Sherman's Food Adventures: Kiriri Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Bar

Kiriri Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Bar

For those who care, authentic Japanese eats is somewhat of a unicorn in the GVRD.  Most of the Japanese spots in town are not operated by Japanese.  Now that also can be a fallacy since not all Chinese-run Chinese restaurants are good (same with all other types of cuisine).  However, being Japanese owned and operated is a start.  From there we can assess whether they are good in addition to being legit.  So finally I was able to make it out to Kiriri Japanese Cuisine out in Richmond (it has been there for awhile) when I met up with Aussie and family (visiting from, you guessed it, Australia).

For the adults, we began with the Hawaiian Tuna Tower with sushi rice, avocado, mango, albacore tuna and masago.  Yes, this was a creative take on sushi at an authentic Japanese restaurant.  But this was a whole lot better than some of the massive towers found elsewhere.  What it lacked in size and quantity, it was completely made up by the fresh ingredients and careful construction.  Textures were on point while the impactful flavours from the buttery tuna and ripe mango made the tower delicious.  Normally I focus on the execution of the batter when it comes to Ebi Tempura, but the shrimp inside was the real star here.  It was of a good size, buttery and had an appealing snap.  That in itself made this a winner, but the crispy and light batter didn't disappoint either.

Of course we couldn't pass up on the Sashimi, even though the prices could make house prices look reasonable.  The platter consisting of albacore tuna, sockeye salmon, red tuna and Atlantic salmon set us back $70.00.  Yes, that is expensive, but worth it if you are looking for some of the finest sashimi in Greater Vancouver.  The subtle sweetness of the tuna and salmon in addition to the delicate textures cannot be conveyed by the picture or the words that I've typed.  Would I do this weekly?  No, I need to pay my mortgage, but once in awhile, this would be worth every penny.  Onto a cooked item, we had the Tonkatsu (or Pork Cutlet on the menu) served with tonkatsu sauce, lemon and Japanese mustard.  The lean pork was surprisingly juicy and moist.  It was firm since there was so little fat, yet it was not dry at all.  The crunchy panko coating was not greasy and was fairly delicate.

In addition to my son's usual Nigiri (tamago, unagi, chopped scallop and Atlantic salmon), we got a couple of rolls.   On the same platter, there was the Rainbow Roll consisting of a California roll topped with Atlantic salmon, tai, mackerel, ebi and albacore tuna.  For me, this has become a pretty basic roll found on many Japanese menus in town.  Once again, the impressiveness of the roll didn't lie with the visuals.  Rather, it was the freshness of the ingredients and the care that was taken with its construction.  Again, on point textures with the rice and fish.  Something a bit different, we got the Special Spicy Salmon Roll with soy paper on the outside and finished with jalapeno.  It wasn't super spicy (which is usually the case), but the jalapeno upped the spice level.  Rice was nicely chewy while the soy paper added another layer of texture.

My son got ambitious and opted for the Chirashi Don consisting of hamachi, tai, albacore tuna, Atlantic salmon, ika, tako, tamago and mackerel on perfectly prepared sushi rice.  Texturally, the rice was chewy without being dry and the amount of seasoning was balanced (for the type of rice that is seasoned because some versions come unseasoned).  Sounded repetitive, the fish was on point with the tuna and salmon being the highlight.  Strangely, my daughter had some sashimi, but then went on to have a Hot Somen.  This is not something she usually orders but it featured a rich and tasty dashi.  We could tell it was done the right way where the aromatics and brininess of the bonito really coming through.  As you can probably guess, we enjoyed our meal very much at Kiriri despite costing a pretty penny.  But this is an intermittent reminder how Japanese food is supposed to be like.

The Good:
- Carefully prepared food
- High-quality ingredients
- Friendly service

The Bad:
- Doesn't come cheap
- Much like any Richmond restaurant, parking is limited

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