With the huge selection of Asian restaurants in the GTA, Kimono does not stand a chance against its competitors and I have no doubt that we will see its demise. They have not learned that to succeed in the restaurant business you need to impress every single person that enters your doors with outstanding food and service.
The one area that Kimono did understand is ambiance and they clearly did not spare any expense on their décor. The restaurant has been tastefully done with beautiful ornaments along the walls and lighting positioned above to accent each piece. The entranceway is nice and long with a half wall that contains bamboos planted on top. The height acts as a perfect separation allowing dinners (assuming there are some) to not be distracted from anyone coming in. It also protects you from the draft of the cold winter months. The dinning room is elegant, clean and the seating is comfortable and well spaced. Unfortunately, there is no one in the restaurant to enjoy the decorator’s efforts. We were the only people seated for dinner and it was close to 6pm.
The reason started to become apparent once we opened the menu. The prices of many items had been crossed off and reduced by 2-3 dollars. Clearly there is a lack of traffic and Management is attempting to draw customers in the door by slashing cost, thinking, and foolishly so, that price is the sole reason people choose a restaurant. While it is considered, I think any epicurean will agree that we are happy to pay for excellent food as long as we get taste and value for the cost. The prices were on par with other Asian restaurants. However, the quantity and quality of food was a huge disappointment.
The appetizers that came with our mains are ridiculously small. The miso soup is half the size of what is generally served in Asian restaurants and so was the salad. For my entrée I choose the Bento box that came with shrimp tempura (2 pcs), Korean ribs (5 small pcs) and rice. As an accoutrement they added once mushroom cut in half; bland and cold. To the other side of my box sat a tiny grilled shrimp; also cold. Moreover, not a single thought was given to presentation. The cook (I use the term “cook” because I do not believe there is a trained Chef in the kitchen – no professional would allow food to leave their kitchen is such a state) could have easily placed a lettuce leaf underneath the items or filled the empty spaces in my box with bean sprouts. The rice was cold and completely dried out. The ribs were also cold. The Tempura was hot, but very bland. Clearly it was not seasoned after it was removed from the fryer. My meal was so bad that I was convinced my box had been sitting on the counter all day and we given to me once I placed the order. I voiced my discontent with the waiter who simply replied with “no, it was made fresh when you ordered, but the tempura was made last hence why the rest is cold” and walked away. No effort was made in asking me how he could make me happy. Nor did not offer to replace my meal or offer us a free entrée to encourage us to return.
To add to our experience, our tea was never refilled and we had to wait a long time for our bill. When we looked over the servers were all sitting at the Sushi bar chatting and laughing away.
Kimono had a great idea, but sadly, it has been poorly executed and we will never return. With their lack of service, oversights on detail and presentation, along with their inability to produce good and fresh food, I give this restaurant a 1 (out of a scale of 1-10). The point is given due to the décor.