442 Park Place
Kirkland WA 98033
Oh Rikki You're So Fine To Wine and Dine
By: Steve G
Family owned and operated, Rikki Rikki has been open since 1990 serving up authentic Japanese cuisine. Its owner, Masahiro Terada is classically trained in preparing Japanese cuisine and has devised his own special recipes that he has unleashed on the Eastside. Along with his restaurant, they also selling a variety of salad dressing and sauces under the Masa's gourmet name. We had some very high expectations when we came to Rikki Rikki and for the most part, they delivered on all of it.
The first thing you'll notice about Rikki Rikki is the interior. The look is very modern and surprisingly well thought out considering that hanging neon sign was screaming "1985". Inside you'll find several tables with beautiful wood venire and the walls are decorated with myriad of Japanese print and comics that blend perfectly into the bright and lively scheme of the restaurant. Sushi-philes will be pleased to know that a medium-sized sushi bar is available with a wide selection of fish and special sushi rolls to cater to your every need.
On the menu, you'll find a wide range of Japanese dishes as well as some Chinese items like honey walnut prawns and potstickers for good measure. The bento boxes are great for those looking for a small sampling of each meal, much like a combo meal.
After perusing through the menu, I ordered the chicken katsu bento box, while Bryan went with the daily special bento box. The chicken katsu bento box came with (you guessed it!) chicken katsu, but the meal doesn't stop there. Rikki Rikki also gives you an ample size of tender beef teriyaki and a side salad made with leafy green and green beans covered in one of their own signature dressings.
The daily special bento box came with veggies, shrimp tempura, chicken teriyaki, California roll, and a few pieces of sashimi. Much like its beef brethren, the chicken teriyaki was also extremely soft and tender. Each piece of marinated chicken was a delight with a subtle sweetness that isn't usually so balanced in other chicken teriyaki we've had. The tempura also impressed us with its light batter that wasn't intensely oily. The California rolls were made with decent care though some of the pieces of sashimi were a bit lacking in the taste department.
For the most part, our experience was quite pleasant except for one minor flaw: the green tea. We saw it on the menu and expected an authentic tea pot with actual green tea leaves steeped inside, similar to the tea we drank at Teapot Vegetarian House. Much to our dismay, the green tea turned out to be nothing more than an uninspired tea bag steeping in a cup. Aside from that, Rikki Rikki makes some great Japanese food, so as long as you stay away from the Green Tea, you'll be in for quite a treat.