"New Concept" Japanese dining. Izakaya style plates and sushi. Bistro Sakana "is a place to have a good time, a place to enjoy your meal; eat and drink until you are satisfied!".
If do you, expect to spend at least $30/person (not including drinks). I brought my sister here for her birthday and we all had a nice time.
A warning for those with infants - leave the strollers at home. The restaurant is really small. It seats probably about 30-40 people, elbow-to-elbow. Even with the entrance, you need to squeeze by as there is a 2-person table literally inches from the doorway. Washrooms are in the building next door.
The service was really great. All the servers were professional (all in black) and extremely friendly. Unfortunately, there weren't enough of them around, so at some times, it was really annoying waiting for one to come around to simply get the bill.
The ambiance is very plain. Being used to the interior at Kingyo or Hapa, Bistro Sakana is very minimal - plain gray walls, a few rice paper floor lamps, but nice chairs and tables. One thing I was quite surprised with was that the chopsticks given were of the same quality of take-out quick sushi joints (the kind that don't split evenly).
The food was yummy, but quite expensive. The 3 of us ate about 3-4 tapas each (just tea, no cocktails) and the bill came to $80 before T&T. One (small) piece of ahi tuna nigiri was a whooping $3.50! Must mention dishes are:
- the yam fries
- the baked oysters
- baked black cod
- crunchy fillo prawns and scallop
- teppan roll (even at $10 - definately worth every penny)
Overall, a good restaurant, but a little too pricey. But then again, you are in posh Yaletown.
I never found the pricing to be expensive at all. Keep in mind, you are in Yaletown. If you are looking for cheap eats, stick with the all you can eat sushi joints on Kingsway and don't expect to eat for a bargain in Yaletown.
The food was good; the dishes were well prepared and flavourful. The service was prompt even though the server seemed more intent on closing the restaurant than serving us. The decor is dark and fairly chic with a sushi bar, limited indoor seating and a patio.
The total bill was 75 including tip which included soup appetizers, 5 mains and a large bottle of sake and beer. Reasonably priced, if you ask me.
Arrived at the restaurant very early for dinner- we were their first customers that night! Welcomed warmly and seated. Since we were the only customers, the service was great and prompt.
Ordered the agedashi mochi and tuna tataki. Mochi was unique! Very light in tempura batter, which was wonderful, but not as hot as i wanted it to be. The tuna tataki was good, portion was big and the flavour was crispy and fresh. They also serve sunomono as a starting appetizer, which was average. I've had better sunomono.
I had the super 7 roll and the unagi roll. The super 7 roll was a taster of many of the varieties of rolls they had. I really liked them all! Some tasted creamy, some were crunchy and some were sweet. I loved the diversity of flavours in one dish. The unagi roll was good, but I think I would have liked it better if I got the Unagi sushi instead. My friend had the caterpillar roll with tamago sushi and kani, and she said she really liked the texture of the caterpillar roll.
We tried the tempura figs with green tea ice cream for dessert. I never tried figs before and they were pretty good! Tempura was lightly battered again, which was awesome. The flavour of coulis didn't appeal to me too much, but I liked how the coulis was not put on top of the figs so we can control the amount and it wouldn't make the figs soggy.
Overall a good visit. I would definitely come back and try it out for lunch or the other appetizers, and the super 7 roll. The decor was alright, kinda looks ordinary in my opinion.
Tasty, creative and fresh sushi offerings. Not huge rolls, but delicately made and assembled! The sampler rolled sushi plate was tasty and nicely presented. Liked the yam fries and deep friend calamari too.
Servers were attentive and friendly, the ambiance was very modern and sleek.
Decent value for the quality you get.
Worth checking out if you're in the Yaletown area!
We ordered the set 'healthy lunch menu'. The portions were a bit small, but nonetheless very tasty. I've been here a few times and I've always had enjoyable experiences. Next time I'll come back for dinner - izakaya style!
Our experience here was fabulous. The food, setting, and service were impeccable. Highlights of the evening included what has to be the freshest sashimi we've ever had, and some very creative rolls and tapas items (among others the prociutto roll and aburi box sushi stick in my mind) Try the cold sake from Kyoto, it was very good (the name escapes me).
I would recommend reservations as their patio was packed on a Tuesday night. It wasn't cheap, but hey - you get what you pay for.
probably one of my worst experiences at a japanese restaurant and i have been to quite a few so that is saying a lot about how poor this place is.
their rolls are bite size and nothing different than what you might find at an AYCE japanese restaurant which is unacceptable considering the prices they are charging. their so called large salmon sashimi is $16 for a ridiculously small amount and is only worth half of that at most.
their service is even worse. a waitress did not come to our table to take our orders for at least a full 12 minutes and the restaurant was next to empty (3 other tables occupied at that time). we made it clear that we knew what we wanted (i.e. our menus were closed) yet they still did not realize this. on top of that, our food did not arrive for another 25 minutes. this time, there were only 2 other tables full (because one had left) which just goes to show that the chefs and waitresses do not understand the concept of service.
in terms of price, its a great place to throw away money and leave hungry so if that is your intention, i would highly recommend this place.
nice outdoor patio available to sit at on a sunny day but the indoor dining area has nothing noteworthy to mention.
the fact that this restaurant is located in yaletown should demand higher quality food because of the more expensive prices that restaurants in this area will be charging but their poor service and mediocre food that bistro sakana provides is completely the opposite. i can definitely say that this is one place i will not be coming back to.
1st time at this restaurant and tried their Mussel special which was simply delicious . Mussel were perfectly cooked in a Miso garlic and white wine sauce and excellent value for $10.00. tried the spicy scallop kebab and the teriyaki beef which were also winners . service very attentive and although the room is small it is very comfortable and the music is very jazz like . great experience
I've been to Bistro Sakana 3 times and I've never had a major problem with anything I had there. I've also never been blown away by the sushi although it's been good every time I've gone. Sakana consistantly has fresh fish with standard and imaginative rolls that appeal to a wide variety of customers. I would go back again however I currently have a favorite sushi place that I would go to first.
It's no understatement to say that Bistro Sakana serves up some of the freshest and most imaginative sushi in Vancouver. We've been coming here for years and we have never left unsatisfied. The recent renovation has given the place a fresh new sophisticated look. Our only complaint is that when it gets busy wait times can be long. Our favorites are the Yam Fries, Teppan Roll, Isobe Age, and Ginger Hamachi. If you frequent All You Can Eat style Japanese restaurants than you will probably find it expensive. Quality, freshness, and creativity are another matter though, i.e. you get what you pay for. We think it's one of the best. Highly recommended.
Overall this place was a winner with me when I went a few months ago. A friend and I stopped in and tried a few rolls and were very pleased. It is a bit pricey (in my opinion) , but worth it for the food quality and the service. The menu is filled with interesting items and I highly recommend the Malibu roll!
I'd like to also make special mention of our waiter that evening (of course I've forgotten his name now). He was very patient and helpful with the menu and provided cheerful and quick service. He was also sweet enough to call my friend & myself a cab, and then chase it down the street when it missed the restaurant! We will definetly be coming back!
We are a fan of Sakana.
They have great sushi that is fresh and just so tasty. We can't go anywhere else because we have been spoiled by this place.
Absolutely love their spicy dynamite roll and their tuna. The prices are little steep but it is definitely worth it.
We've always had great service there and can't complain about anything.
Three's a charm, and after three close to flawless visits here, it's on our list. It's a little cramped when it's busy, but it is cozy. It's also a little noisy when it's busy, but it does has a fun "vibe" to it. The food was stellar. There's both fusion and traditional Japanese, that was as fresh as I have ever had in Vancouver. The hamachi sashimi just melted away in my mouth. It was really, really good! I tried something called the manchego salad and it excelled in both quantity, quality, and creativity. The fun vibe I spoke of was generated in part by some really good jazz and old Japanese cinema on the wall. Service was consistently good on all three visits. It was busy but the servers seemed to making a concerted effort to keep us happy. I would recommend this place for a fun date-night atmosphere. The prices were not low, but not over the top either, somewhere in the middle. Good value for Yaletown.
I always mean to go but many a time on my way out there I get distracted and end up at some other restaurant in the area.
But finally managed to go for a visit to bistro sakana again, not my first time, but worth a review I never did in the past, as the sashimi was so fresh. They fly fish form overseas.
Anyway they also seem to have done some renovations recently, the seats and the signage have changed. I asked the server and she said something about expanding.
We moved to Vancouver from the U.S. about 1 month ago and have been checking out the local restaurant scene since then. Bistro Sakana was a pleasant surprise. The quality and freshness of the seafood we had was notable and the food presentation was creative and colorful. We particularily liked the crunchy rolls, spicy tuna crepe, and raw oysters. Service was good but a little slow. We obviously are not alone in our appreciation as the place was jam packed. We will definitely be back! Thanks Sakana!
I’ve been to bistro Sakana many times and have always enjoyed it. We live in the area and it is nice to have a place like this that does not have the usual Yaletown suspects buzzing around inside. On top of that, the sushi is excellent and very fresh. I give it very high marks.
I used to work nearby and I spend a great deal of my salary in this restaurant for lunch.
The price for lunch are pretty decent.
The food is excelent, high quality, very fresh, real sokeye salmon.
I love their dynamite roll as well!
Don't miss this place!
Stumbled by chance upon this wonderful place. A crowd is always a good indication of a restaurants worth, and if not for that we probably would not even have noticed Bistro Sakana. The food was really good, and we indulged ourselves in some of the more experimental fusion sushi on the menu. Great drink list as well. My partner swears that their original drink the "Salty Samurai" is the best cocktail he's had in a long time. Try the isobi agay, yam fries, and ginger hamachi. Service was attentive, although they could have used another waitress, as the servers were running their feet off. The atmosphere was also unique for a Japanese restaurant and was cozy and hip. Great music! We'll be back. Recommended!
If you want a presentable sushi place in DT/ Yaletowm, this is one of your choice.
As of its name, this restaurant is very packed with too many tables that you hardly can walk thru. But the place is very clean, even you can see thru the curtain that the kitchen is so neat and clean. Background music is too loud, plus becos of its small size that you can easily hear the laughter from the other opposite corner of the restaurant. It is not a good place to chat, or you have to tune up your voice. (Imagine everyone is shouting to talk)
Food is ok. Sashimi is fresh. In terms of price, what you expect in Yaletown? Cali roll is about $4 and nigiri salmom ~$2. The Japanese Spagphetti with mushroom is good very veggie lover. It definitely taste more japanese than it looks. A trio creme brulee with matcha and green tea flavor is a good choice to finish up the dinner.
A couple of friends invited me along to their favorite sushi place, Bistro Sakana. To be honest I had never heard of this place before. It is not huge, looks like it seats maybe 50 or so. It is definitely not your typical Japanese eatery. It was cool, sophisticated, and felt like it belonged in L.A. or N.Y.C. It is great to see this kind of establishment in Vancouver.
The food: Very fresh, creative, and beautifully presented. I definitely enjoyed the fusion dishes most. Some dishes were illuminated with small lanterns made from paper thin carrot and radish. The flavors were amazing and there was a lot to choose from on the menu.
The Service: Remarkably attentive on a busy Friday night. Language was a slight problem with one of the servers. They all seemed to be from Japan. At least one of them spoke fluent English and they were all quite helpful, friendly and welcoming. I noticed that one of the sushi chefs was female, That's kind of neat, I've never seen that in a Japanese restaurant before.
Value: Not your cheapest Japanese restaurant, but as I mentioned not typical either. I felt that we received fairly good value for our hard earned money. The quality was certainly there. We drank some very good cold sake, they had a great selection, but it wasn't cheap!
Ambiance: This was an area that really impressed me. The music was contemporary jazz, the lighting was intimate, and I loved the black and white samurai movie projected on the wall. Again, the place had a very big city sophistication about it.
I will definitely be back.