For my birthday dinner this year, AngryRussian took me to Kissa Tanto in Vancouver to celebrate.
Kissa Tanto does Japanese/Italian fusion cuisine and while I’m usually weary of fusion, upon inspecting the menu I decided this would be a unique experience!
First drinks! I ordered the Midori Sour ($14) as I love melon flavor and egg whites always makes the drink so fancy! This cocktail was described as “Midori melon, yuzu and lime juice, egg white”.
Very yummy indeed and it was so bright and refreshing!
AngryRussian chose the Japanese G&T ($12) made with London dry gin, Fentiman’s tonic, yuzu honey, garnished with grapefruit peel.
I had a sip and it had quite a strong herbaceous aroma.
Later on in the night I got myself an Amaro Long Island Iced Tea ($14). The menu described it as “Averna, Cynar, Fernet Branca, and Amaro Montenegro, served long over ice, topped up with Chinotto soda.”
This was also super yummy! I was warned by the waiter that this was made with Fernet and if I was ok with that. I totally was! I don’t mind herbaceous flavors and it was strong in this drink but all mixed together with the Chinotto soda made this drink really delicious.
We decided on two appetizers. First up was the Octopus Salad ($21) – crispy smoked octopus, fresh and pickled radishes, parsley and chili purée.
This salad was crunchy, crispy, great for starting a meal. The crispy octopus were not greasy at all and perfectly seasoned. Some pieces though were overly fried rendering them quite tough. Despite that I still wish there was more of them. Not all the crispy pieces you see on the dish are octopus…half of it was crispy potatoes.
I loved the textural crunch from the purple endive and pickled radishes. The radishes weren’t very strongly pickled though. The dressing was light -tasting.
Our second appy was the Carne Cruda ($21) – Snake River Farms wagyu, nashi pear, charred scallion soy, parmesan, arima sansho, gnocco fritto.
DELICIOUS. I don’t know if it’s the mountain of parmesan, the scallion soy, or just the wagyu, but this was SO DARN YUMMY!
It was just a mouth full of flavors for me and the soft texture of the wagyu was melds everything together. I could eat more of this.
Next up was the Tajarin ($30). This was one of Kissa Tanto’s signatures – butter, roasted mushrooms, miso cured yolk. Server said the noodles were hand cut.
The noodles were very thin and the texture was more like cooked wonton noodles than pasta noodles.
I loved all the mushrooms and the cheese and the interesting texture of the noodles. However I wish I could’ve tasted the miso cured yolk more prominently. AngryRussian, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough of the Tajarin and raved about the umami-flavors. However, I really must complain about the price here…it’s $30 for a very very small portion. There isn’t even any meat in there but…it’s $30. I know I know….fine-dining….
Last on our menu was the Whole Fried Fish ($45). Tonight it was a Redstripe Rockfish, served with a yummy grease-cutting daikon soy dipping sauce. SO proud of AngryRussian to share this with me. He really is fearless with Asian foods.
Although it was a lot of work to try to avoid the thin bones, there was so much meaty goodness to pick through and the daikon soy dipping sauce was so good for cutting through the greasiness.
The batter was also well seasoned and the meat was still moist and succulent inside, combined with the crispy exterior this was quite the gustatory experience.
In all I can say that we LOVED our dinner experience here. My favorites were definitely the Carne Cruda and the Whole Fried Fish. I’m surprised I didn’t rank the Octopus Salad higher up but it didn’t wow me as much. Drinks were also well made and delicious. Two thumbs up!