Friday, 2 March 2012

Munchie Adventure: KYO 月見, Vancouver

So, I went to an AYCE restaurant with my family a while ago, saw the ad and decided it was worth trying. I don't think they had AYCE all the time, this is probably new.

Kyo Korean BBQ & Sushi House on Urbanspoon Restaurant: Kyo Korean BBQ and Sushi House
Location: 2993 Granville St., Vancouver, B.C.

Cuisine: Japanese, Korean
Price Range: $5-15 (A-la-carte) or $13.99- Lunch, $23.99- Dinner (+$1.00 for weekends and holidays)
Date of Visit: February 25, 2012

Photo credits to 
Atmosphere: 3/5
Staff/service: 4/5
Food variety: 3.75/5
Food quality: 3.75/5
Buck worthy? 3.75/5

I went for the lunch AYCE, but there is also an a-la-carte menu offered. It was a gorgeous sunny day (a rarity!!), and I sat by the window... which meant sun on my face all through the meal. I think they need to install blinds because that would've improved my experience so much. When we first got there, it wasn't very busy, so the food came very quickly and the servers were always there for us. However, as it got busy, the food orders took longer and servers often forgot our requests.

Clockwise from top left: Goma-ae, bean sprouts, house salad,
- We stopped ordering the goma-ae after we discovered ohitashi (spinach in a soy sauce-based broth). I found the ohitashi a bit salty, but it wasn't as saucy as the goma-ae, which was good. The spinach was cooked well, since it wasn't too soft, it still had a bit of crunch to it :)
- Next, the bean sprouts, they were marinated in seasame oil and salt, very ordinary, nothing special about it.

- House salad tasted good, but the lettuce was in huge chunks (seems like they didn't bother to separate the leaves), I liked the cherry tomato though, added a nice touch.
- Sunomono was just sunomono, no tako or ebi. The vinegar was a bit overwhelming, they could've diluted it a bit I think.

Left: chicken   Right: beef
BBQ!! The meat came raw, and I was really excited about the BBQ part, although they only had 3 items on the BBQ menu (pork, chicken, beef). It was marinated with a sweet soy sauce but the meat was cut a bit thin/small for the BBQ rack they had (the holes were too big and the meat kept falling through). Otherwise, it was good.
See how big the holes were? ><
There was also special BBQ soy sauce at the table we could use. (They gave us two plates so we could have our sushi soy sauce and BBQ soy sauce ^^)

Salmon sashimi was thinner than the normal huge pieces you get from other AYCE places, but then again, you get 8 pieces per person, so that made up for it. I actually liked the smaller size, made it easier to eat. It was fresh, and if you can see, there's a few pieces of spicy salmon sashimi tucked behind the romaine lettuce. It wasn't actually that spicy, again it was with the sweet soy sauce base (only spicy this time).

Left to right: dynamite roll, California roll, salmon maki,
Alaska roll
We only ordered a few of each roll to try it out first, and it wasn't that bad. I personally don't like seasame seeds on my rolls (problem of texture haha), so that kinda ruined part of it.
- The dynamite roll was small, and only had the shrimp in it, which made it less filling than the normal ones with crab meat in it as well (which is a good thing!).
- California roll could've had more avocado in it, and some cucumber, since it was mainly packed with imitation crab.
- Salmon maki was typical, nothing special about it
- Alaska roll was California roll topped with a piece of salmon with some seasame. It wasn't bad, a good size. There was also a bit of unidentifiable sauce on it, tasted like soy sauce but sweeter, maybe a teriyaki sauce?

Top: Vegetable yakisoba
Bottom: Pork gyoza
Some hot stuffs :)
- Vegetable Yakisoba: Noodles were chewy but I felt there was too much cabbage. Flavoring was ideal, tastes like the yakisoba you normally order at Japanese restaurants.
- Gyoza: a bit disappointing, they were a bit cold when they arrived and not crunchy on the bottom :( At least they were all separate and not glued in a line like the ones we usually get from AYCE places xD

- Zaru soba: really liked the small portion size, tasted good, the noodles were a bit on the soft side

- Edamame: You can probably see the salt grains...didn't help the beans inside, so I felt it was a bit of a waste. Slightly overcooked-- the pod was a bit mushy, so the beans were sometimes hard to get out.

Top row: chopped scallop sushi, inari sushi
middle row: grilled salmon sushi, tuna tataki sushi, salmon sushi
bottom row: salmon sushi
The sushi!! :D They had a special selection of sushi, some of which you don't normally see at AYCE places. Good sizes, not too big and rice to topping ratio was proportionate.
- chopped scallop: the scallops were fresh, and a good amount (wasn't overwhelming the rice and seaweed)
- Inari: my dad tried this, and he said it was a bit too sweet
- grilled salmon: this had a light miso sauce on top, which complimented the salmon. The salmon was torched on the top, so the bottom was still raw, which made it so tender and "smooth" :)
- tuna tataki (or grilled tuna... couldn't figure out which one it was xD): very good, the miso sauce worked well, and the tuna wasn't sour at all (like other places where tuna usually has this sour taste to it) and the tuna was fairly fresh, since it wasn't mushy
- salmon: salmon was fresh, but there wasn't anything particularly special about it

Left: Agedashi tofu   Right: zuchinni and yam tempura
Mmmm deep fried not-so-good-for-your-health stuff :D
- zuchinni: good, not too much oil was stuck on it and the batter was light, zuchinni wasn't overcooked :)
- yam (I didn't try it, but my mom said it wasn't that good)
- Agedashi tofu: didn't look too pretty, but it was ok:) might've let it soak in the tempura sauce for a bit too long though. There were a few hard batter bits, stuck to my teeth ><

- tonkatsu!! I love tonkatsu, and this was made well, but this was ONE order, which seemed like too big of a portion for one order...>< batter was light and the pork was juicy and tender

- spicy salmon cone: good proportion of salmon to rice in these cones, tastes exactly like the spicy salmon sashimi but with rice and seaweed :P

- salmon teriyaki: waaay too saucey-- my dad decided that grilling his sashimi was better than ordering this...

- miso soup was nothing special, but I really liked the bowl and how they gave us a spoon :) Although when it got busy, there were no more spoons :(

A picture of the order list, there's three columns, so you can order from the same sheet three times before you need another one, saving the environment one row at a time :D

My brother decided BBQ meat and ohitashi was good for me, so here we have it, sunshine+BBQ beef+ohitashi, it was really good :)

Ah, the jello-candy (harder and chewier than normal jello) which took forever to get. But all worth it. We had to ask the server multiple times to get hold of some, and he finally got us a bowl of it-- it was really chewy and mainly green, which I really liked :D My parents really enjoyed it too because it wasn't too sweet.

So overall, this was a positive experience, I was so stuffed afterwards and content. Food was really good, staff were friendly, and it was a gorgeous day.
A few things that could've improved my experience would be:
- blinds for the windows so the sun isn't on me all meal long
- lighten up the MSG (I was so thirsty afterwards but was so full it hurt to drink more water)
- and parking... the spots were really tight, or maybe because there was a Hummer parked next to our car :P There weren't a lot of spots underground either, but they did say there is more free parking in the street behind the restaurant (about a block or two away).

Until next time~~^^

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