As we walked up Robson Street on our way to Stanley Park, we marvelled at all the restaurants along this busiest street of Vancouver. Apparently it is referred to as the “world’s dining room table.” I can see why with over 100 restaurants and 15 different ethnic cuisines represented.

We were on a mission to visit a Japanese Izakaya, and we had so many to choose from! Close to Stanley Park, along Denman Street, there are a number of Izakaya’s and we think we hit the very best one for lunch.

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Kingyo Izakaya is highly recommended, and it was super busy for lunch as we stepped in at about 11:50 a.m. (right at lunch rush). We were seated in what looked like the last table for two (with a line up occurring right after us). I had to wear my sunglasses the entire lunch hour, as the slats in the wall meant direct sunlight right in my eyes (and onto the food – so the pictures aren’t that great in this post). It was totally worth it for a fantastic experience and fun atmosphere, with cute Japanese accents all throughout the restaurant.

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The ambience felt quite authentic, with one waitress/hostess in particular yelling orders in Japanese in a high-pitched and fast-paced voice. Far from being annoying, it made us smile each time. The service was also fantastic here, as our waitress helped us wade through the intimidating menu to decide on our choices.

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We started with a Sapporo and an appetizer of My Ebi Mayo – deep fried battered tiger prawns with child strings and paprika powder. So delicious!

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When David’s main course of Tonkatsu came out, I was flabbergasted by the size! A large tray held a deep fried pork cutlet a mound of cabbage, and sesame seeds and sauce to mix up yourself (to use as a dipping sauce or overtop the pork cutlet). This came recommended from the waitress and David loved it.

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My choice was a sashimi bowl – going out of my comfort zone – with salmon flake, salmon caviar and four kinds of sashimi. The tuna and salmon sashimi (pieces of raw fish) were great, but my favourite was the small bites of scallop I uncovered.

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Kingyo Izakaya is completely over the top great! It made me wish I could pop over for lunch any time to make my way through this large and interesting menu every week.

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