It's interesting that we have varied expectations for food based on location. Normally, we put up with generally inferior food in the burbs since competition isn't necessarily an issue. In the more extreme cases, we might need to put up with crap because that is all there is. Reminds me of the time my parents took me on a road trip and we passed through Roseburg, Or. Apparently we visited the "best" Chinese restaurant in town. To our complete horror, "chow mein" translated into those prepackaged crunchy orange-coloured noodles you'd find in the Asian section at Safeway. Ugh... Fortunately, when we deal with Vancouver's Downtown core, it becomes a whole new ball of wax. Much like the triangle of ramen near Robson and Denman, there are certain expectations and intense competition. If we look at Japanese food in general, Downtown is the hub of Izakayas and higher end sushi joints. Of course, there are good Japanese restaurants all throughout Vancouver; but once again, if they're in Downtown, they'd better be good.
And that brings me to Bistro Sakana. Japanese food in Yaletown, which essentially means, food at premium prices. At the very least, Pomegranate and I were here for lunch, which tempers the cost. Looking over the menu, the prices weren't as scary as first thought. Lunch specials hovered around the $10.00 mark with large regular items around $15.00. Pomegranate decided to go for the Deluxe Sushi Combo for $17.00. When it arrived, it looked like something that would normally go for $10.00 or less at most other sushi joints. Consisting of a partial California roll, dynamite roll, salmon and tuna maki and 2 pieces each of tuna and salmon nigiri, it sounded like a lot in the menu. Realistically, there wasn't much. With that being said, the sushi was pretty bang on. Everything was fresh and the sushi rice was pretty good. It could've been a bit drier; but not a huge problem.
For myself, I went for their Lunch Bento Box which included sashimi, tempura, teriyaki chicken and California roll. Not bad for $12.00. Once again, the sashimi was fresh; albeit in pretty small slices. I thought the tempura was both executed perfectly and consisted of quality ingredients. It just seemed to be made with care, which translated into a nice crispy eat. As for the teriyaki chicken, I appreciate the use of white meat. I really do. However, for me at least, it never translates into a good chicken teriyaki. More often than not, the chicken is dry and since it has less fat, doesn't have the depth of flavour as dark meat. In this case, they tried to make as moist as it could be; but all I got was out of it was dry chicken with sauce. Despite this, we thought the food overall was quite good, if not a bit boring. We did enjoy the ambiance, being Yaletown and all. Great place to grab a bite and do some people watching. And that usually comes at a premium.
- Fresh ingredients
- Carefully prepared food
- Courteous and unobtrusive service
- Pricey, especially at dinner
- Portions are quite small
- The place is quite small (hence the "bistro" in the name)