We attempted to make a reservation at Suika on a previous occasion, but the restaurant was fully booked. Fortunately we managed to secure a table for an early seating last Saturday evening (after our long walk, lunch at Taco Shack, and dessert at Dairy Queen in Kits). Sister restaurant to the famous Kingyo on Denman, Suika is located in a nondescript building on West Broadway & Fir.
Gary had been eager to try Suika after reading critic reviews, but I was a little reluctant because I felt the building always looked rather unappealing every time we drove past.
Surprisingly, the interior of the restaurant is the complete opposite of its modest exterior. It’s actually one of the trendier looking izakayas in Vancouver. The decor is funky and unique – colorful textures line the walls, and industrial materials are utilized including cement blocks and pipes as space dividers. A chandelier made from umeshu and sake and bottles hangs in the center of the room. Also, an open kitchen concept offers counter seating so customers can watch the chefs in their element.
Sencha Green Tea ($1.80), and Fresh Ginger Ale ($3.50) – freshly grated ginger root mixed in simple syrup and soda. A perfectly divine and sparkly beverage because it was refreshing, not too sweet, and had a slight kick from the ginger.
Tuna Avocado ($6.00) – Fresh tuna sashimi with rich and creamy avocado slices. It was a perfect pairing, as the tuna was melt in your mouth fresh, and the avocado was perfectly ripe.
Suika Delux Box ($10). This box was essentially an assortment of nine separate appetizers bites including beef tongue, lotus root, and soft tofu to name a few. Presentation was exquisite, however the dish had obviously been pre-made. The temperature of the box, bowls and appetizers was very cold, like the entire box had just been pulled straight from the refrigerator before it was served. Although some of the appetizers were a tad bland and lacked seasoning, my favorite bowl in the box had to be the tomato kimchi with sprouts.
Ebi-Mayo ($7.80) – seven large tempura prawns with mayo: The prawns were huge and the tempura batter was deep fried to perfection – fluffy, but not greasy. There was a over generous amount of mayo, so I would have liked to have seen the mayo in the middle or on the side of the plate like a dip. We love mayo, but had to scrape dollops off our prawns.
French Fritz ($4.50) – spiced potato wedges accompanied by a flavourful mayo with dried shrimp dip. The fries were excellent because they were deep fried to a lovely crisp and the sauce gave them added creamy layers of flavour.
Chicken Karaage ($6.80) – a pretty standard deep fried chicken karaage typically found at similar Japanese restaurants. Nothing special to mention, but the chicken was fried to a lovely crisp, not overly greasy, and had fair sized pieces of meat.
The restaurant had a great vibe, and taller ceilings, more space between tables, and a larger area entirely made this restaurant less noisy than other izakayas in Vancouver – it was not nearly as boisterous as Guu on Thurlow. Overall, the service was attentive, dishes was tasty and nicely presented, and the atmosphere was cool and lively.