While visiting Vancouver last month, I decided to check out Suika Snackbar for lunch with my foodie friend Grayelf. Located on West Broadway near Fir Street, Suika is the casual sibling to the well-known high-end izakaya restaurant Kingyo. Though we have a few izakaya restaurants here in Calgary, they are just not in the same league as the competition amongst izakaya restaurants is fierce in Vancouver.
Our lunch started off with a bowl of complimentary salad. The simple salad was delicious. The lettuce was crisp and fresh. The dressing was a slightly sweet and tangy Japanese vinaigrette. It was a refreshing way to start off our meal.
Our first dish was the Smoked Tuna Tataki with Home Made Chili Oil ($6). It was served on a bed of sliced onion and topped with scallions. I wanted to try this dish based on the positive reviews from other local bloggers. I couldn’t really taste the smokiness in the tuna but I enjoyed the home-made chili oil. The home-made chili oil wasn’t overly spicy, which was good as it didn’t overpower the tuna. Instead, it was slightly sweet and tangy with lots of sesame flavour. Overall, I thought this dish was tasty but it didn’t have much of a wow factor.
Next up was the “Negitoro Battera” ($9.80). The Negitoro Battera consisted of pressed chopped tuna belly sushi with avocado, shiso, sesame seeds and scallion topped with seaweed paste and sesame soy dressing. I usually have negitoro (chopped tuna belly) in the form of a roll and have never tried it as battera sushi (“pressed sushi”) before. The chopped tuna belly was very creamy and just melted in my mouth but I couldn’t taste much of the avocado. Texture-wise, I found it to be a bit too soft and would have liked some crispy topping to give it some textural contrast. Overall, it was good but again didn’t have much of a wow factor.
We then shared the “Beef Short Rib Set” ($16). The beef short rib was fried and tossed in a sweet balsamic sauce and served with a scoop of mashed potato. This dish was definitely the star of the show. The beef was melt-in-your-mouth tender and just fell right off the bone. Though the sauce was sweet, it was not cloyingly sweet. In fact, it was very well-balanced and complex in flavour. This was actually one of the best short rib preparations I’ve had in a very long time. The short rib and sauce were executed perfectly. The flavours were unique and fresh. This is definitely a must-try dish at Suika.
The “Beef Short Rib Set” came with miso soup and rice. To me, these two items weren’t really necessary as the short rib dish was already quite filling, especially with the scoop of mashed potato. However, if you can’t get enough of the delicious balsamic sauce, the rice is handy to have as it acts as a great vehicle for eating the sauce.
Overall, I was pretty pleased with our lunch at Suika. The lunch menu is a subset of the items available on their dinner menu. I’d definitely be back for this Beef Short Rib dish. My mouth is watering just thinking about it again. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this impressed with a beef short rib preparation.
1626 W Broadway