I saw photos of Kirei`s food from flickr (link) earlier and thought it reminded me a lot of Yuzu. The photographer of the flickr informed me that one of the main chefs from Yuzu (my review on Yuzu) went to Kirei, thus the similarity. Kirei offers a casual ambiance near St.Lawrence market and St. James Park. Parking was also conveniently found near by.
We arrived on a Friday night with a group of 11… lots of space! Kirei also offers omakase for around $80-100 but we weren’t sure of the quality and did not want to risk the money. Thus, almost half of us got the Sushi Licious Special Menu , a 3-courses prix fixe meal for $30 which will be mentioned later.
I ordered the following (sharing with a friend of course!):
Kirei Deluxe for two. 15 sashimi. 12 sushi. 8 dynamite roll ($45.95)
Everything was relatively fresh and eloquently displayed as per the pictures. I liked how they added different little spices on the sushi. There was a scallop sushi where they added cranberry on it, which tasted really funny. -.- my friend mentioned that if it’s a fresh sushi, they shouldn’t add these things on it; it distracts the flavour… true that! They also seared some of the sashimis which I liked! The crispy spicy garlic, sesame salmon and all were very interesting and added some texture.
I also got two small apps, Black Cod (Gindara) – Broiled black cod with sweet miso glaze and a fried yam sushi.
Also a Spider roll – soft shell crab with avacado, cucumber, tobiko with mayo and sweet sauce.
It was very typical. Nothing to wow about.
While the rest got the Sushi Licious Special Menu, it consisted of the following with miso soup, green salad.
3 Appetizers (left to right):
- shrimp tempura – braised pork
- yakitoru – teriyakibeef
Overall, simple but not bad. Initially we thought we can only pick one app but we actually get three and no wonder the size!
- 5 pieces of assorted sliced raw fish
- 4 pcs of assorted nigiri
- 2 pcs of 3 different kinds of roll
Not bad. Quite similar to my assorted sashimi and sushi; similar additional spices and toppings. Pretty good value!
- Desserts– mochi icecream. It was a choice of black sesame or greentea or mango.
Overall, not bad I would say for $30. The sushi and sashimi were definitely better than I thought for this special. And my order of the deluxe was indeed delicious despite some odd spices. The special is definitely worth it but if one is going for a better quality sushi + sashimi, I still prefer Yuzu.
On a sidenote, remember to check your bill before you pay. For us, they charged us an automatic 20% tip and charged tax on top of that! I understand automatic tips are to be included in the bill for parties greater than 6 but tax should not be charged on the tip as that doesn’t make sense. We have a big party so those small %s make a big chunk! At last, the waitress was nice enough to make a manual adjustment for us though. Very nice of her. But still, beware! Don`t think Ì`ll come back for the next little bit since there are so many other great jap places out there. Great value of their specials though.