It is by no coincidence that I have only one post for the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows area. I'm just not around there very much other than going to the Laity Pumpkin Patch or playing golf at Golden Ears. Hence, my eating adventures stop right before the Pitt River Bridge. However, I recently received an invite to try Kisoji Japanese Kitchen near Lougheed at Harris Road. Really, it wasn't for the complimentary food anyways because the gas kinda negated it. Rather, I was really curious to see how they fared all-the-way-out-there.
To help Viv and I put a dent into the menu, we included the ever-so-present Whipping Girl. We started with the Maguro Tataki Salad featuring seared tuna, wild greens, taro chips and house vinaigrette. We found the tuna to be prepared just right with a thin sear on the outside. The fish itself was firm while soft to chew. Tangy and purposefully acidic, the vinaigrette complimented but did not overwhelm. Despite being thin and crispy, the taro chips could've been smaller as they were clunky to eat with the rest of the ingredients. Next up was the Ebi Mayo served in a cup. The batter was a bit thick, yet at the same time, it wasn't heavy. It reminded us of Chinese fried shrimp (which wasn't a bad thing, just an observation). The shrimp itself was meaty with a slight snap while offering up a natural sweetness. On top, there was a slightly spicy, tangy and sweet mayo.
Onto something familiar but presented in their own way was the Salmon Oshi. Featuring pressed sushi with seared salmon and wasabi mayo on top, this was somewhat similar to the one found at Miku but not. I found the pressed sushi rice to be a touch too firm while mildly seasoned. The salmon on top was buttery and sweet while nicely accented by the wasabi mayo and lime. There was a creaminess to the mayo where the wasabi was ever-so-slight while the lime added a nice acidity. Next up was the Stuffed Mushrooms featuring shiitake and diced prawns fried in tempura batter served with ginger tempura sauce. This featured plenty of shiitake flavour and sweetness from the prawns. We found the filling to be a bit stiff though. The exterior was lightly crunchy and not greasy. The dip was essential as the stuffed mushrooms didn't inherently have a whole lot of seasoning.
Moving along, we had the Jack Cha Han served in hot stone bowl with salmon, shiitake mushroom, egg, pickled cucumber and fried rice. After I mixed all of the ingredients together, I pressed the rice to the sides so that it would form a crust. That it did where it was crunchy and nutty. The rice itself was chewy and flavourful in a savoury (while not salty) manner. Adding a lively crunch and tang, the pickles were the impactful ingredient. Surprisingly, the chunks of salmon retained some moisture and wasn't dry. Majestically plated in a box, the Assorted Chef's Selection Sashimi consisted of Atlantic Salmon, Albacore Tuna, Tako, Tai, Mackerel, Hamachi, Sockeye Salmon, Hokkigai and Ebi. This was an attractive selection that was as fresh as flash frozen can be. No issues here other than the overly chewy Tako.
Our last dish was the Momiji Maki consisting of chopped scallop, asparagus and fish roe with flame-seared assorted fish on top. Again, the sushi rice was on the firmer side and considerably chewy. We found the thick slices of fish on top to be buttery and smoky. The garlic mayo truly made an impact aromatically and taste-wise. At this point, we were pretty full and completely satisfied with our meal. It was a nice surprise to see this level of execution, especially out in Pitt Meadows. This restaurant could easily be in Vancouver and fit right in.
*All food was comped excluding gratuities*
- Impressive eats, especially out in Pitt Meadows
- Clean, modern minimalistic decor
- Sushi rice was a tad firm
- Place is somewhat hidden from the street