Long break from writing, but I am back and hopefully can keep this a regular thing. Just to warn you some of these pictures aren't the greatest but I hope to get better ones on our next visit.
This is a combined review as we have visited this place twice in the past two weeks. On our first visit, Ki-isu was not our first choice. We had originally planned to dine at Hapa Izakaya in Yaletown because we had a gift card and I had never been. Not knowing how busy it was going to be, we didn't make a reservation, BIG MISTAKE! The place was hoppin' and we had to wait for a table. At this point we were really hungry so we figured we will just go back another day. Now we were hopelessly hungry and had no idea where to eat. So walking back towards our car, we pass Ki-isu. We figured what the hey... it had pretty good reviews on urbanspoon.
I was a bit hesitant as we were in Yaletown and in my head it I thought it was going to be pricey. We sat down and when I opened the menu, it was more expensive than where I usually dine but I was starting to get desperate for food. I decided on the Dinner Box B selection which included the following: Gomae, Karaage, Choice of Chicken or Beef Teriyaki on rice, Appetizer Sashimi, Tuna, Salmon and Prawn sushi, a Salmon Roll, and to top it off a Miso Soup.
Appetizer Sashimi and Gomae
Chicken Teriyaki on Rice, Salmon Roll, Salmon, Tuna and Ebi Sushi, Chicken Karaage
For $15.95 (August 2014) this was a good deal. On paper it sounded expensive but I got a lot of stuff. The sashimi was good and not chewy, I especially liked the tuna as it had a nice flavor to it, no fishyness here. The chicken teriyaki was good as well, and the chicken appeared to have had its skin removed which was a plus for PIC. Gomae was alright, would have liked more sauce on it but it was ok. Karaage was pretty good, a bit salty due to the sauce. The salmon roll had a decent amount of salmon in it compared to others I have seen.
Ki-isu style Spider Roll
PIC decided on the Ki-isu style Spider roll which comprised of Soft Shell Crab, Asparagus, Lettuce, Avocado, Mayo with Tobiko wrapped by Soy bean Paper. Again being plain and boring, I was a bit hesitant on trying this because of the Yellow Soy Bean Paper. It did contain Asparagus which I love but thought was weird to be in sushi. Nevertheless she offered me some and was I glad she did, the soft shell crab was quite crisp which I love, and at $9.25 (August 2014) it seemed like a good deal as it was 10 pcs of decent sized slices. Also they were not stingy on the Tobiko.
We also decided to share an order of Takoyaki. We thought it was good, it was drizzled with mayo and Tonkatsu sauce. It was well cooked and the octopus was not chewy. It was $4.00 (August 2014) for 5 pcs. We felt it was good enough to get a 2nd serving LOL!
The bill from our first visit.
On our second visit, we decided to order the Spider Roll again, but we wanted to sample some other stuff on their menu. Up first was PIC's Toro Stack that we saw someone order last time.
The Toro Stack is made up of Black brown rice, toro, green onion, nori, quail egg, garlic, avocado with a drizzle of unagi Sauce. This was quite good, with the mix of black and brown rice providing a good base flavour underneath the creamy avocado and smooth toro. The unagi sauce added a sweetness to the taste of each bite. Price was $11.95 (August 2014)
I ordered a Dragon roll as I was craving some unagi. I was a bit let down but this choice because it appeared that only two pieces of this roll had unagi slices on top of them. Two of the other pieces had salmon on top, and two had avocado. It was alright as a roll but at $10.95 (August 2014) I think I could have ordered an unagi roll at $4.75 and had a better experience. This is 3 times the price of a regular California roll and nowhere is this close in value to what you get at Samurai Sushi on Davie for their dragon roll. I was quite disappointed.
Note: On our second visit, we had ordered the Dragon roll and Spider roll with brown rice. There was a charge of $.50 extra on the Dragon roll and $1.00 extra for the Spider roll. We were told this was due to the spider roll being larger than the normal rolls.
All in all it was good but I was disappointed in the Dragon Roll as it seemed they took a basic California roll and added a few things and charged 3 times the price, and it being nowhere close in size to the similarly priced Spider Roll. Also it would have been nice to know that the charge for brown rice was double for the Spider Roll ahead of time.