Fusion cuisine can either be exciting and revolutionary or an epic fail. While I was nervous to try this Japanese Italian restaurant, Tommaso was intrigued.
Pretty much the only reason I booked Kissa Tanto was because of Tommaso’s interest in trying this restaurant. Located in Vancouver’s Chinatown, the restaurant reminded me of a speakeasy with its swanky vibes. The menu was divided into appetizers, pasta, main courses, and desserts and dishes seemed to have a balanced blend of both Japanese and Italian ingredients.
Snake River Farms wagyu was made into a tartare dressed in a charred scallion soy sauce. The pear added some sweetness and juiciness, the arima sansho (seasoning made from sansho pepper) added spice, and the Parmigiano Reggiano added nuttiness. The gnocco fritto (fried dough) was used as a vessel to eat the tartare. Overall, this was a solid and tasty dish.
Red and golden beets, turnips, and radishes were the foundation of this beautiful salad tossed in a rose honey vinaigrette. The creamy Mascarpone, umeboshi, and yuzu crema added richness.
Baccalà mantecato is a classic Italian dish and in this rendition, they used confit albacore tuna. The tuna is whipped with smoked potato which was covered in furikake. I felt like the flavor and texture of the mantecato was a little off and I really did not care for the tobiko bruschetta. There was just way too much tobiko on the bread making it unappetizing. I loved the concept of this dish but the execution needs work.
While this didn’t have much Japanese influence, the pasta was scrumptious. Homemade rigatoni was tossed in the pork ragù made with nut fed pork, butter, and finished with a sesame crumble.
Beautifully cooked lamb was seasoned with fennel and chili and served with hijiki, a type of seaweed, in a miso bagna cauda sauce. Bagna cauda is an Italian sauce made from garlic and anchovies so the miso was a nice addition adding umami.
Yaki onigiri (grilled rice ball) was stuffed with himematsu mushrooms and served in a roasted chicken consommé. The pickled shiso and Piave Vecchio cheese added complexity.
I loved this version of tiramisu where the ladyfingers were soaked in plum wine and the Mascarpone was combined with whipped soy. So good.
Silky yuzu cream was topped with pear, pistachios, and an olive oil crumble. So light yet it felt decadent.
Tommaso and I were both pleasantly surprised with our dinner at Kissa Tanto. Overall, they were able to integrate both Japanese and Italian flavors together to create something harmonious and delicious so my rating is an 8/10.