Alright, consider this scenario. We're in Richmond. We didn't get into a car accident. We didn't get cut-off. We got a parking space without incident. We're in a Japanese restaurant. The restaurant is full. Other than the staff, I'm the only Asian person present. Tell me what is the most strange thing that happened? Well, it can probably be all of the above except for being in a Japanese restaurant. However, it doesn't bode well if I am the only Asian at a Japanese restaurant in Richmond! Despite the repeated warnings from many different people, I have done the unthinkable. Yah, Kawawa was bad and so was Sui Sha Ya; but Kisha Poppo has often been grouped into that same category of Japanese AYCE that really should be all-you-shouldn't-eat.
Well, there are really some good reasons for this visit. Really! Honest! First, everyone pretty much agreed on Japanese AYCE. Second, there are very few Japanese AYCE joints I haven't blogged about. Third, I was the only Asian in the group. So what's the harm in going to Kisha Poppo? I guess we were going to find out... I ended up ordering only a modest amount of Tuna
Sashimi because no one else wanted to have any. I guess that was a good decision on their part because it was pretty average. I've had much worse, so this was actually passable. It was soft like tuna usually is; but not overly mushy. It was quite bland though. We also got some Nigiri and again, I practically ate all the tuna and salmon. Surprisingly, the salmon looked pretty good with a nice sheen. It was not particularly flavourful; yet it did have a fresh texture. Predictably, the rice was sub par being quite dry and bland. Amusingly, I've never seen tamago and inari be so popular before at our table. Oh yeah, they're cooked items... Although I did get a lot of "what the heck is this???" when referring to the Inari. I was surprised anyone touched it when I remarked it was tofu skin...
Now to the rolls... I know, I know, we have a "safe" selection of California Roll, BC Roll, Futomaki, Oshinko and Tekka Maki. Once again, I had to be the closer and finish up the remaining futomaki and BC roll. Apparently, they were too strange compared to the Cali roll. The rolls were pretty standard fast food Japanese fare which really didn't offend (except for the same sub-par rice). However, they weren't the most aesthetically pleasing things to look at. They seemed to be rolled haphazardly and probably in advance. Okay, here we go, one of the most popular items of the meal... Gyozas! I know, for those Japanese food connoisseurs, you are probably rolling your eyes right now; but please bear with me, we had some newbies and they were trying their best. These gyozas were fried up very nicely; however, they were greasier than the floor at Mr. Lube. Furthermore, the filling was loose and really mushy. I didn't like them particularly. It didn't help that we weren't supplied with any dipping sauce for them either.
Another popular dish was the Chicken Katsu. Fried chicken on a stick slathered in sauce. Not particularly the one thing we'd identify with Japanese food. Whatever, looking past that, they were actually quite good. Fried up crispy with moist chicken, we tried to order more. But every time, we got like one instead of the 4 we ordered. Honestly, I'm not sure how they messed this up really. I know since it's AYCE, you can keep ordering it until you get the requested amount; but if that takes a total of an hour, then what's the point? Moving on... Something that I thought would be popular really didn't materialize. No one seemed interested in the Tempura. Yah, they weren't missing much anyways. It was quite greasy with a bit too much batter. In fact, the veggies inside were just plain slimy. I really didn't enjoy eating this.
One dish that got a lot of play was predictably the venerable Teriyaki Chicken. Of course it did since you'll find it in most bento boxes. I must admit that this one was quite good. The chicken was fried up crispy while still being moist and tender. As you can see, it is not slathered in an obscene amount of teriyaki sauce either. Universally, this dish was well-liked and we had to order more. In addition to the aforementioned items, we got most of the other lunchtime AYCE offerings and honestly, they were okay. Despite the fact that Kisha Poppo is not somewhere I'd personally eat at again, it is an option for those looking for Westernize Japanese food. I say this only because there are worse places such as Sui Sha Ya and Kawawa. But again, if you really must do AYCE Japanese, go to Ninkazu or Tomokazu.
- Food is edible (I'm lowering my expectations here)
- It's a fairly comfortable dining space
- The hot food was hot and the cold food was cold
- Food is edible; but not really all that good either
- Service is sparse
- Some items are a bit greasy