Every restaurant has a signature dish or a meal offering a personal twist. At Kinhao in the South End, the prosciutto sushi roll is at the top of the must-try list.
Fayloong Sun has owned the restaurant for the last five years. Before that, it was the location of Kobe Sushi, under different ownership.
“This area has many Italians. We wanted to add something that would be familiar to these families and it turns out they love it. It is always popular with customers,” Sun said.
Sun moved to Sudbury 11 years ago as his wife was starting her MBA at Laurentian University.
He is thankful to have her assist with the bills and books so he can concentrate on the food prep. He said customers always come back for the quality of the sushi as well as the presentation and beauty of it.
Sun is actually of Chinese descent and pays homage to that with his Mongolian Beef dish on the menu.
He learned to roll sushi when he was still living in Luoyang, an old city in the middle of China.
Upon relocating to Canada, he worked at sushi bars in Toronto, London and then Sudbury before branching off on his own.
Kinhao translates to “good” and “positive,” which is exactly the kind of experience Sun wants for each customer.
Like many sushi restaurants in the city, Kinhao is an all-you-can-eat restaurant. But what’s a bit different is the decor.
From the moment customers enter the restaurant, they will see the windows lined with Sake bottles and the bamboo and paper Japanese umbrellas covering the ceiling.
The restaurant also features cat statues — otherwise known as “maneki neko”, cats that are supposed to bring good luck and customers to the owner.
Sun personally likes his sushi rich and opts for green dragon rolls loaded with shrimp tempura, cucumber, mayonnaise and avocado. He also likes spicy salmon rolls.
He said his wife, Sheila, prefers the black dragon, which is similar to the green but with barbeque eel garnished on top.
Serving takeout has become more profitable during the lockdowns and it has helped Kinhao stay afloat. Sun said the five-person party tray is a favourite amongst Sudburians. It features California rolls along with spicy salmon, salmon, crab meat, cucumber, avocado, and red and green dragon rolls.
He is pumping out 60-70 orders each day with about 100 each day on weekends — proof to him that his sushi is worth the order and the wait.
Sun stresses that sushi is meant to be fresh.
“No one wants hard rice that has been sitting for hours, or old seaweed. If they eat that, they generally won’t try sushi again,” he said.
It’s a message he shares with customers and those who attend his hosting tutorials on how to make the best sushi rolls in town.
Visit the Kinhao website here or their Facebook here. Located at 2040 Algonquin Rd. in the South End (same plaza as Canadian Tire), Iit’s open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kinhao is also available for ordering on Skip the Dishes.
Anastasia Rioux is a freelance writer in Greater Sudbury.