I've heard great things about the Omakase at Kimura, apparently, it's the only thing you should order here. So once I got my twitter foodie pal, @vanessa_chu, to agree to come with me, we were on our way! Located in East Vancouver (22nd and Rupert), it's not where you would expect to find amazing Omakase, but we did!
When you order the Omakase from Kimura, you get a few choices in terms of price, but I think we settled on the $40, so not the cheapest one at $30, and not the pricier $50 option. I've heard that you get lobster with the pricier option.
With the appetizer plate, you get quite a few interesting items. At the very top (2 o'clock position), there is a cube of monkfish liver, with a berry puree. This is homemade and just has the slightest hint of fish flavour. On the skewer are sea snails, breaded with sesame. These were really fresh, with a nice crunchy texture. We also got a whole smelt, which is essentially masago, all grown up. It was slightly sweet, with a chewy meaty texture.
So...turning the plate around a bit, you now see the oysters at the 2 o'clock mark. There's nothing I love more than raw oysters (well BBQ duck and Hot Pot are tied for #1 spot), but these were doused lightly with a ponzu-like sauce. We also have a small nugget of lotus root, as well sa kobach, a Japanese squash. And don't forget the little bit of gomae too! And in the center of it all...the oyster shooter. It's simply a freshly shucked oyster, drowned in sake, topped with a fresh quail egg & special chef sauce served in a shooter glass. I don't know if you're supposed to stir it, but I didn't. Just take the whole thing and shoot it!
The next course was the Sashimi course. There's Hirame, Red Tuna and Tako.
I've never had Hirame before, it's actually halibut. It's cooked/marinated with some acid, and was really refreshing. The texture was a little tougher than I expected but the flavours were really mild.
Red Tuna... very red, very fresh, and despite other reviews I've read about the chef being "rough" with his cuts, I don't see that here. I think these were sliced very cleanly, and the thickness was pretty uniform throughout.
This one wasn't my favourite...there is Tako and Miso. I normally love tako (octopus), but this miso glaze they put on it was just too heavy. The sashimi part was good, but jut not ladened with the miso.
One item they had that wasn't part of the Omakase was their ChawanMushi. So I decided to order one just to try. It's a steamed egg custard, loaded with chicken, shrimp, and shitake mushrooms. When it's done right, it's really smooth and almost like a soup, but slightly solid. It's done right here.
Our next course was the Grilled Quail. This was really good...I love quail, and it really is best simply grilled. There's something about the little bones that just make me feel like a giant. Yes, I imagine that this is an actual chicken and I'm a giant from Brobdingnag.
The next dish that came was a Grilled Salmon. It was by far the largest portion of food that we got per course, but unfortunately, it was also the least satisfying. The salmon was dry, cooked too long or waited too long to be served. Either way, this was the first dish that I wasn't impressed with.
We were also served a Miso Soup, with a little clam inside. It was a really light broth but the miso was very pronounced. I have to say the addition of the little clam was a nice touch. And the soup was served piping hot, just the way I like it. I don't know if the clam was actually cooked in the miso broth, but there was a slight flavour of the clam in the soup itself.
Our last course (before dessert) was a Nigiri and Crispy Rice dish. Salmon, Tuna and Toro. Here I can see the rough cuts that people have repeatedly referred to. Again, the salmon was sloppily done, as were the other pieces too. But if you're not into presentation, then the freshness of the fish is still there and you'll be happy.
This next dish, crispy rice with some spicy tuna on top. The rice is sort of like a pancake...they call it Crispy Risotto, but not really. It's almost like the rice at the bottom of the pot when you overcook the rice, and then deep-fried. I found it quite oily, and to be honest, a little stale. Instead of being crunchy, it was kind of chewy...and for the first dish of the night, the fish to rice ratio was off. It wasn't spicy either, even with the jalapeno sliver on top.
And we ended this meal with a simply Green Tea Ice Cream. It was good, but I was just a little sad that there wasn't a single embellishment on the dessert...even half a maraschino cherry would have been appreciated.
I would come back again to try this, especially with someone who hasn't been here before. Two things to be aware of...this meal takes quite a while from beginning to end, and know that though the fish might be cut roughly, it is good, fresh and tasty.