Bistro Sakana

We made a reservation for a large group on a late weekend evening. Unsurprisingly, it was pretty busy.

It took us quite a while to decide what to get as they have a daily menu as well as their regular menu. Their daily menu has a variety of different options including individual nigiri/sashimi, special sets, and signature dishes.

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Unfortunately, since we were here pretty late, they ran out of bafun uni pretty much immediately upon arrival, and bluefin ootoro halfway through our meal.

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Ayu tempura ($12)

Also known as sweetfish, but I didn’t find the flesh that sweet. It was served with salt, ponzu, and lemon juice on the side. I would have preferred a coarser salt instead of just table salt. The skin wasn’t that crispy to me but overall it wasn’t bad and I liked the deep fried shiso leaves under the fish. For the price though, it was kind of small and I was expecting a couple pieces of tempura and not a whole fried fish.

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Sockeye jalapeno aburi ($14) – wild sockeye salmon layered with sushi rice, flame seared with a spicy mayo sauce, and topped with fresh jalapeno pepper slices

Given that we got seven pieces, which was perfect for the seven of us, I thought this was priced fairly reasonably. Although they used binchotan charcoal here (to my knowledge), the seared flavour wasn’t as strong as it is as Minami/Miku.

The ratio of fish to rice was good. The rice was a bit loose and some of the sauce trickled down to the bottom of the rice making it even looser and more prone to falling apart. The jalapeno added a slight kick but wasn’t too spicy or overpowering. Overall, it was pretty good.

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Shiro miso toro aburi ($15) – toro marinated in white miso and junmai ginjo sake, layered with rice, flame seared, and topped with chili flakes and key lime slivers

Again, the ratio of fish to rice was good. The sauce on the fish was sweet and quite strong and I liked it. However, it was too big of a contrast between the seasoned fish and the rice layer. Also, the key lime slices were too strong and also overpowered the piece texturally, and I would have preferred it without or at most with a much, much smaller slice.

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Ora King Salmon set ($11) – akami, chuu-toro, and ootoro salmon

I think the middle piece was meant to be the fattiest and the seared piece the medium fattiness but I could be wrong; I just remember they weren’t in order. I didn’t really like the middle piece because I felt the daikon ruined the taste. There was too much of it.

My favourite was probably the plain piece (right), and I took off the huge slice of lime this time. The seared piece wasn’t bad either. This was interesting but I’d probably stick to plain nigiri next time.

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6 pc daily omakase sushi set ($21)

Unfortunately I don’t remember all of the fish but I know the leftmost is kinmedai and the three from the right are bluefun chuutoro, madai, and salmon. The nigiri was good and the rice was fairly well-seasoned but nothing really stood out to me. The chuutoro wasn’t that fatty either; it was more between an akami and chuutoro to me. That being said, for the price, this sushi set was a pretty good deal.

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Matsutake mushrooms ($20)

I didn’t really try these so I don’t have much comment. They gave you sauce and butter to grill it yourself.

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Toro nigiri ($3.25)

I had to try a toro nigiri and man this was some good toro. Easily one of the best albacore nigiri I’ve had in Vancouver. Maybe next time I should just order 10 pieces and not get anything else!

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Spicy tuna roll ($6)

I was wondering why the spicy tuna roll seemed expensive but after getting it the pieces were fairly big. There was a good amount of tuna and not too much cucumber. The spicy sauce didn’t look appealing at first because it reminded me of strawberry jam, but it was good.

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Caprese roll ($14) – scallops, fresh shiso-basil pesto, fresh tomato and bocconcini mozzarella, lightly sauteed with evoo and balsamic reduction

I didn’t choose this roll. We were instructed to eat it without soy sauce but only to use the evoo/balsamic reduction on the plate. I wasn’t expecting much at all from this fusion dish but it was surprisingly good. The rice was a little crisp on the outside of the pieces and it was warm throughout and all the flavours went well together. I wouldn’t order this but I thought it was quite interesting and well executed.

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Crispy atlantic lobster roll ($16) – freshly cooked atlantic lobster, asparagus, enoki mushrooms, rolled in crispy tempura batter crumbs

According to the online menu, it was supposed to be served with ponzu dipping sauce, but we didn’t get any. I think a ponzu dipping sauce or something lighter than soy sauce would have been good because otherwise the lobster was quite difficult to taste. I probably wouldn’t get this roll again. The shell in the middle was just for decoration and I wonder if they just re-use that shell.

Ebi mayo ($5)

Three pieces for $5. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture of the ebi mayo, but it was just three deep-fried breaded prawns on a bed of greens and topped with some spicy mayo. It was fresh out of the fryer and still hot. The prawns were plump and juicy and I could tell they were quite fresh.

Overall, we enjoyed the meal and I think the sushi here is quite reasonably priced. In terms of quality I think this is one of the better places in Vancouver for sushi and I will definitely come back, especially for the toro. The service was attentive and friendly as well, although our waitress was a bit awkward and there was a bit of misunderstanding at times.

Food: 4.1/5
Value: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5
Would return: yes

Bistro Sakana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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