Review: ShuRaku Sake Bar & Bistro (gigi’s take)

by gigi on July 2, 2009

Even before Pick reviewed ShuRaku Sake Bar & Bistro a few months ago, I had been wanting to try this place. Jenkins had heard from a few of his friends that they enjoyed going there and one friend even went as far to say that some of the dishes were comparable to the restaurants he visited while in Japan. With such high opinions of ShuRaku, my interest was definitely piqued. One evening as Jenkins and I were trying to figure out where to eat, we happened to be near ShuRaku and decided it was time to see what the fuss was all about.

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Funnily enough, as we walked into the restaurant, we ran into Pick. I guess he really does like this place. :)

First, we ordered some green tea. It came in a cute little tea pot and despite the fact that we had to pay, we got unlimited refills. Yay? To their credit, the tea tasted better than the free stuff we got from most other places.

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We weren’t very hungry that evening so we ordered a couple of interesting dishes as well as a standard “filler” dish. First to come was the BBQ while squid ($8.50). This was prepared in the traditional robata style and I really enjoyed the charcoal grilled flavour of the squid. The squid itself was very tender and was moist, if you could call it that. It also came with a dollop of mayo and some hot chili flakes, which we made good use of.

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The ramen ($9.50) was our filler dish of choice that evening. We had our choice of chicken or pork and decided to go with the chicken. The broth was clear and seemed to be healthier than some of the fatty pork broth options in other ramen places. The ramen itself was pretty regular tasting but I liked how the chicken was grilled, which gave it a bit of extra flavour.

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Jenkins was really rooting for the Dynamite Roll as our sushi option. It was fancily presented, but taste wise, it was very standard. Not even the sesame mayonnaise drizzled on the plate could make this interesting and I felt it was quite overpriced at $10.

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We were still a bit hungry at this point, so we decided to order one more dish. I decided to try the Hitsumabushi Onigiri ($7.95), which came with BBQ eel and some Japanese pickles. The eel turned out to be infused in the onigiri itself so the eel taste was very mild. I would show you a picture of the assembled onigiri but my assembly skills were quite poor and the onigiri fell apart as I bit into it. Overall, it wasn’t too bad but I felt it was a bit overpriced for what I got.

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My favourite dish of the evening was definitely the BBQ eel. Jenkins talked to his friend about our dining experience and his friend agreed that the dishes could be hit and miss. Too bad we had more misses than hits! :p I wouldn’t mind giving ShuRaku a try again but I’ll need to take someone along with me who knows what to order.

Details:
833 Granville Street, Vancouver
Tel: 604-687-6622

Summary:
Food: [rating:2.5]
Service: [rating:2.5]
Price: $$

Shuraku Sake Bar and Bistro on Urbanspoon

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