Chef Akira Kishimoto-
The Plates are my canvas, where I create art.
Commercial Drive, or The “Drive” as it’s known to most Vancouverites, is a bustling and growing neighbourhood on the east side of Vancouver. It’s a cultural melting pot of unique restaurants and fun little shops. In the summer of 2011, Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen and Sushi Bar became one of the newest additions to this diverse neighbourhood.
Recently renovated to create more space for diners, the restaurant has lovely sliding windows that can be fully opened to let in the breeze on warm summer nights. Upon entering Kishimoto you’ll notice the different textures created from the wooden furnishings, the concrete walls and the giant rope mural. All of this adds to the character of this quaint little restaurant. The center piece of Kishimoto is the Sushi Bar, where you will find owner and Executive Chef, Akira Kishimoto, creating his delicious works of art.
Akira Kishimoto began his culinary journey in Osaka and Kyoto before moving to Vancouver to further pursue his career. After 16 years of mastering the art of Japanese cuisine, he finally opened up his very first restaurant. Chef Akira describes Kishimoto as his art studio, and the plates are the canvases on which he makes his creations come alive. His passion for cooking and beautiful presentation has made Kishimoto one of the best Japanese restaurants on The Drive. Chef Akira believes that taste and presentation is the key to a great meal and an enjoyable dining experience. Mukimono is the traditional Japanese art of decorative garnishing, which Chef Akira really brings alive in his plating presentations. It is evident after seeing Chef Akira’s plating style that he firmly believes you eat with their eyes first.
In order to ensure his creations are both visually appealing and delicious, Chef Akira is adamant on using the freshest ingredients and buying local produce. He wants his diners to experience traditional Japanese cuisine with a Western flare. He has taken a lot of care in creating his menu from the house-made specialty sauces right down to the edible garnishes. Kishimoto’s menu consists of seasonal specials such as the BC Spot Prawns served sashimi or nigiri style, along with the heads deep-fried. The deep-fried prawn heads are delicious, especially when paired with a bottle of ice cold Asahi beer. Right alongside the specialties are traditional nigiri sushi, sashimi, and specialty rolls with a twist. One of their most popular specialty rolls is the HamaChili Roll, which consists of Hamachi, avocado and chilli mayo topped with slices of jalapeno and cilantro leaves. The cilantro adds a nice earthy freshness to the Hamachi, while the jalapeno kicks it up a notch! Another customer favourite is the Oshisushi, which is a pressed sushi. There is a bit of technique when it comes to making Oshisushi. You mustn’t pack or “press” the rice too hard or else it becomes too dense. Cutting the Oshisushi also requires a bit of deft knife work to ensure that the rice doesn’t fall apart. Customers love the Salmon Oshisushi. It consists of Sockeye Salmon topped with a house-made creamy sauce and a dash of Yuzu juice, then torched to perfection.
To top off an enjoyable dining experience at Kishimoto, one must try their house-made ice creams: Yuzu ice cream is a great palette cleanser, Matcha is a definite crowd pleaser, and Black Sesame is delicious and aromatic. No matter how you want to start or end your night, Chef Akira and his staff are more than happy to provide the best dining experience for you, your family and friends!