Birthday Dinner: Kingyo Izakaya

The grand finale of Teng’s Birthday Bonanza (Feasting Fest was also a name I considered but it’s almost one am which has nothing to do with anything but I reckoned sufficed to become a reason) was Kingyo Izakaya. You will (should/ought to) remember that we went there for lunch last summer and enjoyed every morsel we ate then. So we figured we needed to eat dinner there and what better time to do so than on Teng’s birthday?

So while waiting in the queue for the restaurant to open up, I wrinkled my nose (something smelled) and chatted to a plastic tree (probably the tree) and garnered many a looks but I didn’t care because I was tired and hungryish. Yeah. When you have been eating all day, the most you can aspire to is hungryish.


We were seated by the window, deliberated unnecessarily with the menu (we knew two weeks before what we were going to order) and started ordering much to the surprise of the waitress who kept waiting for us to stop speaking. I remember saying something about ordering more and the waitress saying something like, “No, this should be enough.”) (There’s a post planned for this apparently common Server Interference. Wait for it.)

Not gonna lie, the first thing I noticed was the lack of pretty cutlery that was used during lunch. We got none of the heavy stone bowls or beautiful pieces of what felt like art. Instead it was all plain white plates. Sadly.

I don’t remember what we got first but here goes nothing:

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Kingyo does ebi mayo really really well and we weren’t disappointed by these. They were delicious.  The prawns had a nice meaty snap and the batter wasn’t too doughy. I could have eaten all of them myself but since I’m a good friend, I shared.

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The deep fried corn that was sprinkled with seasoning and possibly crushed roasted seaweed. It, too, was deliciously. The seasoning was amazing and once again, I could have easily devoured this myself(Teng: one must have quick, nimble fingers to eat with Nafiza). It had a crisp exterior with creamy sweetness that followed…and it was just…yum.

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I have to admit that while this was delicious, it didn’t have as much impact as I expected it to. The egg yolk was on the skin which meant that when the skin was removed (if you are like us and don’t eat it), you lose a lot of the egg too. The flavour was a lot less intense than the one we had at Kishimoto. The Kishimoto version infused the fish with sweetness that Kingyo’s didn’t. I mean, I enjoyed it but it wasn’t the superior one in comparison. If we were to order this again, I think I would actually remove the egg so that I can flip the fish over. I would also skip the lime wedge provided. The lime juice cuts down the rich oiliness of the fish, and I’m here to enjoy the rich fatty fish.

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My first time eating Lotus root! I particularly enjoyed the soup/sauce/liquid thing that accompanied the dish. It was light, fragrant and very flavourful. The lotus root slices were supposed to be stuffed with blue cheese which was not particularly evident. The lotus root itself was a lot more dense with a heavier texture than I expected it to have. I enjoyed it though it wasn’t a favourite. (Teng: I was actually surprised that they used such a young and crispy lotus root. It’s not as soft and starchy as the ones often used in Chinese dishes. I also wish that they plastered the lotus root with blue cheese, though that would completely overwhelm the lotus root flavor. The subtle lotus root flavor is barely registering as is too)

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Yeah, I didn’t like this one. Not because the dish was bad or anything but because I discovered belatedly that I don’t like Mackerel. Not my thing at all. (Teng: I thought the mackerel was okay. I think what Nafiza didn’t like was that the mackerel was marinated and had a lightly tangy taste to it. Still, I liked Kingyo’s take on press sushi and that they are so generous with the fish).

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Teng: I ordered this, both because I wanted the beef tongue and because Nafiza has been quite clear that we play with the hot stone next time we visited Kingyo. The beef tongue was okay. It was sliced thinly so that it can be easily cooked on the hot stone. But because the beef tongue was so lean, bits of it tend to stick on the hot stone and the tongue was a little chewy from being overcooked. I prefer the beef tongue sliced thicker and grilled. However, I did go to Kingyo again after this trip and ordered the Kobe beef on the hot stone. Now the Kobe beef was nice and fatty, so it was easy to cook each slice to a nice tender, juicy medium rare. The Kobe beef also came marinated, so I found the kobe was delicious as is, though they did provide other sauces. If you can spring for the Kobe beef, get the Kobe beef instead.

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The uni udon with crab meat, sweet white miso, ikura and shisho herb is jus…this was creamy and delicious and I loved it. Ahhh, I want it again. *covets*

Teng: the uni udon was good, rich and creamy. But I expected a little more uni flavor and actually to see some uni pieces on the udon.

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With this was fresh and aromatic, and probably the ideal things with which to close the meal, I found myself strangely disappointed in the presentation. If you will look at the previous post, you will see how beautifully the desserts were presented and I was expecting something similar. When we got this, I was surprised. The almond tofu goes amazingly well with soy caramel. Alternating bites of each will leave you feeling very happy. The sweet saltiness of the soy caramel will be eased by the fresh and light almond tofu and just yum.



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