Jina Sushi (Kingston) – A strange location but some solid bulgogi!

If you drive on King Street and head west, past the Kingston Penitentiary, there is a small 1 block area that is known as Portsmouth Village that is almost like a town by itself. There are residential areas, there is a Tim Hortons, there is a convenience store. And then there is a Sushi place. Jina Sushi to be exact. I am not sure what possessed these lovely Korean people to open a Japanese restaurant so far away from Queen’s and so close to the prison. Rent was cheap I guess?

It is a really small place. Max capacity is maybe 15 people. Conversations between different tables are very easily overheard. The renovations aren’t quite complete but it is getting there.

We were treated to this beautifully decorated roll. I am not sure what it is but it is breaded, deep fried, has some panko flakes with spicy sauce on the inside mixed with cream cheese. The roll was a bit oily but the presentation was great. I have to say that cream cheese in sushi is a bit of a turn-off for me, mostly because cream cheese is such an overpowering taste.

This is the Spicy Red Hot for $11.95 (deep-fried shrimp, spicy salmon, avocado topped with salmon slices and spicy salmon). Really elaborately prepared but unfortunately, I did find the rice a bit mushy, the sauce a bit overpowering, and generally, the roll being quite oily. I think rolls should generally leave you feeling refreshed with a clearness in your mouth. I felt a bit heavy after this. The fish was only so-so.

This is the Ninja for $10.95 (tuna, cream cheese, fish egg, topped with salmon). Again, very beautifully prepared, rivaling the rolls you get at Akira. I just found the roll quite heavy again.

This is the bulgogi dinner for $14.99. Now this is good stuff! Very fragrant and tender beef on a bed on seasoned vegetables, served with rice. Very moist and filling. The best bulgogi I have had in Kingston. If you come to Jina, definitely get this dish! I only wish the hot plate it was served on was actually sizzling.

The bibimbap (I forget the price). This is the only version that I have seen without meat. There was a lot of food here. It is essentially rice, a fried egg, mushrooms, beans, carrots, seaweed, and kimchi. You mix it all together and let the yolk run all over the rice. The proportion of rice was a bit high given how little sauce/yolk you got. Everything tasted pretty good though.

Overall, Jina Sushi is a great place for bulgogi. They have a lot of unique rolls but I generally found them a bit too heavy for my liking. If you are done your day at the Kingston Pen, make sure you pick up some bulgogi on your way home.

Jina Sushi, 682 King St. West, Kingston, ON, 613-766-7022, no website.

Jina Sushi on Urbanspoon

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~ by Russ on April 8, 2010.

11 Responses to “Jina Sushi (Kingston) – A strange location but some solid bulgogi!”

  1. Everything you’ve shared looks delicious and is well presented, however I have to agree that cream cheese and sushi is a strange combo.

  2. I find this place a pleasant little surprise. The food is exceptional well handled and the prices extremely reasonable. I would have to say the one thing that puts me off the place is that you come away smelling like you’ve been deep fried, which might explain why you observed the food was oily. If you smell grease, you’ll taste grease. On that note I recommend take out…

    • Yea, I shy away from their rolls. Get the bulgogi. You can’t go wrong. I just wish the plate would sizzle.

  3. I ate here, it was good enough I came running back for more the next day.

    As a vegetarian in Kingston who has a bent on eating sushi I often run into roadblocks finding great meatless rolls when I eat out.

    I found a menu for this place from a menu in a puddle in a parking lot, and since neither me nor my girlfriend had heard of it – I KNEW we had to check it out. We’re regulars at Sakura, and have had sushi elsewhere as well.

    I’ll start off by saying this – Jina’s menu is impressive; not only does Jina have a larger variety of regular veggie rolls, they are also the only place I know of around town to have Vegetarian Special Rolls.

    The rolls were priced right where I expected them to be, prepared faster than I’m used to, and were every bit as filling as I had hoped. The rolls were looser than I pack mine which added a slight challenge for picking them up with the chopsticks, however the marginal extra effort only made a successful mouthful of sushi taste even sweeter by contrast.

    I strongly strongly recommend this to any koreans, or any sushi lovers in the area – and if you know a vegetarian this is *the* sushi place to go!

    Thanks for your review, it was based on this that I went out and tried it – and you didn’t let me down or embellish it one bit. thanks for being so candid and adventurous!

  4. I love, love, love Jina Sushi! They have a different sushi chef from when they first opened and the new one is phenomenal. It is, hands down, the best sushi place I’ve found in Kingston (and I’ve tried most of them).

    • Thanks for the comment! I’d still argue that Sima and Akira are the best in the city but I’ll give Jina another try! It is just sometimes hard to get to!

  5. This is a great site! I just decided what I’m getting for dinner haha. Jina sushi is pretty good considering the cook is just a regular housewive who just picked up learning sushi. The banana roll they had was surprisingly good!(but extremely spicy) It’s so hard to find good sushi in kingston(all they have are decent rolls) Well, maybe I got too spoiled since my visit in japan haha.

    • The funny thing is that in Japan… I didn’t really eat any sushi. There was just sooo much other stuff to eat! Like… Katsu, Ramen, Soba, Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki!

  6. We were there for a birthday last night. They are such nice people and the food was great! I had stopped in the night before to ask for a birthday cake and they provided one that was very good. Both my son’s frequent this place and I will as well. I had the Bulgogi you recommended and was very pleased.

    • If only their location wasn’t so far from downtown! It is quite a drive to get there (well… in Kingston terms).

  7. Next time you’re there, consider getting the special vegetable rolls. They’re large but not greasy. There are versions without spicy sauce if you find that overpowering. Thanks for the Bulgogi recommendation. 🙂

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