After being away from Vancouver for a year, there's one thing I miss most, apart from friends of course, and that is, the wild salmon. There's nothing like it. And while Australia has it's fair share of delicious fish, nothing quite compares to the rich, delicate flesh of wild Sockeye.
Having only a week to spend in Vancouver, I was on a mission to fulfill my fish fix. Each night and day was taken up with visits to favourite food haunts: Kirin Restaurant (three times) for world class dim sum; Legendary Noodle for cheap & cheerful hand-pulled noodles; Granville Island Public Market for, well, everything, Kintaro for amazing shio ramen and Medina for Moroccan breakfasts and Belgian waffles.
The last stop was planned for Yuji's -- offering Vancouver's best Japanese tapas, aka izakaya, and melt-in-your-mouth wild salmon sashimi. As luck would have it, Yuji's was closed for the long weekend! Alas no salmon.
I didn't give up that easily and remembered hearing about blue water cafe + raw bar in Yaletown. The highly acclaimed restaurant is famed for its west coast plates and seafood. I snuck in and asked to see the menu. There it was -- Beni sake Sockeye salmon sashimi. Three plates please. Oh and some oysters too.
Set in a converted heritage warehouse, blue water cafe + raw bar is big. The decor is eclectic, warm and inviting. On one side of the room, the fast and furious open kitchen is exciting to behold. On the other, the dazzling raw bar is home to sashimi master Yoshi Tabo.
I can see why Tabo has has a legion of followers. The salmon was exquisite. I realize I have the salmon to thank for it's perfection but the preparation and presentation of the delicate fish is of utmost importance. The same goes for oysters. Too many times their sea kissed liquor is thrown out. A terrible waste when the liquor holds so much flavour.
In my quest for sockeye sashimi I neglected to try anything else on blue water's menu. For next time.
blue water cafe + raw bar
1095 Hamilton St.
Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6B 5T4
@ Helmcken in Yaletown Voice: 604 688 8078
Fax: 604 688 8978