Suika Me Silly
Suika, an Izakaya on Broadway near Fir, has partnered up with VANEATs.ca for a promotion called #SuikaMeSilly, a $16 menu running from Oct 1-31. VanEats asked me to preview the tasting menu and post my thoughts.
I had been meaning to go to Suika, the sister restaurant to Kingyo Izakaya, one of Vancouver’s top Izakaya’s on Denman Street. Suika is a busy spot, but there’s lots of nooks and crannies, so you can sit mid-action, or retreat to the back for a more intimate experience. Suika means watermelon in Japanese, and there’s lots of fun noods to the fruit, from toothpick containers, to logos on glasses and shirts. Izakayas are known for servers and bartenders yelling out there orders back and forth, and Suika is no exception, thankfully, as I adore this theatrical aspect of Izakaya dining.
We arrived around 6:30 pm on a Thursday and there was still a few tables open, but we chose to sit at the bar, right in the midst of the activity with the kitchen in full view.
The kitchen was eager to please, so before we even ordered our drinks, out came the Beef Tataki, the first course in the tasting menu. On this decorative plate there are slices of slightly grilled smoked AAA beef, first marinated in soy and mirin. The dense meat is complimented with daikon radish, onion, arugula, and pea shoots, a welcome source of contrasting textures.
We ordered up some cocktails, the watermelon mojito is a must, and, as requested, the pace slowed down for our next course, a plate of Corn Kakiage, a dish of organic corn niblets fried with cilantro batter, soy sauce and butter and “Ma-Po Rice Cake”, a deep fried rice cake w/spicy ground pork sauce dusted w/Japanese pepper (sansho).
The Kakiage was fantastically crunchy and sweet with the corn held together with a light batter of soy sauce and butter and then quickly fried, appearing rather grease-free.
Ma Po Rice cake was topped with a flavourful spicy pork sauce, and the cake is a dense and rather chewy.
Next we were served a duo of sushi, ”Aburi Shime-Saba Sushi”, seared cured mackerel pressed sushi served with mustard soy dressing and ”Negitoro Battera”, pressed sushi with tuna belly, scallions, avocado & sesame topped with home made soy dressing & seaweed sauce. Tuna is something I always order and these pieces were tasty bites of fresh belly with the flavour built right in; no need to dip in soy sauce. Mackerel is always a bit more challenging for me, I find it a bit too fishy, and while this nicely dressed up version was well executed, I can’t say it converted me over to a mackerel lover.
Desert was ”Matcha Brulee”, frozen matcha creme brulee with fresh whipped cream & red bean sauce and, while quite full from the generous portions of the menu, I somehow had room for this creamy slab of green tea ice cream, topped with a crisp brulee crust and drizzled in the red bean sauce, which I originally mistook for caramel.
The Suika Me Silly Menu offers great value and is a good way to take a tour around the items Suika has to offer. I’d recommend bringing a friend, splitting the experience and ordering a few other dishes. Get there early, or risk waiting for a table.
1626 West Broadway
604 740 1678