This post is physically difficult to write because the more we write, the more we miss the food at Ki, a modern Japanese restaurant and lounge on Bay St. Translated as "pure; undiluted; raw," Ki strives to recreate the Japanese-style experience of sharing food and drinks with friends.
The restaurant's atmosphere makes it easy to recreate that experience with a plethora of dining options at the bar, dining room, both upstairs and down, so you've covered whether you're just having a night out with your friends, an intimate date, or trying to impress someone on business.
Left to right: Sockeye Salmon ($11), Tempura Butterfish ($14)
Upon opening the menu, two of their Modern Makimonos catch our eye and we order them without hesitation: Sockeye Salmon ($11) and Tempura Butterfish ($14). We almost closed our menus before noticing their mouth-watering selection of signature cold plates and we painfully ("strategically") narrow our choice down to the Maple-Tamari Binnaga ($11).
Filled with apple, cucumber, kiwi, and karashi-miso ginger dressing, the Sockeye Salmon has a wasabi kick to it that will clear your sinuses and make you tear up a little bit – in a good way. The crunch of the greens combined with the hella fresh salmon made for one unforgettable roll.
The Tempura Butterfish was made with Alaskan king crab, salmon, butterfish, avocado, cucumber, and tobiko with tempura crust. While still noticeably much better than your typical tempura sushi, it disappeared into the abyss of tempura sushi we've had before and paled next to the Sockeye Salmon.
Maple-Tamari Binnaga ($11)
Now, about the Maple-Tamari Binnaga. This particular tuna drizzled with wasabi crème fraiche and pine nuts stole our hearts. We're willing to bet there's nothing more representative of "pure; undiluted; raw" than this piece of fish. It practically melted in our mouths and you can almost hear Kristen Wiig saying, "Shit, that is fresh."
After achieving the perfect level of guilt-free satisfaction, our waitress graces our table with a set of complimentary chocolates. Made with white chocolate atop a layer of dark chocolate, these ain't your everyday Hershey kisses. Our waitress advised that they don't have them every night but it's worth asking about if you're there (trust us, we were told it was just dark chocolate but we swear there was something cookie-like in there).
The wait staff are incredibly friendly and helpful – they make sure you're not left in the dark while you pretend that you know what every word on the menu actually means. They're incredibly accommodating and despite being a nicer place, they're also refreshingly laid-back. If you're looking for a lovely evening, Ki has the food, atmosphere, and service to make it one.