If there is one thing I can eat over and over again, everyday and be happy, it has got to be sushi. Although my Mother would probably tell you it really is spaghetti as she amusingly remembers leaving a big bowl of pasta on the table and that I would go back to eating, little by little all day long.
Premium hot sake – perfect way to get things started at Kinki
“Fashions fade, Style is eternal.”
– Yves St. Laurent
But for one very sophisticated blogger who claims to be a citizen of the world (actually, I never made that claim yet but I guess by virtue of writing that, I just did, didn’t I?), it would just be silly to answer spaghetti to the question – what’s your most favourite food – since I am also no longer 7-years old. I reckon after having wined and dined with so many people, sushi is just one of those things that, like Kim Kardashian, you either hate it or love it.
But what if you have never, ever tried it?
What (gasped!)?! Those type of people exist?
Oh yes, they do my friends and I’m about to introduce to you to the man of the hour – the first time ever sushi eater!
The warmest of welcome by the Kinki Management staff lead by
Claira, Accounts and Promotions Manager and Restaurant Manager Jana
If you’re lucky enough to live right across the street from one of the, if not the best, sushi restaurant in the city, you put a fleecy robe on (or a silk kimono, whatever you fancy), grab that person of interest and drag him over to KINKI.
Wrap Dress, Leather Tote and Bangle – Banana Republic
But if you’re even more lucky to have friends in high places, you get to have your pleas answered and you received an invitation by the owner, the always sweet Marisol and the ever charming Claira Calderone, Director of Accounts and Promotions for both KINKI and MAMBO Nuevo Latino, to bring that said friend for a “KINKI SUSHI CHALLENGE”.
I’d be a complete idiot not to jump into that opportunity, yes?
Plus truth be told, I was very excited for the new 2012 KINKI Winterlude menu!
The calm before the storm
So one fateful Thursday wintry night, Mr. Fadi Ghaby, yes the very same one – President of THANN North America, mustered enough courage to throw caution to the wind and dive into the world of exotic eating.
The always gracious Jana with fresh chilled Ty-chee
Easy, easy. I know sushi ain’t that exotic for most of you but trust me, for some whom I’ve seen order chicken perpetually at restaurants, sushi is exotic to Fadi as water is to Charlie Sheen!
I suppose it’s the same reason why Claira and Jana thought it would be wise to start the night with Kinki’s top seller martini made with Sake – the Ty-chee Saketini. Made with premium sake, lychee liquor, cherry brandy and a splash of pomegranate juice – I have to say, it was definitely brilliant!
Thai curry soup with Asian winter greens and pickled red onions
So was starting the what turned out to be an amazing feast with a subtle taste of Asia – a hearty yet light creamy soup flavoured with curry, coconut and a generous mix of tasty crab and julienne vegetables.
“Cooking is like love.
It should be entered with abandon or not all.”
– Harriet van Horne
KINKI may be known for the best sushi in Ottawa but this hip Japanese/Asian Fusion Restaurant is also a surprisingly excellent spot for meat and fish. I think the culinary great minds at KINKI have outdone themselves with the new Winterlude Menu. This gorgeous plate was strategically put together with two magnificent meat – the Sapporo-mirin braised shorts ribs in lemon BBQ sauce served with crispy togarashi chips and fresh midori greens and the very tender steak served alongside savoury rice.
On top of that, there was also a beautiful pan-seared Atlantic halibut with sake, miso sauce served with garlic mash potatoes and sautéed seasonal vegetables. For a limited time, you can enjoy KINKI’s Winterlude menu – a thoughtfully prepared menu of beautifully paired courses and the best part is, you can enjoy these splendid plates for a reduced price. You can enjoy an exclusive 3-course lunch for $15-20 or dinner for $30!
Check out this dinner option as an example, for thirty dollars, how can it get better than this?
CREAM OF SWEET POTATO AND CHINESE FIVE SPICE TOPPED WITH OUR SKI HI MIX
WINTER ASIAN GREENS
MESCLUN MIX, BEAN SPROUTS, ASIAN SLAW WITH A ORIENTAL SESAME DRESSING
THE IVY NIGIRI-MAKI MORIWASE
CHEF’S CHOICE OF MAKI AND NIGIRI, 12 pieces (Vegetarian Available)
THREE KINGS CHICKEN
TEMPURA CHICKEN STRIPS WITH A RICH THAI PEANUT SAUCE SERVED WITH STEAMED RICE, SAUTEED BOK CHOY AND FINISHED WITH ROASTED PEANUTS
SANTA BABY SNAPPER
PAN SEARED RED SNAPPER WITH A XO SAUCE, SERVED WITH CINNAMON STEAMED RICE AND ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS
GOOD SHEPHERD RIBS
SAPPORO-MIRIN BRAISED SHORT RIBS SMOTHERED IN LEMON BBQ SAUCE WITH TOGARASHI CHIPS, AND MIDORI GREENS
FROSTY FRUIT SORBET OR SMALL ELVES DESSERT
Going back to the Adventures of Fadi in sushi wonderland, we move on into another item from the exotic world of food – the world renowned aphrodisiac – the oysters. This is one epic moment that I will let the pictures speak the many thousand words, some may not be PG-rated but hey, I did give appropriate warning when I said aphrodisiac, didn’t I?
showing Fadi the fine art of sucking oysters
“He was a very valiant man who first adventured on eating oysters.”
~ James I
And just like that (okay, it really was more dramatic than that) VICTORY was had! I believe a round of applause, short of a standing ovation, was precisely the acknowledgement that Fadi deserved! Not only that he was able to suck, savour it and keep it, he also reached over and had another one!
Now, if I may offer my not-so-expert advice on culinary exoticism, I say if you can suck oysters, you can do sushi.
Though the photos are stunning, they couldn’t possibly do justice to how heavenly these sushi tasted like. Admittedly, Chefs Jonathan and Amin made these ones specially to cater to Fadi’s virgin taste buds – the salmon that sat atop a roll of vegetables, was slightly seared and topped with a dollop of spicy Japanese mayonnaise – they are nonetheless, hmmnnn…. how to best describe this?
TO. DIE. FOR.
Now I understand that despite the burgeoning of AYCE (All You Can Eat) Sushi restaurants all over town, KINKI remains the cool, chic place to hang out in the Byward Market and is always packed with locals and tourists alike who come to indulge the most decadent of sushi combination!
If this collage of photos doesn’t show you how impressed and absolutely ecstatic I am with the entire dining experience, I don’t know what will?
Wait, how about a trip to Kinki yourself?
I’m sure Fadi would love to keep you company!
Now, go get KINKI!
Follow KINKI in Facebook! 41 York Street / Ottawa Canada / T. 613-789-7559 /https://tcwebmail.tc.gc.ca/owa/redir.aspx?C=a9d451475809460f8f169d5949bfc9c8&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.kinki.ca%2f
Follow KINKI in Facebook and Twitter: @KinkiMambo
The KINKI Winterlude Menu is on until February 29th. You better hurry before it’s all gone!