ShuRaku Sake Bar & Bistro is a Japanese izakaya restaurant with an open kitchen concept on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver.
Two of us sat down on a sunny Saturday afternoon on the six-table patio. For us, the service was fine, the food was decent Oyako donbori and a fish special. But watching around us, we saw two parties sit down at a table next to us and leave because the service was so slow. Another two tables on the patio had ordered but was left wondering when the food was coming; these two parties actually started talking to each other about the slow service. I feel bad for the server as he was friendly, polite and was serving us ok but was probably overloaded with too many tables to attend to. The place wasn't that busy but I guess it was understaffed that day. They should have been prepared for the business because there was lots of activity on Granville street and lots of people kept coming into the restaurant. This place has tons of potential...
Food: had an assortment of food and it ranged from good to fantastic. Snow spider crab roll, veggie croquette and wild mushroom salad were all very good but the stand out was this beef wrapped asparagus... I could eat platefuls of just that! Local tuna and wild salmon were fantastic as well - wild salmon is just much better than that farmed stuff.
Service: greeted after a short time waiting in the doorway, seated promptly, friendly reservation service, and servers were friendly. The server did knock over our beer at one point though but she quickly gave my partner a new one.
Value: a little more expensive than what I'm used to at an izakaya. Local tuna and wild sashimi was very good but ridiculously priced for what you get - 3 med sized pieces of tuna but 4 teeny tiny pieces of the wild salmon for $12! I will probably never order this here again as I can get wild salmon sashimi for a much better price at other restaurants. Rolls were expensive as well for what you get. All other dishes seemed more worth it than those two.
Ambiance: great looking restaurant with a nice cool and casual vibe. Many Japanese patrons so you know it's good. Nice place for a casual date or getting together with friends.
Overall, I would probably return again if I were in the area as the food is really quite good. Just be careful what you order as some dishes are really expensive for what you get. Bon appetite!
I was walking along Granville st, wanted sushi and thought I would try this place again. As I walked in, I noticed changes they change their interior from a couple of years and service was friendly & attentive.
I decided to sit at the sushi bar, it wasn't too busy for the weekend and my food arrived, displayed neatly & too perfection. I ordered 2 Salmon, 2 ebi and 2 red tuna nigiri and chicken teriyaki with rice. My sushi was absolutely perfect, amazing in taste & super fresh. I loved their salmon nigiri so much, it melted in my mouth, amazing flavour and I asked for two more salmon. My chicken teriyaki came out in this long dish, served with spinach, several pieces of chicken with crunchy topping. I was blown away with the taste, this was done to perfection, and loved the flavour.
I found the service was attentive, the seating was space nicely, clean & not loud music to get lost in this wonderful eating experience.
When my bill arrived was $35.00 and although the food was fabulous, this isn't the cheapest place on the block, but a foodie experience.
The only draw back to this experience, I did asked when walking in, if they had debit, which they did. When it came time to pay with my debit card, their machine didn't work, and I had to go to the bank to retrieve cash. This is where they lost points on service, but I will make sure I bring cash in next time, to avoid any hassles.
Recommend and plan to go back again. Outstanding food.
ShuRaku is located in heart of downtown Vancouver on Granville Street (off Robson Street) – your shopping, dining and clubbing district! Easily accessible via SkyTrain just off from Pacific Centre Mall.
We first discovered this trendy bistro during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. There is a heated patio and inside is nicely decorated from liqueur bar to the sushi bar with side tables and booths that stretches deep into this izakaya. ShuRaku has a extensive sake selection and serves my favourite Sapporo beer… mmmmm delish!
Live Uni is served on a beautifully present ice platter with blue lights. The hero really isn’t the presentation but the freshness and the sweetness of the sea urchin! Served with extra seaweed for wrapping or scooping =)
Their tako wasa (marinated baby octopus with wasabi leaf sauce – served chill and on a bed of miso paste for added flavor) is one of the better places in Vancouver. Served with sliced cucumber blocks. The cucumber balances the rather strong pungent wasabi…
Having a craving for some Japanese tapas, we decided to try out Shuraku but soon regretted it.
First of all, let me say that they put a lot of effort into the presentation of the dish. However, this just makes for lengthy wait times getting orders out to the customer. Our table waited for almost an hour to get our dishes and even my simple dish of spinach gomaae arrived at the very end. I observed other tables in similar situations, one table waiting almost an hour for a small serving of tempura.
The servers did apologize numerous times that our food was taking so long but we still had to request refills on water/tea.
Sure their dishes had nice presentation, but a Gel flame to heat Sukiyaki has to be the worst idea ever. My friend ordered Sukiyaki that came in a hot plate with a gel flame underneath. I'm not sure whether they've had trouble with the gel flame before but on that day, the winds from the open door caused the flame to grow so my friend couldn't even scoop out her food with her fork for fear of burning herself.
We had to yell at the server that their was a fire at our table, before they even noticed.
It was funny watching him try to put out the flame. He thought blowing at the flame was the right thing to do (it just made the flame stronger). They eventually put it out and he apologized again.
The food wasn't anything special. And actually compared to other Izakayas the prices were a lot higher at Shuraku. An order of Tuna Tataki is around $9, but $7 at Guu.
If you're looking to try a good Japanese Izakaya, stick with Guu.
Me and my boyfriend came here cause we were shopping across the street, and it was such a delightful surprise!
The decor and the ambiance is classy, music is not too loud so we can actually have a conversation without yelling. The waitress was very attentive, we felt very comfortable and welcomed.
Now the food, this is by far the BEST and FRESHEST Japanese food I've had in Vancouver. We had the 5 kinds of sashimi and were blown away by the quality of it. The chef offered to deep fry the jumbo shrimp's head and IT WAS DELICIOUS! We also had the avocado and tofu salad, the roulette roll and the yam fries. All had really nice authentic Japanese flavour. There's also tons of different kinds of sake to choose from. The seasame ice cream that came with the cheescake dessert is simply amazing. The prices may be a bit high, but worth every penny. Definetly a great alternative from places like Guu, Ebisu or Happa. I highly recommand this place for all the IZAKAYA lovers =)
I took my husband here tonight for an early birthday dinner. The restaurant was nicely decorated with tasteful modern decor and we were warmly welcomed by the servers. As we looked through the menu, it was very difficult to choose which dishes to go for because they all seemed great! They had a pretty big selection of food and sake (for all you sake lovers). We ended up ordering the tuna/salmon sashimi plate (excellent, very fresh), bbq ribs (the meat fell off the bone!), ebi gyoza (wish I had more), yakisoba (very tasty), Japa Slida (my husband said it was good), the Godfather roll and Rainbow roll (both excellent). We were stuffed. Suddenly the lights turned off and the waitress brought a lantern with a slice of cheesecake inside and a lit candle. They got everybody singing happy birthday to my husband. That was a pretty awesome surprise, I thought we were just getting free cake! It was the marbled chocolate cheesecake and it was so light and fluffy, not too rich, a bit on the small side though but that's ok. I knew it would be an expensive meal going in but it was worth it. The restaurant was small, which meant we could really hear the neighbouring tables' conversations. That wouldn't deter us from coming back though. All in all a wonderful experience and we'll be sure to bring our friends next time :)
I've now gone to Shuraku for both lunch and dinner.
The atmosphere is modern. Tables line this back-lit narrow space with the sushi bar along the opposite wall. It's quite comfortable and gives you a great opportunity to see what other people are ordering (but not overly crowded/close).
The staff are very friendly, welcoming, and quite attentive.
I've heard people call this an Izakaya...but it feels more like a Japanese Restaurant where they yell (hopefully welcoming things) at you when you come in.
For lunch today I had the $7 lunch special (Always $7, but the dish varies by day) - today was 6 or 7 tuna sashimi slices on a bed of rice. I also had the Assorted Tempura ($6.95), which included 2 large prawns. I was full.
I feel this spot might be a little expensive...Examples:
Red Tuna Sashimi (5 pieces) $17
Red Tuna Nigiri (1 piece) $3.50
Am I being cheap or is it more expensive? I'll let you guys decide.
With that being said, my little bottle of house sake was $9. So that made everything right with the world.
After getting sick on sushi on Davie...I know this place is a safe/fresh/clean bet. I will return.
I had just finished my shift at work and I was craving some Japanese food, I frequently have these craving so usually I go to a cheap and loaded sushi shop. However most places were closed after 10pm at night and I stumbled upon this very clean and classy Japanese restaurant. I was approched by the waiter who has excellent salesmenship skills beyond most, so beware of the man who will empty your pocket. I went for a three course dinner and was started off with raw oysters. Absolutely superb and quiet refreshing, a great way to start your palette. Second course I went for a salmon tartar. It was very good. Most western cuisines would serve their tartar with crostinis for the crunch element, however this place used battered and deepfried squares of seaweed sheet, which I thought created a better crunch element to the tartar as opposed to the traditional crostinis. Third course was quite intriguing to my taste buds. I cannot recall the name of the dish but it was a sushi with cream cheese in the center of the roll and the top was salmon. The sushi chef brought out his torch and brûlée the salmon which created this very interesting sort of smokey but not quite flavour. Over all was great, service could pay more attention to details. After I finished my second course going on to my third the waiter should have cleared my table before I received my third course considering it was 30min before close and I was the only customer there at the time should have been quite simple to spot. I had even look toward the waiter at times and he was watchIng over me but had failed to clear my table seemed very silly and almost too amateur. And also had ordered a beer which the glass had a tiny chip on it, though that was understandable because it was too tiny to notice, I didnt even notice until I finished the beer. Despite the minor descrepencies the service did not even displease me. I will definitely return and i would also recommend this place for those who seek gastronomical wonders, especially for the price they charge
Was in Van Oct. 12th to see Bob Dylan with my sister. I was determined to re-visit Kitto's on Granville. The crew at Globalmedia used to haunt the place back in the day.
Of course, I found it is now Shuraku. Was glad to see it survived the demolition going on at the corner of Granville&Robson, and made the transition to new management etc.
Food was outstanding...service good...... and Dylan was great. What more can you ask for?
We love the group coupons. One brought us here tonight and we discovered a gem. We ordered and shared the Eggplant Popper, a Chicken Donburi, Renkon Asami Age and their signature (according to the menu) Japanese-style BBQ Back Ribs. We were not disappointed.
Probably could have gone a little lighter since we ordered two fried dishes, but the descriptions intrigued us and we couldn’t resist. The Eggplant Popper was a hit, reminiscent of a Chinese dish (but much better than it!) that is normally pan fried. This we would order again. The very interesting Renkon Asami Age, with its deep-fried, nori-wrapped lotus root-and-shrimp combo was tasty and innovative. Not so sure either of us need to order this again, but we were both glad to have tried it.
They weren’t kidding about the ribs. Yes. Say yes to the ribs. Next time, more than the one each we ordered (you can opt for different sizes). The donburi was a solid one, with mild but appropriate flavour. We’d opt for the Pork Cutlet one and a ramen next time.
We didn’t try any of the sushi, but the items appearing on other tables looked interesting in their presentation.
This place had a mellow, lovely ambiance, was clean, and the service was good. A bit strange to see so many blondes working at a Japanese Izakaya place, but hey, this is Vancouver. Anything goes.
Prices were very reasonable, especially for the quality of the food. We’ll be going back and bringing friends next time. Soon.
Three of us went for dinner. I've visited many Japanese restaurants around Lower Mainland, and I find that the most authentic and delicious ones to be located in Richmond. So far, I find that Vancouver downtown has the worst "Japanese" food, and the prices are outrageous for the quality and quantity we get because well, we are paying for their downtown rent.
Shuraku has a modern feel to it, which makes the dining experience rather pleasant. However, I found that the service was extremely slow, and it annoyed us that the waitresses' English skills were so poor that we had to repeat ourselves. The salmon and tuna sashimi were fresh, but tiny tiny slices for $12 as another reviewer said below. It was good, but not THAT good.
Overall, if you know how authentic, quality Japanese food tastes like, you'll be disappointed by Shuraku. However, if you are looking for a fun downtown dining experience and you must have Japanese, then this is an okay place to visit.
Based on the food I tried, it was pretty good. The BBQ ribs, which is argued as their signature dish, was my favorite. The ribs were tender, meaty and not fatty, and well-marinated. It could be a bit too salty for some people, but I like how the seasonings penetrated into the meat so the meat itself was already good without BBQ sauce. Salmon tartar was good too. It was kinda creamy due to the avocado and the raw quail egg, but the creaminess was kinda balanced by the spicy sauce (although I didn't find it spicy at all). The other ones were just okay, hitsuma bushi was interesting, the roulette roll was standard but had good sauce, the sashimi salad was below my expectation. I should've given 3.5 due to the okay ones, but I guess 3.5 rounds up to 4 instead of 3. Service was prompt, ambiance was a bit busy, value was... well.. still acceptable I think.
We went to Shuraku excited to try a new (for us) Izakaya restaurant. The atmosphere was lovely and the food was quite good, although not all that different from many other Izakaya places in the area, which in my opinion are much more creative with their menus than Shuraku. I found the food was a little overpriced and we ended up spending more than we usually do to leave full from an Izakaya restaurant. I wouldn't have minded this if the food was amazing but it was just good. However, I probably would have left happy despite that if it wasn't for the horrible service we received.
I must preface my complaint about the service by saying that I have been a server for many years and am a very forgiving person when it comes to service quality, and usually tip at least 20% for good service. I can forgive a server forgetting things because he or she is busy, or kitchen mistakes on food. What I can't forgive is rudeness. We were a table of 8 on a busy night, and our server made everyone at the table feel like every request was a huge burden. To give just one example of many, when three of us needed to leave before the rest of the group and asked for our bills, our server sighed and said, "I guess I can go print them off now if you need me to." I thought maybe I was being sensitive but everyone at our table complained about the service afterwards. What infuriated me was that because we were a large table a 15% gratuity was automatically added to the bill. This is standard practice and I usually have no problem with this but I would never have left this if it was my decision. If a restaurant is going to add a gratuity they should make sure that the service is worth it. And if their staff is so busy that normal requests are a large burden then the restaurant is understaffed. I wouldn't return here when there are so many other great Izakaya places in Vancouver that are cheaper, better and friendlier.