Suvai is a quaint spot specializing in Pacific-French fusion cuisine.
I did not encounter the older gentleman with glasses server that the first reviewer complained about. The server who served me was good, and i would echo some previous reviewers -- quick and prompt, neutral attitude, efficient & effective, informal, respectful, and not at all condescending.
The food was excellent. I had lunch there, and for a $16 main course, the chef even put some truffle oil into the sauce. That says a lot about the value for money you get here.
Yes, the wine list is a bit limited, but you can still find some decent wines there, unless you are a connoisseur, in which case you had better go to a far more expensive restaurant, but the food there is not likely to be far better than this.
This is now the gem in Kerrisdale that I would return to.
Supposedly Suvai is under new ownership after the aforementioned teething troubles and some nasty court cases involving the staff. This info comes by way of a relative, who lives closeby and goes so often they have her drink order ready as soon as she sits down.
I ate there a couple of years ago and hated it. The food, the service, it all sucked.
I'm happy to say that I ate at Suvai yesterday and had a lovely meal. The room is small and cozy, which I like. Bread was delivered hot to the table, and butter was at room temp. Starting off well.
They tried to upsell us on wine, which was annoying. I know what I like to drink--just leave me be with my bottle. Other than that, the service was excellent: attentive, professional, and fun.
Starters were all good. I like their take on 'deconstructed' Caesar salad. Dressing is good and garlicky. My fellow diners had an assortment of soups and salads and all were tasty.
Mains were all excellent as well. I had the seared halibut, which was incredible, served with risotto and steamed veggies. Steaks were all reported to be excellent. Vegetarian pasta (for the veg among us) was full of flavour and fresh veg.
Dessert menu was limited, but there was a nice assortment nonetheless. Orange cheesecake, chocolate cake, or ice cream with fruit. They were all very rich and very good.
Does Suvai still need a little work? Yes. The restaurant could use a fresh coat of paint and some new tables. I'm told they are planning to spruce up the restaurant soon, so I'm looking forward to dining there again once the renos are complete.
Judging from the reviews, this restaurant had a few teething troubles. It is not there yet: but it is making progress. The remaining issues include: a pleasant but not coherently styled room. Somewhat amateur art on the walls attached to price tags makes the restaurant look amateur … buy good stuff that speaks to the concept. Similarly business licenses etc in pvc folders taped to the wall ain’t cool … buy hotel notice frames which allow changing the content. Losing two seats of 28 is no small loss: but face it the corner table in the middle of the lobby doesn’t work.
No table cloths suggests a bistro or a brasserie. Not an absolute barrier to high price demands, but certainly an obstacle. Riedel wine glasses are notable. Serving water in martini vases is strange.
The service is friendly and unpretentious. Prompt and efficient. The wait staff work together smoothly. The most smiling face was in the kitchen!
Food good. Notable crab cakes (reduce or eliminate the prawn content) and beet salad appetizers and chicken main. The scallop main didn’t work. Scallops have a subtle flavor that can’t overcome a strong sauce. Not all of the menu is intelligible to non-graduate student of cuisine. Crème brulee ok.
No dessert menu. If you don’t care about dessert don’t offer it. No sorbets or ice cream. Bill delivered before requested. Wash room … overflowing paper towel bin ... get a bigger one.
Prices are high … this may be being recognized since there’s even one ball-point reduced one on the menu. They may be a reflection of a perceived opportunity to capitalize on the locals’ willingness to pay up to walk, rather than drive downtown, but they discourage a longer range clientele.
Web presence ... there isn't.
Special evening for S.O. and I. Didn't want to go into downtown, busy Kits, cross bridge to North Shore or to the burbs. Kerrisdale seems like a logical, quiet neighbourhood to spend the evening, but besides Avenue Grill (yawn), and Fish Cafe (too casual) or Minerva's ("too established" patrons), what are our choices ? Drove by 41st anyway. Hmm, what's this ... Suvai ?
I'll let the rating stars speak for themselves. Bread was piping hot .... mmm. Appy of oysters was so-so, slightly burnt on edges. Drinks list .... what list ?!? Only 3 or 4 choices each of white and red by the glass ALL from Mission Hill ... hey is this a Mission Hill restaurant ?!? Gotta do better. Way better. For entrees I had the braised beef short ribs. Fantastic, melt-in-yo'-mouth tender. With nice and not-rich green onions risotto. S.O. had roasted chicken .... very tender and meaty despite being only 1/4 chicken.
Now onto service ..... by aforementioned gentleman named Jack. Very quick and prompt. Neutral attitude, but at least he was mindful of the needs of all the 10 or so patrons there at the time. Efficient & effective.... absolutely. Warm & fuzzy ? ...... your mileage may vary. Does it matter ? Totally up to you. But in a city where restaurant and retail service is typically mediocre and often deplorable, I had nothing to complain about.
So overall ...... very solid experience in a neighbourhood that badly needs some new blood (hint, hint) as far as dining establishments go. Please Kerrisdale we don't need yet another sushi joint. What we need there is more time-honoured classic Continental cuisine created by a young new generation of chefs such as Segar Kulasegarampillai (owner).
Good times ahead. Cheers.
I'm going to return to this little treasure often. I was at least as pleased as Diner101 was with the food. The short ribs melted in my mouth a few nights ago.
However, unlike my fellow reviewer, I had no problems whatsoever with the service. On the contrary, the two individuals have served me thus far--one during the day and one in the evening--and both were very friendly and particularly helpful. Their approach is undeniably informal, but respectful of all of us, and not at all condescending.
One area Suvai has to expand is the wine list. It is undeniably on the (very) short side. What they have is decent enough, but if you're looking for "that special bottle" or a particular wine to complement a particular dish, you probably will not find it. It may not hurt to call ahead and ask if they have a BYO policy, at least until their pockets are deep enough to build up a respectable cellar of their own.
But those short ribs!!!!!! And at reasonable prices too.
The owner is a tyrant hes not nice, there's lots of reviews commenting about this owner named jack, he does not how to treat a customer. because the customer is always right, the customer is suppose to be always right
and is served to them properly. He treats his staff horribly, they are turning over in the kitchen like mad. They said that 26 covers is alot, please that is not even anything, I'm in the industry i can do 50 or more covers by myself ahahahha. Trust me the food is not fresh, i see them going to super store, there cooler is dirty as hell, everything on the floor not on racks. the crab cakes are not good made mostly with shrimp. Thanks guys just go somewhere else. minervas or anywhere else would be nice
My wife and I have walked by this restaurant many times, saying "We should eat here, some time." We finally did and I wish we'd done so sooner.
I had the evening's feature entree: pan-roasted halibut. Man, was that a tasty dish. The sides (quinoa, spinach, carrot) were a feast for the eyes and the tongue. In short, I was savouring every last bit of every bite of my meal. My wife ordered the sea scallops that were equally tasty and well-presented.
Dessert was hit and miss. The "tiramisu" was dreadful. Imagine a 9" round cake-style tiramisu that you'd buy from Costco. Yuck. Definately not what I was expecting. I mentioned my displeasure and the server acknowledged that he'd pass my comments along to the owner. My wife's creme brulee was so incredibly yummy. I think they put some rosewater in it?
The salad starters were good, both my wife's caesar and my greens with goat cheese and yellow beets.
The serving staff consisted of Jack (as mentioned in other reviews) and a young woman with glasses. Service was effective. She had a warmer personality that he. He's not going to win any awards for being friendly. As someone else had asked, "does that matter"?
I actually liked Jack's emotional distance as he effectively took care of our table's needs. And even when the place was 75% full, he still engaged us in a discussion when I asked him about restaurant practises in town (chef-owners vs. non-chef-owners).
I look forward to returning to this restaurant so conveniently located a short walk from our home.
I actually signed on to this site JUST so I could submit a review of this place.
I went for brunch on Saturday Oct 23. NEVER AGAIN will I go to this restaurant. The food was ok, and the servers were lovely, but that chef they have there, Holy cow! I was unfortunate to be seated by the kitchen area were I was treated to a show of rudeness, anger and pompous male over inflated ego by the chef towards the other staff. He was yelling, demanding things from them, asking if they knew what they were doing, slapping the wall to get their attention, ordering them around like slaves, all the while insulting their intelligence. And all this for the customers to witness!!! Are you kidding me?!?
My recommendations, the staff should quit immediately and find a place where they are treated like the decent human beings that they are. Either that or the owner needs to find a new chef as you just lost a customer based on this chef.
What toped the cake was when the chef hollered at me as I was watching this show, and told me “your food will be ready shortly”..this was not what I was worried about, but rather the emotional abuse being bestowed upon the staff. I felt horrible witnessing this, and all I wanted to do was leave and never return.
Holy Hell’s Kitchen…if I wanted to watch rudeness, I would go find an episode of Jerry Springer on TV.
I will never eat here again.
We celebrated my husband's 40th birthday party here with a group of about 24 people. I was a bit concerned about going here after reading the reviews of the restaurant; however, our group had a really great experience. I know a lot of people do not like the management at this restaurant, and I can see how some people would find the manager offensive (he has a very harsh sense of humor), but all in all, I didn't have any problems dealing with him and we really enjoyed our food, as well as the service.
Everyone found the food, from the appetizers, entree's and dessert very good. I definitely think the entree's could be a bit bigger, in terms of the quantity of food; however, everything we had tasted very good. The service was absolutely excellent. All of the servers were extremely attentive and pleasant, the food came out well timed for a group of 25 people. The wine was excellent, as well as the after dinner coffee.
It is a super tiny place, but a great little restaurant for small celebrations. We all enjoyed the experience thoroughly and will definitely be back!! : )
I have been to this restaurant three times; twice for lunch and once for dinner. Each time, my experience and that of my fellow diners has been just the way I like a restaurant experience to be. The service was professional and timely, Everyone's courses arrived together and there was just the right amount of time between each course. All of the items we chose were well cooked and well presented. The wine was very good value for the price and was appropriately served. Although the decor may seem to be minimal, we all liked the warm, welcoming feeling we received from the staff. I will definitely go again and will also recommend this restaurant to my friends.
There were a few small things that annoyed me about this restaurant. First of all, it's not a good idea to play Celine Dion most of the time, but particularly when the room is small and the acoustics poor. The bathroom needs a paint job and a mirror. Also, I believe it's general practice to offer your customers a wine list; I shouldn't have to ask for it.
But what really turned me off was the service. I believe we were served by the same gentleman mentioned in the earlier reviews - Jack. He was abrupt rather than friendly. I don't think it's asking too much for the server to smile occasionally. ( The other gentleman on duty seemed more, well, likeable.)
My meal (a pasta dish) was mediocre although my companions' dishes (a scallop dish and the halibut feature) did look much better.
My half-eaten meal disappeared while I was in the middle of a conversation. The server did not ask a) if I was finished, b) if there was something wrong with it or c) if I wanted the leftovers packed up.
But the best part of the evening was when we paid the bill. We asked to split the bill evenly. For whatever reason, he rounded up to the nearest even number and then divided the bill. He didn't mention that he had done this. We only realized it when one of my friends pointed out that it seemed odd that all of our credit card receipts had a nice round number on them. I couldn't believe it! Imagine if, every time you ate out or purchased something, the restaurant or store simply rounded up your bill a few dollars in order to keep the math simple.
There are lots of great restaurants in this city so just drive right on by Suvai.
We really enjoyed our meal here. on a quiet Monday evening. I had the a scallop entrée and my partner had the lamb, and both were definitely worth going back for. We had no complaints about the service, so perhaps that has improved in the year since the first reviewer posted. It is definitely a strong contender for the best restaurant in Kerrisdale (in our humble opinion).
I recently dined at Suvai Restaurant in Kerrisdale and I was just appalled at the level of service or lack there of.
The interior of the restaurant has a very cozy yet elegant feel with very nice architectural details. There's a small outdoor patio space for outdoor dining as well. The food was good. I had the chicken dish with couscous. The sauce was excellent and the chicken was succulent and just delicious. Water was served with slices of lemons. I have to laud the details that were present in the overall food at Suvai.
However, what ruined everything for me was the service. I would give 2 out of 10 for service for Suvai Restaurant. The server could use some real lessons in proper service techniques as well as MANNERS. Well in fact, he should not be working in the restaurant. (He may have been a part-owner of the place? An older male with glasses.)
The service was a stark contrast to the food that was served. I'm talking about haphazardly setting down plates, sliding glasses filled with drinks across the table, and the manner in which he talked to us was humiliating to us, as if he stood above us all. The little comments he made to us made us customers feel stupid and his condescending attitude further upset us all.
As we were writing up a cheque, the server stood behind us as if he was trying to sneak a peak into how much tip we were writing. He even commented on how much he should deserve. I would recommend him to shut up and confidently leave that up to us as we KNOW proper manners in that situation. He was clearly undermining our intelligence and as a customer, that was the most humiliating dining experience I ever had.
I would return to Suvai only if the level of service was brought up to par. The quality of a restaurant is determined not only by the quality food, but quality service as well. It is quite tragic that Suvai Restaurant has been ruined by its poor service.