The 'good room' is a formal and quite sombre dining space adjacent to the much more casual and very yellow original shop. KiRi was extended in late 2011 when the laundrette next door became available, and customers who make bookings ahead of time are seated in this undoubtedly classier space.
The food, though, is good regardless of where you sit.
The dinner menu - like the restaurant - is quite small, with 11 mains, 10 entrees and 3 salads. Even though there are a lot of the expected options such as sashimi, teriyaki and pork katsu, there are many 'standards' which are missing, and plenty of slightly more unusual (and not very Japanese) offerings, making KiRi a very interesting place to eat.
Examples of some of the more uncommon options include grilled marinated duck with asparagus and Japanese pepper sauce ($32) and Nimono Yellow Tail with tofu and broccolini ($28). Not to mention the side dish of chips with Japanese pepper sauce, mayonnaise and tomato sauce ($4). Bewdy.
The lunch menu, available only Mondays to Wednesdays is much more extensive than the dinner menu and includes options which are not offered at dinner including udon and – strangely for a Japanese restaurant – sushi.
I love bits and pieces so a bento box always suits me well. The Kiri Bento ($32) includes thick, silky sashimi, soft, juicy chicken kaarage, salad, rice, some of the best miso soup I have ever experienced and unexpectedly, potato salad and a beef croquette – a decidedly un-beefy, but still very tasty parmesan crumbed potato based ball.
A friend who is less than enthusiastic about all things raw, ordered the beef fillet teriyaki steak with potato croquette and asparagus ($32). No raw fish there. The chicken teriyaki with salad was juicy and satisfying ($20). All dishes were immaculately presented, although the large platters on which they were served did have the effect of making the serves look a little on the small side.
The restaurant is BYO ($5 per bottle) and currently has no wine list. Starting in 2012, the first Saturday of the month offers a $100 a head degustation menu.