The Chinese Bites Signature Dish Tour took us to Strike Restaurant on Broadway the other night. If you have yet to hear about it—it’s a fairly new Taiwanese restaurant (about 7 months old) that’s located right within the busy Kits community.
Just when you thought the Chinese Bites Team couldn’t possibly eat any more, we did! And we went straight to Yaletown for a taste of some Asian Fusion at Kibo Lounge.
The ambiance of this place was exactly what you would expect for Yaletown, modern and sleek. The food was good overall, and the service, well, it was perfect (but do remember that we were invited).
We got to try a generous amount of food at Kibo but I want to start with my top favorites—these are the absolute must orders.
- Kibo Sashimi Platter $24 (Red Tuna, Salmon & Hamachi)
My God. Thick slices of heavenly, fresh, fish. Each of which was spread with special sauces that required the use of only a little soy sauce on our end. Is $24 cheap for 9 slices of sashimi? No. Is $24 worth it for those 9 slices of sashimi? Yes. Absolutely.
- Beef Carpaccio $9
This is where the whole concept of “Asian Fusion” comes out to play. Take a classic dish like Beef Carppacio and add a wasabi dressing and some freshly grated parmesan cheese, and BOOM—you’ve created yourself something spectacular and out of the ordinary. The mouth feel of this dish was memorable. It was buttery, cheesy and creamy all at the same time. Although it was an appetizer I would be content paying up to $14 for this dish.
The next dish I highly recommend is the Chikuwa Cheese $6.
The concept of these fried fish cakes stuffed with creamy cheese was similar to the classic Mozzarella stick. However, these little battered goodies were much more sophisticated and the chikuwa cheese didn’t ooze like mozzarella—it held its form better.
We also tried many of their sushi rolls.
As you can see, it’s evident that much care was put into each of the rolls. In terms of presentation they were beautiful. However, the flavor combinations were all typical of what you’d see at other Japanese restaurants. There was nothing taken beyond the ordinary. Were they good? Yes. Were they excellent? No.
Volcano Roll $12: Deep fried roll with spicy tuna and cucumber
Dragon Roll $13: Prawn, cucumber and avocado with unagi and sauce on top
Mango Roll : Prawn, avocado , smoked salmon and basil with mango on top $13
Moving beyond the rolls, we tried The Kibo Beef; BBQ Angus Beef with Special Chef Sauce $15. The beef was perfectly cooked to a medium rare. The chef sauce was delicate and had sweet accents to it. Sautéed mushroom, asparagus tips and green beans also accompanied this dish. However, I felt as though something more was needed to complete this dish. Rice, perhaps?
Next up was the Rack of lamb $16. This was probably my least favorite dish of the night. The lamb was rubbed with Indian accents of cumin and what tasted like coriander. There was no Asian twist to this dish.
We then ended the night with a beautiful pot of what I thought was green tea, but to my surprise was seafood Dobin (soup). The broth was unbelievable. It was rich, earthy and fragrant.
Other dishes we got to try:
Marinated Sable Fish $14 (I recommend this)
Negi Toro $8 (Spicy Tuna Belly with Green Onions & Flying Fish Roe)
Ebi Bacon $9
Japanese Short Ribs $7
Aburi Kibo Sushi Set