66 Princess St. / corner King St E
Telephone # (613) 542-8040
Cost: $ 42.37 –tax & tip included
Chef Hats: 3.5
It is sometimes with a heavy heart that you write some reviews and that can be said of this article. It is the last one of the year, a closure of sorts for me and a renewal for the year ahead. As I have mentioned before our experiences in life are sometimes affected by our head space at the moment. Our adventures eating out can go two ways. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the restaurants we frequent, but the people we are with, the ambiance, the conversations that ensue and our mood at the moment.
I have been to Kingston three times in my life. The last time was in 2011 with my partner at the time. It had a special meaning for me as that weekend we got to discover Kingston a little as well as each other. We walked around a lot, visited the little shops and cafes and appreciated the finer things in life. We ate at Lone Star that weekend a Mexican Eatery, had Margaritas on the terrasse, laughed, discussed future plans and enjoyed the moment. Life was simple and easy and this small town embodied just that.
So when Brains expressed interest in going to Queens University, the conversation came up about this little town and the great things it had to offer. Being the home of John A. Macdonald, one of the fathers of confederation which I only discovered on my second visit there; a second trip was warranted to allow Brains to experience life here.
I have been going through the motions of life these days almost void of all feelings. I have lost my joie de vivre. Not a good place to be in by any means. The last four years have been difficult, but with my survivor skills intact and a little push from Frenchie that I mustered enough courage to pack up and make the trek to Kingston, Ontario. I had an inkling that there was a hidden agenda, on his part, to which I a discovered the total truth a few months later. I knew that something was amiss that weekend; nonetheless I put on my brave face and wanted Brains to get a feel of Kingston especially if it were to be her new home.
The drive down the scenic highway through a Thousand Island was great; it brought a serenity and inner peace, but also a feeling of solitude. I thought of what was and what could be. I thought of the times we camped in the National Park with family and the visit to Boldt castle which I never got a chance to revisit, and the trip to Finger Lakes that was not going to materialize this year. I thought of the good memories but also the bad. I convinced myself to snap out of the mood I was in and to move forward and make new and better memories the way I wanted to, with the freedom of my convictions. This weekend was about Brains and her possible future and a new life.
We rented a dorm room at Leggett Hall on Queens Campus to get the full experience of student life. We got two adjoining rooms with the bare minimum, but they were clean, but not luxurious. Leggett Hall provided free parking, free internet and coffee in the morning in the lobby. I used my Zomato app to start scanning places to eat for dinner.
On our way in we had stopped at Popeye’s to eat lunch and use the bathroom. I spotted it in a mall and mentioned to Brains how I wanted to try it again. The last time I ate a Popeye’s was in Louisiana in 2010 at the suggestion of my friend the Lone Ranger,a Texan who had a penchant for fried chicken and Omaha steaks. I still cannot believe they had one in Kingston, I thought it was a southern thing, it was also a sign that brought me 6 years back and reminded me of where I was and where I had been; maybe an omen of sorts or a foreboding. Call it what it is, but I believe in cosmic energy. My life has always been full of signs and I rely on them greatly. We ordered the classic chicken fingers, mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits. We were pleased with the tender morsels of chicken and surprised that for fast food it was tasty and filled up the hole in the pit of our stomach. Good comfort food to feed the soul as well.
After a little nap, and a drive around campus, we had chosen a place to eat for the evening. Since it was all about Brains this weekend, I chose Siam Sushi, voted as number # 1 on Trip Advisor and Zomato it was a sure bet, so we headed down to Princess & King Street but not before finding parking on the Tragically Hip Way. Yes you guessed it right, the home of the Tragically Hip and the street that houses the Rogers K Rock Center, a sports and music venue. The people of Kingston are super friendly and we got offered a free spot for parking by a stranger who was leaving and gave us his ticket. I was very appreciative. Life was easy.
Sima Sushi is a busy place and they are always line ups outside the door. This was the case this evening and without reservations, it can be a wait. We gave our name and went for a walk up Princess Street to revisit some of the boutiques and novelty shops I had visited on my last time here three years ago. After Clergy St. Not much was to be seen and we headed back to Sima Sushi as our table was ready.
The hospitality and service at Sima Sushi is like no other. Our waitress Mina was exceptional; she helped us with our choices and made great suggestions. Her contagious smile and sweet voice, unwavering politeness brought back belief that humanity is good and there are still good people out there.
The decor at Sima Sushi is unpretentious and casual, a small place seating 28 people, it is easy on the eyes with opposing burnt red walls and exposed brown grey brick wall. At the back long sushi counter where the sushi chefs create their art. Typical of many sushi restaurants, with the exception of the wood tables, chairs and floor giving it a country rustic feeling.
We started our meal with a Sapporo beer -$4.95 and lychee juice-$ 2.75. A good start for a warm day .
Brains started with ordering the Sushi Dinner-A at $ 13.95, which consisted of Miso Soup and a Green Salad with Yuzu dressing and 6 pieces of sushi and 6 California rolls.
I can’t say much about food presentation, the salad portion was not generous it consisted of two carrot rounds, three lettuce leaves and a half slice of tomatoes and cucumber, with a dollop of yuzu dressing, shaken not stirred .But then it was a teaser to the start of the meal, and probably meant to be that way, I believe it would have been better served alongside the sushi to compliment the sushi and sashimi which were super fresh. It came served on a simple white plate with no accoutrements; no wasabi, no sliced marinated ginger. Nonetheless, Brains was pleased.
I ordered of course the Rock Star-$ 10.95 which consisted of 8 pieces of Shrimp tempura, spicy salmon, avocado, and cucumber and fish egg. This was a great palate pleaser and very fresh as well, it made I feel like a Rock Star and the staff made us feel really special. I am the proverbial Rock Star mom (to a few) although lately I don’t feel like that but I must say this dish boosted my ego and my mood for a moment. I forgot the present and thought of my past accomplishments. So uplifting, I thought, that some food & good words can have this effect.
SIMA Sushi focus is on “simple foundations of quality ingredients, exciting dishes, at fair prices” They hit the mark with their assortment of sushi, sashimi, rolls and cooked Japanese dishes, a warm locale and great service.
Three years in and they are still going strong; the line ups are long and the food consistent. A must try for any sushi lover when in Kingston and locals alike. We left with a good feeling and energy to walk around the waterfront contemplating life in Kingston. So easy we thought, this small town life with no stress is so soothing for the soul and the morale. Albeit a heavy heart this was a real moment to cherish and a new good memory to add to my book of pleasant adventures.