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Suika: No Watermelons Here

19 February 2011

Suika (1626 West Broadway), which means watermelon in Japanese, is a relatively new izakaya restaurant that has become quite popular. It has the same owner as Kingyo on Denman. I went there with my parents tonight for a quick dinner. I’ve been there once already and my parents have gone several times. One thing to note: I HATE watermelons. Absolutely despise the things. They are disgusting and I do not eat them. People think I’m weird…it’s probably true. Luckily, Suika has not taken their name to heart and put watermelon in everything. I would have to leave.

Anyways, walking in, it’s a neat restaurant with a lot of fun decor (perhaps borderline tacky). I like the Japanese beer bottle chandelier that they have and I like the open kitchen (common for izakaya). It’s a bit bright, but I don’t mind. On to the food…we ordered pretty quickly and I decided to try one of their drink specials, fresh ginger ale. It was interesting; very ‘gingery’ and not too sweet once the drink was mixed a little. It was refreshing and the ginger gave it a bit of a ‘kick’.

The first thing we got was the “Aburi Shime-Saba Salad”, which is a salad with a mustard dressing, onions and saba (mackerel) sashimi (sorry, no pictures :(). The dressing was tasty and the saba tasted fresh. Not a whole lot of interesting textures though.

Next, we got the amaebi (sweet prawn) sashimi. I love amaebi, so this was a no-brainer. It was fresh and tasty like always and, of course, the best part is sucking on the head (not for everyone, though).

Then came the pig’s foot (not for the faint of heart). I can’t remember what the dish was called in Japanese…but it doesn’t matter. It was cooked for a long time and finished with butter and, I think, some soy sauce. It was very fatty and gelatinous; my kind of thing :). Most people wouldn’t like this kind of thing, but I do.

Up next was the “Mapo Rice Cake”, which is a play on the Chinese dish, Mapo Tofu. It’s a fried glutinous rice cake that is topped with a spicy chili and minced meat ‘sauce’. The rice cake is nice and gooey and the minced meat sauce is tasty, but perhaps a bit salty.

We also got the Kimchi and Tendon Sukiyaki, which, sadly, had no tendon :(. It had brisket in it, which is what I think they meant. I love kimchi, though, and the broth was tasty, but I was still disappointed by the absence of tendon.

The next dish was this thing that I think was called “Asia Age”, which was basically a deep-fried pancake of assorted seafood and shellfish, served with tempura sauce. I think I could identify scallop, squid, imitation crab, carrot, potato and broccoli, but I’m still not totally sure. It was just okay.

The last thing we got was the garlic and filet of beef fried rice. It is just garlic fried rice with chunks of filet mignon. It is quite tasty, but not very breath-friendly. However, I do find the chunks of beef a bit large and not very well-seasoned.

Overall, the food is quite good and they brought everything out very quickly. I feel like the presentation of the food isn’t that interesting, but it’s not that big a deal. The restaurant gets quite busy, but today it wasn’t completely full. The servers are all very friendly and attentive and maintain a fun atmosphere. The prices are fair at about $20 per person. As a final touch, they give you some refreshing frozen grapes at the end of the meal. Suika is a successful izakaya restaurant that I’m sure I’ll be visiting again.

Food: 3.5 out of 5
Service: 3.5 out of 5
Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5
Value: 3.5 out of 5

…ooh how consistent

My rating: 3.5 out of 5

I feel like I give out a lot of 3.5’s…oh well -.-
Guess I either have to go to some crappy restaurants or maybe some super-awesome ones

Suika on Urbanspoon

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