unagi. I though the rice was slightly on the drier side; but other than that, it was pretty good. Each grain of rice was discernible without being hard. I could taste the vinegar, which to me is not readily the case here in the GVRD. The good sushi rice made for a good roll as well. The nicely toasted sesame seeds added a nice aromatic flavour.
One item that we normally don't find in Japanese restaurants in the GVRD is Oshizushi or pressed sushi. The only other time I've had this is at Koko. We went for the Unagi Battera this time around and it was neat to watch them torch the unagi, the caramelization added some really good flavour. With some tamago underneath and the good sushi rice, we enjoyed it very much. In fact, the meal in general was pretty good. Considering that the place is essentially a hole-in-the-wall, it was a definite surprise. I wouldn't necessarily drive all the way here if you didn't live in the area; but if you are, give it a try.
- Carefully prepared food
- Items appears and tastes fresh
- Friendly owner-operaters
- Not exactly cheap
- Don't come if you're in a rush, only 2 people running the place
- If you are expecting cooked food, there isn't much in that department