Kingyo, Vancouver, Canada

Kingyo mackerel sushi

On a recent night, I wanted to eat at my favorite neighborhood restaurant, The Fat Badger. It was a Monday night, and the gastropub turned out to be closed on Mondays.

What to do?

It had been snow storming that day, so we didn’t want to walk far. I remembered Kingyo, a Japanese izakaya, was on our list to check out, so we made our way to Denman St. Usually there’s a line out the door, but the snowy day had turned into a rainy evening, which might have kept a lot of folks at home. A good situation for us because we had our pick of seats and a very attentive, helpful waiter. He prevented us from overordering and made sure our dishes were well paced.

I was most impressed with the mackerel sushi. I could tell the chef had either blowtorched the outside of the fish or seared it, which coaxed out the lovely natural unctuousness of mackerel. Mackerel has a bad rep because it’s thought of as being too fatty, but that’s what I love about it: that richness. The chef prepared the sushi with a special sauce, and the waiter asked us not to use soy sauce so as not to take away from the intended flavor of the dish. We obliged and agreed that it was very good on its own indeed.