Ki-Isu is a Korean-owned Japanese restaurant in Yaletown known for their decent sushi at an affordable price. Given its location, it’s hard to come across restaurants that are budget friendly. Of course Vancouver is known for their abundance of Japanese restaurants with over 600 and counting, and of course not all of them are Japanese-owned. Despite the fact that a lot of Japanese restaurants these days are run by Koreans, it doesn’t necessarily disqualify the authenticity of the sushi experience, right?
Since I had a half marathon the next day, I wanted to eat something light and having Japanese seemed like the best option out of the bunch. I initially wanted to go for something carb heavy like Tacofino, but my boyfriend convinced me otherwise.
The interior of the restaurant is actually pretty small. Not as small as Sushi by Yuji, but definitely smaller than I had expected with only a max occupancy of about 20 people.
Between the two the us, we shared a special roll and bento box, which I thought was more than enough since we are not big eaters.
Brown Rice Salmon Cake ($12) Pressed sushi stacked with tangy jalapeno salmon, tempura crunch, avocado salad, garnished with sesame seeds and kizami nori (shredded seaweed). This came in five huge pieces! They also offer black rice as a substitution. My boyfriend and I really enjoyed this roll as everything paired really well together both taste and texture-wise. Despite the price tag, I would totally order these again.
Dinner Box A ($14.95) Sunomono, salad, assorted tempura, chicken teriyaki, spicy tuna roll, california roll and miso soup. (choice between chicken or beef teriyaki)
Miso soup was pretty standard- a little on the saltier side, but my boyfriend prefers his miso soup salty so he drank most of it 😛
Sunomono had a nice sweet tangy taste and was very refreshing.
Assorted Tempura came with one prawn, yam, bean, and squash. I really liked the tempura batter as it was light and crispy without being too oily. The dipping sauce that came with the tempura was really unique- it had a hint of cinnamon in it which I thought was odd. Nevertheless, it did not deter us from dipping away.
Chicken Teriyaki was nice and moist and had a good marinade similar to most Japanese restaurants. This came with a bed of rice and bean sprouts.
Last but not the least, both the spicy tuna and California rolls were pretty standard but still delicious! I liked how the California roll was not heavily doused in mayo.
P.S. They have second location in West Vancouver as well!
1275 Pacific Blvd
1532 Marine Dr
West Vancouver, BC