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butter

Shiru-Bay

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I'm a newbie on this board and hope someone here can provide a few answers for me about Yaletown's Shiru Bay. I wasn't very impressed with the food or service and was wondering if I just went on a bad night. Usually I'm willing to give a place a second chance, but a little hesitant on this one. What exactly is it that they are trying to do? Who is their market? It was busy, however. Am I missing something? What is all the hype? The only positive thing I can say about it was the presentation was nice except for the one dish that had wilted lettuce leaves with brown edges on it. I didn't think the flavour of the food even came close to the presentation. Has anyone had a good experience there? If so, maybe I'll give it another try. Thanks in advance for your replies.


"One chocolate truffle is more satisfying than a dozen artificially flavored dessert cakes." Darra Goldstein, Gastronomica Journal, Spring 2005 Edition

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Welcome to eGullet, butter!

I haven't been to Shiru Bay, but found a review that helped shed some light on what they might be up to. I think it's all quite clearly explained in the name of the place that appears on their sign:

"Shiru-Bay Chopstick Café Izakaya-ism Japanese Fusion Gourmet Bistro Tapas Bar Flavour of Tokyo".

You see, it's a tapas bar, with flavours of Tokyo, but it's really kind of a bistro, but it's so good you would call it gourmet, and then there's this whole fusion thing going on too.

Does that sound like what you ate?


I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. - Johnny Carson

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What exactly is it that they are trying to do? Who is their market?

Butter:

have you been to hapa izakaya or guu (any of the three locations)? This is exactly what they are trying to do. This is izakaya: casual, not about the service, interesting food, loud, busy atmosphere. They have achieved exactly what they were trying to do, however in my humble opinion, hapa and guu do it slightly better ( which is somewhat ironic since from what I've read, the family who started shiru-bay originally started guu, and the owners of hapa got much of their inspiration from exactly the same people).

If you want similar, but better executed food with better service, try yuji's on 4th.

What were you expecting from a place that bills itself

Shiru-Bay Chopstick Café Izakaya-ism Japanese Fusion Gourmet Bistro Tapas Bar Flavour of Tokyo"
? Some confusion? perhaps, but in the muddled and cheeky way that only the Japanese can achieve. Did you happen to hear the song that the servers gather around and sing when someone orders shots of tequila? or the birthday song? hilarious. I just wish that the servers were also Japanese because then it would really feel like Japan.

But then again, maybe I'm a little biased because I'm half Japanese, and only eat at Japanese restaurants owned and/or staffed by Japanese people.

James Higgs

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We had dinner last night at Shiru-Bay. 9 months later, they continue to offer exactly what JHiroshi described: "casual, not about the service, interesting food, loud, busy atmosphere".

We tried a total of 12 items: only 2 were so-so, two were excellent (the carpaccio and one of the scallop dishes - forgive me for not having more detail... :rolleyes: ) and the rest were very good. The place certainly is loud - concrete walls and a cranked up stereo system with nary a soft surface in sight - and hopping, which wasn't exactly what we had in mind, but hey, that's part of the experience, I suppose.

One note about the service: I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but the server did an excellent of job of presenting our dishes in an order that made sense. Spicy followed by savory, light followed by heavy, etc. If it was intentional, someone there has a nice touch.


Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

www.leecarney.com

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One note about the service: I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but the server did an excellent of job of presenting our dishes in an order that made sense.  Spicy followed by savory, light followed by heavy, etc.  If it was intentional, someone there has a nice touch.

Since I haven't been back it was great to hear an update, but still am confused which means they have succeeded as this seems to be their intention. The order made sense to you, Lee, but it still doesn't to me. It's all about the name, isn't it.


"One chocolate truffle is more satisfying than a dozen artificially flavored dessert cakes." Darra Goldstein, Gastronomica Journal, Spring 2005 Edition

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Lee, glad to hear that you had a good meal at Shiru-Bay last night. Our experience there about a month ago wasn't quite as stellar; I'd rate it as just okay. With so many other outstanding izakaya restaurants here in town -- Yuji's, Hapa Izakaya, Guu and Japone to name a few -- I'd rather choose one from the list for an excellent experience rather than return to Shiru-Bay for an okay meal. Chalk it up to personal preference.


Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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I have got to get my self to some of the other fusion restos: I really enjoyed eating at Shiru-Bay both times I was there! I think it's good value for the money (or maybe we were just fortunate in what we ordered being filling) and the people I took both times (30-somethings from out of town, reasonably sophisticated restaurant-goers) were impressed both with the surroundings and the food, and were shocked at the small size of the bill.

I think there's some Guu in my future, and after seeing the chef from Hapa Izakaya at the food show yesterday, I am even more encouraged to go there, funny guy :biggrin: -- we might have the same colourist :wink:


Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

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...has anyone mentioned the tuna tartar served with French baguette (lots of garlic butter)? Over the top!

...or the pressed shrimp sushi with herring roe?

Very casual in a sea of upscale, Yaletown restaurants. Very refreshing.

And last time I was in I tried the Sweet Potato Rice Wine. An experience to say the least. For the first time in years a new flavour across my tongue. It was served ice cold (on the rocks). The first sip was hard to swallow, such a unique tang on the tongue. After a few sips the sweetness mixes with the starch of the potato and really gives the sensors on both the front and back of the tongue a workout. I beleive the bottle was $70....easily shared by 10 friends!

Anyone who wants to go, PM me and I will share the bottle!


To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art La Rochefoucauld

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...has anyone mentioned the tuna tartar served with French baguette (lots of garlic butter)? Over the top!

We had one of these last night, too. :wub:


Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

www.leecarney.com

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But then again, maybe I'm a little biased because I'm half Japanese, and only eat at Japanese restaurants owned and/or staffed by Japanese people. 

Could it be that the best French restaurant in the world is not in France and not run by a Frenchman? :rolleyes:


Edited by rêvasser (log)

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

Virginia Woolf

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