As a big fan of all types of Asian cuisine, I was saddened when I learned fast-casual Japanese-Korean fusion restaurant Koja Kitchen had closed earlier this year. However, the blow was greatly softened when I learned one of my favorite fast-casual Japanese restaurants, Kikku Japanese Food, would expand into its former location making it easy to enjoy my favorite Spicy Crispy Chicken near home as well as for lunch Downtown.
Kikku has been serving up fast and tasty fare on Tulare and M streets in Downtown Fresno for the last 17 years. The Downtown restaurant is open from 10:30am – 6:30pm on weekdays. Their new location, Kikku Kitchen, in the Park Place Shopping Center on Palm and Nees (just doors down from the FresYes office – woot!) offers expanded hours, 11am – 8pm every day except Sundays, and a new menu format.
My husband and I had the opportunity to check out the North Fresno location this week. The former Koja Kitchen layout and décor has been updated, and the arrangement of the tables feels more open and spacious than before. New light fixtures help to make the ambiance warm and inviting.
The Kikku Kitchen menu offers guests the opportunity to build their own combination plate starting with either white or brown rice, then choosing vegetables or salad and finally a protein of preference. Longtime Kikku customer favorites include my personal favorite, the Spicy Crispy Chicken, which is made with chicken breast that is lightly breaded, served piping hot and crisp with a side of the chef’s special spicy brown sauce with is made in-house from scratch. Other favorites are the Teriyaki Chicken which is marinated and made from tender, grilled chicken; and the Ginger Beef with is made from thinly sliced tri-tip.
One major difference in menu options between the Downtown location and the new, North Fresno location is the addition of Poke Bowls. While the Downtown restaurant offers sushi rolls, the new Kikku Kitchen is offering patrons one of California’s current favorite menu offerings – Poke. Both salmon and tuna poke are available, or guests can order a combination of both.
When it comes to getting lunch, especially during the busy workweek, convenience and speed is often of the utmost importance – so another newer addition for Kikku is the availability of an app that will allow customers to order and pay for their food in advance, and pick up their order quickly in-store. The app is available for both Android and iPhones, and on-app orders require just twenty minutes advance notice.
Whether you visit the original Kikku location Downtown, or the newer North Fresno Kikku Kitchen, you’re sure to enjoy tasty food, prepared fresh and great customer service. I’ve personally never been to Kikku and not been personally helped by co-owner Silvia Wahyudi. She and her husband Andri started the restaurant together and put a strong emphasis on customer care. Silvia recognizes all of her regular customers, and despite the restaurant often being very busy, she always manages to greet them and ask them about their family, work or children.
If you’ve never been to Kikku at either location, I highly recommend remedying that soon! And if you’re a Downtown regular but also find yourself in North Fresno, I know the Wahyudis would love to see you in their new digs!
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