Unique Sushi/Sashimi Experience in Vancouver: Octopus’ Garden

Chef Sada is not only a great sushi chef, he is also a character.  He runs his restaurant with great charisma and genuinely loves what he does.  We loved it so much we went two nights in a row!  At the end of the evening, he cranks up the music and sings along with the Beatles’ Octopus Garden.  This place is definitely a hangout for locals – we are so lucky we found it. 

Our request to Sada was relatively simple…we only wanted fish that was locally sourced.  In many cases, we got stuff we simply cannot get in LA.   He did a brilliant job of giving us unique preparations of sushi and sashimi that included Copper River Salmon, Hotate, Halibut, Halibut Cheeks, Kumomoto Oysters, Geoduck, Spot Prawns, and our favorite: Albacore Tuna Belly. 

Also, horse is legal in Canada, not in the US.  I noticed he offered that on the menu as well.  We had it in two raw preparations, one as a carpaccio the other as a tartare.  Another thing he did for Scot once he learned that Scot like fish eyeballs (the gel around them is considered a delicacy in many Asian cultures) is he made us a specially prepared local fish called “Kinky-fish.”  (You can imagine the jokes.) It is available only in BC, and is similar to a buttery snapper.  It was poached in a miso/dashi broth and was rich and succulent. 

The pictures below are a sample of what we had over two dinners.  Their menu offerings go far beyond what we sampled; he actually does a lot of creative hot dishes as well.  He encourages you to specify your preferences so he can make you a menu around them. 

“Cocktail” of Local Uni, Quail Egg, and some kind of foam


Perfectly shucked Kumomotos with just the right amount of ponzu and spicy garnish (daikon, chive, cucumber, etc)

Homemade Yuba (Tofu skin and tofu milk.)  Yes, that is a piece of cheese melted on the bread. It works…

 



Amazing sashimi:
Albacore belly, Marugai (Geoduck), Copper River Salmon, Halibut

Huge Local Ama Ebi (Spot Prawns)

Real Wasabi – Not that green horseradish stuff that people try to pass off as wasabi

Horse Sashimi (Carpaccio) It tasted similar to beef (Filet Mignon), but more mild.

Horse TarTare garnished with some spot prawnsWe actually preferred the carpaccio style. 

Actually, I find a mature burgundy pairs well with rich, buttery fish.

Halibut cheek: Rare and special item

Tako (Octopus) on an extremely tasty seaweed bed similar to wakame

Instead of frying the spot prawn heads, we requested them to be made into a broth.  This one was yuba.  Very comforting and mellow



Dungeness crab rolls. THe one on the left had mago and tobiko, the right was avocado and cucumber
I like how there was just one piece so it did not fill you up

“Kinky Fish” head.  Sada said this is what he likes to eat.  Our waitress said it is her favorite, and something rarely served to customers.

Kinky fish cheek.  Notice how moist and succulent

No, you don’t actually eat the eyeball, but the gel around it is amazing

What a great 2 nights!  We want to go back.

Octopus’s Garden Restaurant

www.octopusgarden.ca

1995 Cornwall Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6J 1C9, Canada
(604) 734-8971

One thought on “Unique Sushi/Sashimi Experience in Vancouver: Octopus’ Garden

  1. I used to work for a restaurant that served sushi, sashimi and maki rolls. I was a fan of the maki rolls. The crab rolls that you posted photos of above look amazing! One of my favorite rolls at the restaurant that I worked at had crab, eel and tuna in it, with eel sauce drizzled over it – it was delicious! Thanks for posting photos. I really like it when blogs post at least something other than text, such as photos or a video.

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