Part of Canadian restaurant group Kinka Family, casual Japanese restaurant Kinka Japan opened its doors towards the end of 2016, offering sushi and sashimi alongside izakaya-style plates. Its concept is simple – quality Japanese food that carefully balances contemporary modernization with tradition.
There is something about the ambience and service at Kinka Japan that exudes a kind of warmth that almost immediately makes you feel as if you are in the comfort of a friend’s home. Located on the second level of Dai-2 Rika building, the restaurant overlooks the bustling streets of Shibuya, enclosed within a bubble of serenity that puts one at ease – even if you’re dining solo.
On our visit, we opt for the Kiwami omakase (chef’s selection), which highlights the restaurant’s signature Canadian lobster. It includes six courses as per the chef’s recommendation – seasonal sashimi, lobster chawanmushi (steamed savory egg custard), nigiri, shirako (cod milt) tempura, lobster miso soup and dessert.
The sashimi is exceptionally fresh – scallops, sea bream and fatty tuna are all supplied from Tsukiji market, while the signature lobster sashimi, which we particularly love, is imported from Canada. Its sweet flesh is so full of bite and chew, its sweetness further enhanced by a dab of salt. It is so impossibly delicious we can’t help but marvel at nature’s bounty. Served alongside is house-made yuba (tofu skin) – great for the tastebuds, even better for the skin.
Also starring the signature Canadian lobster is the lobster chawanmushi and lobster miso soup, both of which are heavenly – the former a lusciously smooth egg custard stained with the natural briny sweetness of lobster, visible trails of dashi and mirin (sweet rice wine) lurking within; the latter a heady concentration of lobster essence trapped in its broth, so glorious its first sip makes us close our eyes and smile in quiet anticipation of more to come.
It is then that the nigiri arrives: nine glistening pieces of sushi, of which four are oshizushi (pressed sushi). Highlights from Kinka’s Canadian outpost include Kinka roll, ebi, saba and salmon. While every single piece will dutifully fulfill every sushi desire you may have, the ebi and salmon oshizushi are particularly outstanding – ebi oshizushi is served with a tasteful squeeze of house-made basil mayonnaise that lifts the dish, while the salmon is glazed in a special house-made concentrate of dashi and shoyu (soy sauce), emphasizing a subtle smokiness that makes the salmon shine.
Just when we think the highlight of the meal is over, we are served shirako tempura, which steals the limelight with ease. Crisp on the outside, its inside bears rich and creamy cod milt, melting beautifully in the mouth – definitely one of the best tempura dishes I’ve had thus far in Tokyo.
The meal comes to a close with dessert, a house-made brownie served with vanilla ice cream. It is good, but we can’t stop thinking of the nigiri and shirako tempura… It seems a return visit is necessary.
Kinka Japan, 2F Dai-2 Rika Bldg, 3-12 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku
For more information visit www.kinka.com