September 24, 2012

Joe Fortes & Suika @ Vancouver

Before dinner, I had a few drinks at Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House during their happy hour (4 pm to 6 pm, Monday - Friday) while waiting to meet up with a friend.
I heard that Joe Fortes' oysters were some of the best in the city, so we were happy to take advantage of $1 fresh local oysters special during happy hour. Be sure to sit at the bar area in order to enjoy this offer!
They also feature a half-price appetizer menu at the bar area during happy hour. We tried Oyster Rockefeller ($15.95, half price)- local oysters, spinach, pernod, and hollandaise. I didn't eat too much as I was saving room for dinner later. 

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House on Urbanspoon
When I asked for izakaya food, a local foodie proclaimed her love for Suika, so we headed there for dinner.
Who doesn't love these adorable Doraemon menus?
First up, sashimi "Shake" Salad ($7.80) fresh sashimi, organic greens, tobiko, shrimp oil with sesame soy dressing. Let me just say that I was incredibly impressed with the sashimi, which were amazingly sweet and fresh. The salad was light and very appetizing.
One of my favourites of the night was Asian kakiage ($7.80)- cilantro battered prawn, squid, scallop and vegetable bundles with Asian style chili sauce. The batter was light and despite the deep-fried treatment, the flavours of the seafood really shone through. Two thumbs up!
Want to try a little of everything? Then the Deluxe "Suika" Box ($10) is perfect for you! The box contains 9 kinds of appetizers to sample. While variety is great, the down side is that I couldn't really remember much of what I tasted since I only had one bite of each!
Knowing that I wouldn't have a chance to go to a ramen restaurant on this trip, I tried Suika's Tokyo oxtail ramen ($9.80)- slowly braised oxtail in soy broth, topped with dried fish powder and scallions. The ramen was enjoyable, although not particularly amazing. The broth was very flavourful and not overly salty.
Craving more fresh fish, we decided to go for toro battera ($12.00), which is lightly seared fatty tuna sushi with seaweed sauce and sesame and soy dressing. First of all, I was extremely impressed with the impeccable presentation. The toro was buttery and melt-in-your-mouth, and I loved that there was avocado hidden underneath the fish. My only complaint is that there was too much rice!
After the Asian kakiage, I wanted to try another deep-fried item, so we settled on corn kakiage ($4.80)-organic corn niblets fried with cilantro batter, soy sauce and butter. The corn niblets were delightfully chewy, and the whole combination with the crispy batter was delectable!
We ended off the meal with matcha brûlée ($4.80)- frozen matcha crème brûlée with fresh whipped cream and red bean sauce. This dessert was another big hit! The matcha flavour was bold and intense, perfectly complemented by the sweet red bean sauce. This was another prime example of how green tea and red bean go so well with one another.
All in all, it was a fantastic meal. Do I prefer this place over Guu? That I can't say, but nevertheless, I found the food here to be very innovative and most importantly of all, superbly delicious!
Suika on Urbanspoon

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