I thought that Kinji would be in the city centre, but not so! It is about 6km from the centre of the city. If you’re a visitor to Christchurch, you need a car to get there. But I was glad that I made the effort to find it! It was a suburb Japanese fix that did not disappoint.
When we arrived at 6pm, it was still very quiet. We didn’t make a booking and it obviously was fully booked for Monday night so the waitress politely asked us whether we would be able to finish by 7:30pm. Not a problem! After sitting down, I heard the chef chatting with 2 customers sitting at the counter in Japanese. A good sign! We’re likely to be enjoying authentic Japanese flavours.
We ordered the following dishes from “chef’s suggestion” – “sea eel and shitake tempura”, “groper and alfonsino sashimi”, and “venison tataki”
What made this meal special is the pleasing flavours those new combinations delivered for me.
I have eaten plenty of eels before, always grilled and on top of rice. This one is different, the fresh sea eel is lightly coated in tempura batter and fried, I really love the aroma, texture, and taste of sea eel and mushroom.
I have never tried groper and alfosino before, what a great way to be introduced to it by having it raw. The meat is sweet yet has a slight crunch to it. It is another winner.
Although I have tried venison previously, never takaki, so this is another new experience. I am surprised that it doesn’t taste gamey at all and the takaki is as tender as the softest veal.
From the normal menu we ordered a bento box and two chawan mushi. Both are standard dishes we can find in other Japanese restaurants around the world except they do it better, more delicate and more flavoursome. I’m really surprised to find a small Japanese restaurant in the suburban Christchurch that delivers such high quality food. It’s worth every penny.
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