ShuRaku Sake Bar & Bistro

Recently, Nathalie and I had dinner together. This doesn’t happen very often due to our conflicting busy schedules, but I’m glad to have made time to sit down and catch up with my lovely sister. She will be heading out east to Toronto for a film festival at the end of June and there is a possibility that she would be travelling to Montreal or perhaps Niagara. We discussed for a little bit about places in Toronto, and hotels in Niagara Falls and Montreal. I’m feeling a little travel envy of everyone going away, but at the same time, it’s exciting to hear about all the great things they get to see and do while they’re there. Anyway, I’m glad to sit down for a great meal before she leaves.

All of these delicious shots were done by Nathalie

Our parents were on vacation and so we decided to meet up downtown for dinner. We were feeling indecisive, so we walked down Granville street. We passed by this Japanese restaurant and Nathalie remembers how one of her friends recommended it to her. We went back to look at the menu and thought why not?

ShuRaku Sake Bar is beautifully upscale for an izakaya and have a lengthy list of delicious Sake. Unfortunately the Sake that I love is sold out for the evening, so we made do with different drinks.

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Nathalie went for the Sapporo and I tried their lychee cocktail that was quite refreshing and the alcohol was so delicate, I drank it quite fast!

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We started off with a couple appetizers. The first one to arrive was the Tako Wasa ($3.95). Tako Wasa is baby octopus marinated with wasabi leaf. It gives it this great kick. For the most part, I’d say Tako Wasa is definitely not for the squeamish as the texture is a little slimy. However here at ShuRaku, they do it quite well as it’s very refreshing and not at all slimy. It’s paired with cucumber slices and miso paste. An interesting but lovely pairing – the cucumber slice compliments the texture of the mixture and the miso paste gives it a rounding taste.

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Next up was the Eggplant Popper ($5.50). This dish is a cubed eggplant, pork and chicken wrapped in pastry and lightly deep fried. It’s served with a ponzu vinaigrette. This crunchy, tasty delight was savoury and not greasy at all. Another big perk of the dishes served here at ShuRaku.

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Nathalie chose the next dish, the Renkon Hasami Age ($6.90) which is completely not pronounced the way it’s spelled! Anyway, this interesting dish is shrimp, crunchy lotus sandwiched together in seaweed and deep-fried. Again, not greasy which is very commendable and quite an interesting presentation and decision to mix the two together for a great crunch. I definitely loved this dish.

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No Japanese experience is complete without having some fresh sashimi, we ordered the 5 Kinds of Sashimi ($24). I can’t remember all the slices of fish we had however the presentation is beautiful. The one to the very left was crafted to look like rose petals with roe on top. The fish was good, chilled and had a good texture to them. Delectable selection with not many that had a fishy taste to it.

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We finished the dinner with the Chicken Tsukune ($5.95) – two marinated minced chicken patties that are barbecued and served with a flash fried egg yolk in their house made teriyaki sauce! The patties can be enjoyed alone, as they are quite tender and flavourful on their on. However, they’re even better with the flash fried egg yolk once you break it up into the teriyaki sauce. The thick, creaminess of the yolk and teriyaki compliment the barbecue very well.

The service was good here, very laid back which is similar in many izakayas. I do enjoy this ShuRaku, it’s quite central and even has a nice patio outside so you can watch the many walks of life pass by on Granville! However, the inside is just as nicely appointed, so you’d be tempted to sit inside as well. I’d definitely like to come back here again and try other things on the menu and enjoy some delicious Sake.

Food: mini4andahalfforks

Service: mini4forks

Value: mini4forks

Ambiance: mini4andahalfforks

OVERALL: 4forks

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Dee

About Dee

Inspired by her father’s cooking savvy and impeccable taste and her love of trying out new places, Dee decided to pursue her love of food. Although she much prefers eating at a local restaurant, she has also taken up cooking as a novice who has lots to learn and many recipes to try. Join her quest to rise from cooking mediocrity and fine tune her palate at different restaurants!