My friends and colleagues had been telling me all about Izakaya Suika, which was nominated for Vancouver Magazine’s Restaurant Award in the “Casual Japanese” category in 2014. I checked out their website just to see what the fuss was about, only to be dazzled by the images of their mouth-watering dishes. Soon I ventured over to Suika for lunch with my colleague.
The first thing I noticed was its striking interior and unique ambience. Aside from its décor, Suika’s fun-loving spirit was clearly manifested in their dishes. Tempted by the attractive presentations on the menu, we ended up ordering one too many.
First came the Hamburg Set, one of Suika’s popular lunch items. As soon as I cut into the steak with my chopsticks, the juice came pouring out. Its texture was tender, its flavour deep but not too rich. Another plate on the table was oxtail Miso Ramen, with its creamy broth matching perfectly with its noodles. Their Lotus Roots Kimpira was pleasantly crunchy with a hint of sansho aroma. The aburi (seared) Hamachi Carpaccio was so delicate that it literally melted in my mouth, while filling the air with its savory fragrance.
You might think that’s more than plenty for lunch between two people, but there is always room for dessert—not just one but two. We ordered Matcha Crème Brulee and Yukimi Daifuku ice cream with two flavours—and boy, were they yummy! The crème brulee was divine with its creamy and velvety texture. The richness of the Yukimi Daifuku green tea ice cream was contrasted nicely with the subtle and delicate red beans that left a lasting flavour.
Later we spoke with Makoto-san, Suika’s general manager, and Yuka-san, the floor manager.
Q: Both your menu and interior décor are quite original. What is the philosophy behind them?
A: We want to offer dishes and combinations of ingredients that people may not always have a chance to enjoy at home. We want to take our customers by surprise while pleasing their palette at the same time.
Q: What kind of goals and values do you aim for and keep in mind on a daily basis?
A: “Happiness for customers and staff.” This is our company motto. With this philosophy in mind, we try to think of ways to elevate customer experience in our day-to-day operations. For our staff, we try to provide a comfortable and enjoyable work environment with our managers playing central roles.
We each have a different idea of what “happiness” means. But our conversation reminded me of a saying: “Those who pray and take actions for sake of other’s happiness will bring greater happiness to their own lives.”
My experience confirmed that Suika will continue to provide a space where people can simply enjoy a good meal and have a good time. The lunch was great, but next time I’m definitely going back for dinner, to fully appreciate Izakaya Suika.