Review of Kenko Sushi in Kingston, Ontario
Food Was Delicious But Food Handling Needs Improvement
Kenko Sushi has been in business since 2012, serving tasty Japanese cuisine to the Kingston community. Their interior design is associated with luxury as can be seen in their purple and gold colour scheme. The dinning space is small but still very comfortable.
My friend and I stopped by in late March after visiting LeMoine Point. My friend ordered the Dashi Tofu and California on Fire roll. I ordered the Maki Dinner B, which came with California, Spicy Salmon and Dynamite rolls. We were served miso soup, salad and clear noodles as appetizers. Everything was very tasty and fresh. The meal ended with a free cream puff, which was excellent.
The non-food aspect of the restaurant was mixed. Their service was friendly and efficient. Their washrooms were clean and well stocked. The only concern I have is with their health inspection record. They have had repeated violations and some of these are critical issues. I hope that they will improve their food handling as everything else was very good.
A Bit of History
Kenko is a family-run restaurant owned and operated by Young Suk Lee and Mee Sok Youn. They began serving Japanese cuisine in 2012. Over the years, they have received many favourable reviews, earning Certificate of Excellence from TripAdivsor.
The colours of the interior evoke a sense of luxury. The deep purple wall colour is synonymous with opulence as it is the colour of royalty in the past. The side wall is also symbolic of grandeur as it is a shade of golden yellow. This textured wall is nicely lit by wall grazing lighting. Red pendant lights also softly illuminate the dinning space. Large windows at the front of the restaurant provide lots of additional natural lighting.
The wooden chairs and some of the tables are in the same colour as the purple walls. Tan banquettes line the wall and provide additional seating. Light wooden panel flooring quietly allows the other components of the room to really shine.
The dinning space is very modern, and feels rich. It was like eating in a very fancy place but still felt comfy.
My friend and I were taking a leisurely stroll at Lemoine Point in late March and afterwards wanted to go for sushi. Kenko was the closest sushi restaurant we could find. It was only about a 7-minute drive from Lemoine Point. We weren't sure whether Kenko was a good restaurant, but they had some good reviews so we decided to try it.
My friend ordered the Age Dashi Tofu, which was deep-fried tofu with sweet soy sauce for $5.95. For her main, she chose California on Fire roll. This special maki is a California roll topped with spicy salmon, which is diced salmon mixed with spicy mayo and tempura bits. This maki was $11.50.
I chose a sushi combo, which is served with miso soup and salad. I got the Maki Dinner B, containing 10 pieces of Dynamite roll, 6 pieces of California roll, and 6 pieces of Spicy Salmon roll. The Dynamite roll has fried shrimp, crab meat, avocado and cucumber. The very popular California roll contained crab meat, cucumber and avocado. The Spicy Salmon roll is made of salmon mixed with spicy mayo and tempura bits. The whole combo costs $18.50.
Miso Soup, Salad, Clear Noodles
The miso soup was light, with just the right about of saltiness. It was very good.
The salad contained iceberg lettuce, and julienned carrots, topped with a light tangy dressing. The dressing was quite nice, a very well balanced combination of salty, sweet and sour tastes.
My friend and I shared this clear noodle dish that was topped with sesame seeds. It was very toothsome. There was a hint of toasty and nutty flavours that I quite enjoyed.
Sushi Combo Dinner B
The presentation of the dish was very attractive. The different rolls were nicely separated. There was pickled ginger and wasabi placed at the corner of the square plate.
The California rolls were very nice. I could taste the avocado and the crab meat. They were all very tasty.
The Spicy Salmon rolls were equally good. The flavour of the salmon wasn't very strong. Also, the spicy mayo wasn't too spicy either. The tempura bits added a nice crispy crunch and texture.
The Dynamite rolls were also very delicious. The fried shrimp was lovely, and the avocados added a rich, creaminess to the rolls.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my combo plate.
Dashi Tofu and California on Fire
The Dashi Tofu was quite yummy, as well. The sweet soy sauce really elevated it from being bland to being quite flavourful.
The California on Fire roll was also very well done. I didn't think it was too spicy. It definitely had great texture due to the tempura bits.
At the end of the meal, we were given free dessert--a small cream puff for each of us. It was delightful. Just the right amount of creaminess and sweetness. Great way to end a meal!
We were served by a young waitress. She answered our questions about the menu, took our orders, brought us our drinks and food. She was very pleasant and served us with a smile. We didn't have to wait too long for our food. Overall, the service was friendly and efficient.
The state of a restaurant's washroom is often an indication of their cleanliness, upkeep and attention to detail. I used their washroom on our visit. The washroom was quite large and airy. It was clean and well stocked. I was pleased with their washroom.
The local Health Unit does regular health inspections of food facilities and post their results on their website. I went on there to see how Kenko did on their most recent inspection. They were last inspected on April 16, 2019. They incurred two critical, and three non-critical violations, all of them repeat infractions. The two critical offences were 1) using handwashing station other than for handwashing of employees and 2) failure to protect food from contamination or adulteration. They have quite a record of health violations in the past as well. I'm fairly concerned as they continue to do so poorly on their health inspections.
Location of Kenko Sushi
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© 2019 Simon Lam