1626 West Broadway (at Fir)
T: 604 730 1678
Brief Description: Suika is a stylish, modern izakaya with a fun atmosphere. Prices are reasonable with most dishes under $10, except for a few meat or sushi dishes.
Suika celebrated its one year anniversary this month yet, for some reason, I only made my first visit in the past three months or so. Unforgivable. Don’t worry – I’ve made up for lost time and have made countless visits since. It may have taken me a while to get onboard the Suika train but now that I’m onboard, I’m not getting off anytime soon.
Suika is the sister restaurant to the West End’s Kingyo, which has been my personal izakaya favourite for quite some time. For us carless Kitsilano dwellers, Suika offers the quality of Kingyo without the trip downtown (and with slightly cheaper prices).
You wouldn’t know it from the outside but inside the space is as stylish as Kingyo. With dark walls, an open concept kitchen, and eye-catching pieces of art (my favourite being the art piece made entirely from different swatches of bright fabric) the room is casual, yet funky.
Even with its seemingly odd location on West Broadway at Fir (odd as there is not much going on food-wise around there), Suika is perpetually busy so it is just as well that they allow reservations. We never make a reservation as it is always just the two of us and we are quite happy to sit at the bar but if a table is what you are after get there either really early, or late, or make a reservation.
There are two menus; one is the regular menu and one is an ever-changing daily menu. The regular menu is made up of izakaya favourites such as ebi mayo, chicken karaage, various sushi offerings, fried rice bowls, udon noodles, as well as some interesting dishes such as Chinese poutine (I’m not gonna lie…it was a bit weird).
The daily menu offers whatever they feel like showcasing that day. Prices are extremely fair and portions are quite large for izakaya (at least, in my experience). Most dishes fall well under $10 (some as low as $3.50) but if you are after fish or beef dishes they will set you back slightly more. The beef short ribs, for example, are $15.
Between B and I, we have tried a lot of the regular menu and my particular favourites are the corn kakiage (corn niblets fried with cilantro batter, soy sauce and butter), the negitoro battera (pressed sushi with tuna belly, scallions, avocado and sesame), my ebi mayo (juicy fat prawns covered in cilantro batter and deep fried), and the smoked tuna tataki.
B absolutely cannot get enough of the Tokyo oxtail ramen but it is a bit too salty (due to the soy broth) for my liking. Maybe it appeals to the guys more?
As a word of warning note that some of the dishes, in particular the beef filet fried rice and the veggie udon, are quite garlicky so make sure you are packing some gum. Whilst there are some vegetarian options, I would perhaps reconsider taking a vegetarian to Suika. Most of the dishes rely heavily on some form of animal or fish protein.
Final Thoughts: It is particularly refreshing to find such a stellar izakaya in the South Granville area. I have been enough times to know that the food quality standards are consistently high. Suika is a great place to go with friends for a fun night out where you can share dishes and indulge in a few of the unique cocktails or sake.