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Local eatery attracts north Fresno residents with signature dish

Kyler Garza | The Feather Online

The exterior of Kikku Kitchen provides a modern design with a minimalistic and slick arrangement.

Kikku Kitchen opened their doors 19 years ago on 2336 Tulare Street by owners Sylvia and Andri Wahyudi. The restaurant was voted to win a restaurant remodel and decided to bring their signature spicy crispy chicken to the north of Fresno, Dec. 3.

The Wahyudis made the decision to expand after numerous customers requested a location in the northern part of Fresno. After the couple’s children were old enough to attend school, the pair decided to take action in opening a new location. 

The menu features proteins “from the farm” like teriyaki beef, ginger chicken, teriyaki tofu and plain grilled chicken for people on the keto diet. “From the sea” options include teriyaki salmon, shrimp tempura, seared ahi/tuna and salmon poke.

With new renovations to the restaurant, the newly opened location presents new items on the menu. Customers pick their protein and two sides, including white or brown rice, salad or vegetables. The plates range from $9.50 to $12.75.  

Spicy crispy chicken, teriyaki chicken, shrimp and veggie tempura and potstickers, as well as tuna poke, seared ahi, egg rolls and miso soup all appear on the menu. Customers enjoy the eatery’s signature dish which contains the spicy crispy chicken and famous brown sauce. All sauces served with the meals are made from scratch by the owners.

With 4.5 stars on Yelp, I went in with high expectations and ordered the menu favorite: the spicy crispy chicken with a side of white rice and vegetables. As an appetizer, I decided to try the shrimp tempura with tempura sauce.

Kyler Garza | The Feather Online

The spicy crispy chicken is accompanied by spicy brown sauce, contributing a sweet flavor to the chicken.

After the first bite of the chicken I knew it deserved the rating it received; the sauce didn’t add any spicy flavor but more of a sweet tang. The chicken itself wasn’t over-fried and provided a satisfying crunch with every bite, however, the side of shrimp tempura contained more of a bland taste, even with the side sauce to accompany it.

As for the restaurant itself, Kikku Kitchen didn’t require many changes when when it added a second location. One wall, which used to feature a mural with a tiger at their first location, is now replaced with a giant mural of koi fish.

Kikku Kitchen draws guests’ attention at the entrance, with the mural of a giant koi fish on the right hand side and the smell of freshly cooked food. The exterior provides a modern design and a rebranding to what the Japanese kitchen looks like, with a minimalistic and slick arrangement.

The interior of the restaurant presents a modern Japanese kitchen look. The view from inside to the outside shows the parking lot and a view of the busy N. Palm Ave street. With just one wall of visual art, there isn’t much else to observe.

The waiting time for a table was not extensive, but can be subject to change if the restaurant is packed with customers. I could see myself eating there again; the restaurant noise level wasn’t too loud and you could easily hold a conversation with friends or family. 

In the following tweet, Mayor of Fresno Lee Brand cuts the ribbon at Kikku Kitchen as they open their new location.

Kikku Kitchen has their newly opened restaurant on 7785 N. Palm Ave #101 and can be contacted by phone at (559)233-8890. The doors stay open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays. The eatery also offers a mobile order option to provide an efficient pick up, provided in the time span of 20 minutes.

For more articles read, Scott Bucher aims to teach life lessons through chemistry and COLUMN: China-born senior reviews local Chinese food in Fresno area.

Kyler Garza can be reached via email.

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