Kanta has been, for a long time my choice of restaurant for quality Japanese food. Over the last 5 years I saw this establishment in the Langford suburb bloom from a hidden jewel, to a restaurant where it is impossible to be seated without a booking. Sometimes, a week or more in advance for dinner. Leading the kitchen is Akira-San who seems to have taken the backseat and is now only managing the sushi/sashimi side of things while everything else is left to his trusty apprentice!
While I have been here plenty of times before, Kanta has changed this year with its staff now wearing official Kanta shirts and more importantly, a revamped menu. Oh, and don’t forget the new website they have which you can check out here. New introductions to his already decadent menu includes an array of pork belly dishes and a few more traditional Japanese sushi like the spicy Uramaki or the thick Futomaki. In this visit of mine, I knew I had to depart from my usual Teriyaki Chicken or Gyu Tongue Steak to find out how the new offerings stand against an already impressive list of dishes!
For our appetizers, we ordered plenty of rolls, sashimi and other entrees like the Agedashi Tofu and the Ika Shioyaki which is a classic favourite among my circle of food loving mates.
Ika Shioyaki @ $8.50 or octopus tentacles grilled over the stove with salt were every bit appetizing . The fresh seafood naturally carries a sweetness which, when paired with the charred flavour from the grill, was absolutely good! Freshly squeezed lemon added that extra zing which complemented all the flavours! Add that extra kick from the sinful mayonnaise and damn it was good!
No stranger to the Japanese culture is the sashimi moriawase for which you can get a small serve of kingfish, tuna and salmon for $16.50.
Fish is not my sort of thing, but for the girls, they loved every bit of it! Oh, and do not forget fishman YiHeng who loves fish too!
But my highlight for night is a much welcomed addition in the Kanta establishment, the Teriyaki Pork Belly @ $18.50.
Garnished with Saffron and Brussel sprouts, the pork belly seated gracefully on a mixture of teriyaki sauce and a cream sauce which is a concoction of mayonnaise and spices. The meat was good with the perfect amount of fat. The girls found it a bit unhealthy but to me, it was just spot on! While the pork belly as a whole was tender and juicy, there tended to be a few bits which were not that well cooked. But that did not matter much. If you are not a fan of teriyaki sauce, this might not be your cue, but otherwise, the setup of a good sauce with a well-cooked pork belly will blow you away. Another noticeable feature of the dish was the four little dots which were another type of sauce which reminded me of the Korean Bibimbab sauce ahah. Slightly peppery with a hint of sesame flavour which brought added flavour to the whole dish! For me, the downfall of the entire plate was the Brussel sprouts which were a little bitter :(!
As a whole, Kanta is still a leader in its class of restaurants. The authentic Japanese canteen which still dishes out classic Japanese favourites like the teriyaki, sushi and sashimi are hard to beat. While simple decor paired with lethargic waiters might seem unwelcoming at times do not be fooled. But if you are keen on decor and have a suitable budget to match, other good Japanese restaurants with like Satsuki, Halu, Toraya and Nine Fine Food are hard to beat but would have you poorer by $40-70 dollars. My dinner at Kanta only cost me $25 today. What can I say? Love it!
You can check out my previous post here where I had listed a few other goodies Kanta has to offer! ;)!