Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Trying out Kiyo in Richmond - on company time / dime, no less
During this past summer, I had to attend a trade show in Richmond. We decided to stop for a quick bite before heading back to the office...so we hit up Kiyo, tucked away in a small street mall. And the first thing that took me by surprise was how busy it was! We ended up sitting at the bar because the restaurant was fully packed!
I got their Bento Box for lunch, complete with prawn and vegetable tempura, maki rolls, gyoza and four pieces of nigiri. I don't remember the price, but it was probably $15.
The nigiri is a little sloppy, three of the four pieces were good, but the salmon has a little tail from careless slicing. Having said that, the portions were generous and not loaded with rice.
The California Roll is as expected, loaded with pollock-based crab meat, avo and cucumber. I'm not a fan of California Rolls in general, but it was decent. The Spicy Salmon was actually spicy, which isn't always the case. The little Tuna maki seemed like an afterthought, but you can't really go wrong there, right?
The two pieces of gyoza were quite oily, but at least they did have a nice crispy skin. Filled with pork, and paired with a soy dipping sauce, it was a good "hot" option in the bento.
The other cooked item on the menu was the Tempura. Two prawns, a zucchini and potato, breaded and deep-fried. I was actually surprised by the lightness of the batter. I expected heavy batter and was pleasantly surprised.
My dining companion ordered the Chicken Teriyaki and her experience differed from mine. The chicken arrived with nice grill marks, but when she cut into it, the meatier part was raw. I mean, it was actually red and bleeding. We showed the server and she quickly apologized and brought it back to the kitchen, where they "recooked" the same piece of chicken and brought it back. I'm disturbed by this. My friend cut into this piece of chicken, and it concerns me that they re-cooked it on a grill where other people's food were being cooked.
Had this not have happened, I would have come back here again for a quick and easy lunch when I'm in the area, but not anymore. I've heard that it was better before, when it was run by Japanese people, and I think I'd agree.