When I visited: March 2018
Location: Vancouver (Chinatown)
Rating in the Michelin Guide: Not rated in the Guide
What to wear: Men – jeans or nice trousers and a shirt; women – jeans and a smart top or a smart dress
Ambience: Trendy, dark
Course of the meal: Tajarin
If I could change one thing: Sizes of courses
The Michelin Guide doesn’t favour Canada with restaurant reviews (for some reason) but Kissa Tanto has received some media attention anyway, not least from The New York Times. It attempts to fuse Italian and Japanese food in a trendy, upstairs bar / restaurant space in the Chinatown area of Vancouver.
The service was friendly throughout and there was a good atmosphere (with a young demographic quite representative of Vancouver in general), even if the dining tables were squeezed a little too close together. One thing to note was that this restaurant offered good food at fairly low prices – the whole meal was about £100 in total which is a lot cheaper than equivalent London restaurants.
Upon entering downstairs, you are greeted with the first of a few ‘ironic’/retro signs (‘Please fix your hair, and remove the mud from your boots’). At first we were told our table wasn’t ready so we went to the bar but then they changed their mind, so we ordered a Singapore Sling, Time and Tide and Four on Six Sour cocktails from the table. The food menu is designed for sharing but the waitress slightly underestimated the sizes in her recommendations – she recommended a few starters and two mains including a pasta course, when really just one starter or one main would have been fine.
We started with the house bread, served with miso, whey butter and oil, which was good if a little heavy; the beet salad was very tasty and light, as was the beef carne cruda. The mains were excellent – tajarin (pasta with mushrooms and miso-cured egg yolk shavings) and sablefish (a lovely, soft and light piece of fish served with pickled vegetables and seaweed). However, the mains were pretty much the same size as the starters, so I’m not sure why they don’t just lay the whole menu out and tell you to pick three things from the whole lot for the table.
Dessert was yuzu cream – served with seeds and olive oil and fairly savoury, so you could kid yourself it was a healthy trendy ‘smoothie bowl’ kind of dish.