I visited this restaurant with some friends a while back, I was pondering if I should write a post about it because it has been…a while since we went there…like more than a month ago. I decided that I should still write about it because I think it is worth posting on my blog – our experience was quite good.
I bought two dining passes called “Suika-to-me” from VanEats. The site offers great dining deals around town (Vancouver). I got the pass for $18/each and it includes a Salmon Carpaccio, Steak, Oxtail Ramen, and a Pumpkin Creme Brulee. Since there was a total of four of us, we also ordered some other dishes to share.
Suika is located on West Broadway. The interior of the Izakaya style restaurant is very Japanese, so is the menu, I actually felt like I was in Japan. “Suika” means watermelon in Japanese, so don’t be surprised if you see random watermelon related objects in the restaurant. It was busy the night we went, probably because it was a weekend so it was good we made a reservation in advance.
First came the oysters, they were served on ice, topped with some ponzu jelly (Japanese citrus based sauce), chopped spring onions, and a wedge of fresh lemon. It tasted very refreshing – the oysters were fresh and the flavours worked well together.
The lotus root had a crispy exterior, I think they were coated some kind of starch or flour before they were fried. They were dusted with some salt and Chinese five-spice powder. The dish was very simple but had some nice flavours and a good texture.
The Salmon Carpaccio was part of the dining pass, the salmon was very fresh and the dressing was tasty as well – a delicious and refreshing starter.
This was a grilled pork neck meat, this cut of meat usually has a chewy springy texture and it is great for grilling. They have also topped it with some sweet “oroshi” (grated daikon) and chopped green onions with a light tasting sauce. It wasn’t too dry and grilled quite nicely with a lightly charred flavour.
Oops…this was already half-eaten when I took a picture of it. This is the squid version of the chicken kara-age. It had the usual kara-age flavours of ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. It was nice and salty and surprisingly, the squid was quite tender and not overcooked. It was served with some shredded green onions on top.
The steak was part of the dining pass and it was served on a hot plate with wedge fries. The meat was very juicy with the soy onion sauce, tender, and had a good fat content in it. Fries were like usual fries with Shichimi spice powder and served with a dipping sauce, I couldn’t really tell what was in the sauce but it was a bit spicy. The fries were good on their own anyways.
“Kakuni” is a Japanese style braised pork, usually the belly. So this rice dish had some kakuni, sweet dried shrimp with spring onions served in a hot stone bowl. As the server mixed the rice and its contents in the hot bowl for us, I could already smell the dried shrimp coming though the steam. I personally thought this tasted a bit sweet and the rice was a little mushy but I did enjoy the charred rice on the bottom of the bowl. In terms of flavour, I think it might need something refreshing in there to freshen it up.
When I saw ramen, I was expecting a bigger bowl, but this was just a little bigger than a regular Asian rice bowl. But size wasn’t a problem because we were quite full when it came. This took a very long time until it reached our table, we suspect that the waitress (seemed like a newbie) has given them to the table next to use which also happened to have the same dining passes as we had. So we asked the waitress and waited for a while and it finally arrived. The broth had a very deep, rich beef flavour, it was very savoury and tasty. The noodles had a good bite in it and the beef was very tender. I actually finished the broth. (Yes, I probably had too much salt that day.)
I liked this creme brulee because the pumpkin (I think they used the Kabocha squash) added a good texture and flavour, but it was still very smooth and creamy. Besides the sweetness coming from the sugar, I could also taste some sweetness from the pumpkin puree.
I haven’t been to an Izakaya for a while but I love Izakaya food. It reminds me of the days I spent in Japan as an exchange student, hanging out with some good friends at an Izakaya as we enjoyed their cheap drinks and food. I miss cheap Yaki-Tori…seriously!
Suika serves more modern style Izakaya food and we all enjoyed their well-prepared dishes with simple flavours and combinations. I would love to go back and try some of their other creations!
Service: 3/5 (Newbie Server)