A visit to Vancouver is never complete without eating at a Japanese restaurant.
Last week, a few of my friends trekked their way over to beautiful Van City. We decide to end their trip by taking them to Suika, a popular Japanese Izakaya Restaurant, located on West Broadway. Izakaya are Japanese bars that specializes in a variety of small dishes and snacks that complements well with alcoholic drinks. Izakaya has become quite popular in Vancouver for many years now.
Suika opens at 5:30 for dinner and knowing the popularity of the restaurant we had made a reservation for 5:30 but was told that we MUST leave by 7:00 as another party will need our table. I would highly recommend a reservation as there was quite a long line-up upon our arrival and the place fills up rather quickly.
The atmosphere in Suika fun and friendly. The servers give a lively and loud birthday performance for those who are there to celebrate the special occasion. When you leave, they also wish you a warm and loud farewell.
I love the decor of the place, especially the unique chandelier made up of empty umeshu and sake bottle that hung in the middle of the restaurant. What an innovated way to up-cycle glass bottles!
There is a bar space and an open kitchen which offers counter seating so patrons can watch the master chef or bartenders in creating their master dishes or drinks.
As this was my first Izakaya experience, I was not prepared for the unfamiliarity of the items on the menu. I searched the menu for the regular sushi rolls, such as, California and Awesome Rolls but found that they do not carry such dishes. However, I must say that the menu is quite diverse and unique. I found that the dishes we ordered were delicious and fresh but the portions were quite small. I guess this is why that they call it a “snack bar” instead of a restaurant.
Here are some of the dishes that we tried that night:
- Chopped tuna and scallions marinated with a homemade kimchi sauce served with garlic butter toast.
- The marinated tuna was melt in your mouth creamy and the kimchi was savory and delicious. I was glad that it didn’t have the typical tangy or pickling flavor of kimchi.
- I think that the creamy texture of the tuna complimented the crunchiness of the garlic butter toast very well.
- Consists of tuna sashimi and avocado with plum and seaweed sauce.
- I wish I can tell you more about this dish, but the truth is my daughter gobbled all the tuna and the avocado so fast that I didn’t get a chance to even try one piece. She assured me that it’s mouthwatering good!
- Cold homemade tofu served with fresh organic greens dressed with fresh and fried bean curd with sesame soy dressing and chili oil.
- The dish was simple yet had a complexity of taste.
- I loved the firmness of the cold tofu and the combination of the beans and chili oil gave the dish a sweet and spicy flavor that was truly satisfying to all palettes!
Five Kinds Sashimi (Chef’s Choice)
- This consists of 5 types of sashimi based on the Chef’s choice.
- For ours, we were given scallops, tuna, salmon, octopus and yellow tail with fresh organic sprouts.
- The sashimi were very fresh and the texture smooth.
- Deep fried chicken served with Japanese salt and pepper.
- Usually I am not a fan of chicken kara-age but this one was fabulous! It is deep fried but it didn’t have the heaviness that most deep fried chicken kara-age usually do.
Where is Suika?
1626 West Broadway
(604) 730-1678 (Reservation recommended)
Is there parking?
There is no designated parking lot for Suika. Meter parking is available.
Is it kid friendly?
We were there quite early and there were a few little ones at the restaurant. But I have to say that the menu does not cater to the children. I wasn’t aware Suika is an Izakaya and my kids were with us. Luckily they enjoy sashimi.
Overall, the food is delicious and the atmosphere lively and trendy. It was a great food adventure as the menu offers dishes that are different from the norm you usually find in typical Japanese restaurant. Due to the uniqueness of the menu and the small portion size, Suika is a little more pricey than the average Japanese restaurant which is to be expected.
I really enjoyed my first Izakaya experience and am looking forward to trying out more local Izakaya in the future! It was great to share this lil’ hidden treasures with my friends and family!