Foodie Review: Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen

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Address: 2054 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4A9
Phone:(604) 255-5550


I am delighted and surprised. Kishimoto is quite well known in Vancouver but it haven’t make it to my eatery list until now. The restaurant doesn’t look like any conventional sushi joint, but having constant line up tells another story. According to the hostess, there is an one hour average of waiting and weekend could be longer; but she assures me the wait is well worth it!

Kishimoto doesn’t have fancy renovation, the table settings are basic at best; the service and the great food just make up everything. I am even more surprised they have a smaller section of alcoholic offerings, I guess they want to turn the tables faster than make more money off from drinks.

One thing I notice about this place is the amount of staff working. There are over 11 people manning each station doing specific tasks. I often hear them asking each other for things from their station. The amazing thing is that they work in a small kitchen yet won’t bump to each other. The serving staff will multi-task and rotate duties as needed. They seem to have a great team dynamic inside and out, even the hostess will yell the order into the kitchen.

When I try out new Japanese restaurants, I tend to order from the fresh-sheet and a few staple items. I like to try new and exotic dishes rather than the conventional “westernized” sushi (like California roll, BC roll etc). We are sitting at the bar and the chef literally tells us everything on the special menu is good – so there we go. In addition, I always order a tamago and inari sushi as these are the staple of any Japanese restaurants, these “basic” can tell a lot about the chef. For example, the sushi chef would heat up the tamago before serving, I have never seen this done before!

Since we are looking at the chef preparing our meal, we are delighted on the amount of time and effort the chef has put in. Often times, we see the “master” will spot check the food and would take over to help out. As soon as our dishes are made, the chefs already move onto other orders.

The little details also include their home made tamarind based soy sauce and other dipping condiments that go with certain dishes. The staff advises us which fish to start first and which dipping goes with which. We are no strangers to certain raw fish characters and happy to see the staff to spend the time to make introductions.

Our bill comes up as expected, and again we are greeted by all the staff as we leave; no doubt I will come back again for some more.

Although constantly busy, the delicacy of the food and fast turnaround makes this subtle Japanese restaurant in the Commercial Drive area shines brighter than other fancier restaurants in Vancouver.