When I moved to Vancouver 10 years ago I was truly overwhelmed by all the Sushi options in this city!
Going from three known locations in the tiny little Island I grew up on; a posh Resort Spa restaurant for date nights (my initial Sushi introduction), a convenient Marks & Sparks near work for pre-packaged lunches, and a new restaurant chain in the Entertainment district for appetizers…. to a city with over 600 options was intense.
No joke, there are hundreds upon hundreds of establishments catering to all budgets, ambiances and tastes. Vancouver is the sushi capital of Canada, if not North America… so it’s only fitting that my first restaurant “review” be on a recent Sushi experience.
RawBar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim has been around since 2013 and is Vancouver’s first 100% Ocean Wise sushi destination. Innovative and sustainable seafood is something I can get behind! Additionally they make great cocktails, and the lounge is elegant yet relaxed.
You’ll be served by beautiful servers wearing crisply tailored suits/ billowy ankle length evening dresses, gush at the odd cute dog being walked through the lobby by a hotel guest, and finally be seduced by the cosy live music that is always available anytime I visit the lounge.
To start we ordered some gin based drinks: the Lucky Negroni (gin / sake vermouth / bitter bianco / grapefruit peel) for him and Spruced Up (forest gin / sherry vermouth / yellow chartreuse / absinthe / pickled spruce tip) for her.
Ahhh spruce tips… what a nice Pacific North West Spring touch! Both my boyfriend and I have been coming here for cocktails for years and the bartending talent always deliver.
We then ordered a sprawl of delicious food:
- Torched Wagyu Beef Salad – featuring wagyu beef, greens, onion, nori chips, yuzu kosho vinaigrette
- Jalapeño Kampachi – featuring masago, mango, onion, avocado, scallion, micro greens, jalapeño, radish sprout
- Sable Motoyaki Roll – featuring kabayaki cured sablefish, avocado, chilis, warm motoyaki sauce
- Lobby Lounge Roll – featuring rainbow-rolled albacore tuna, red tuna, wild sockeye, yellowtail, avocado, shiso leaf, dungeness crab, cucumber, yuzu kosho glaze
Everything was divine and very Instagram worthy (love the orange chopsticks) …. but ultimately the Sable Roll and Kampachi were my top favourites.
If you are looking to connect with a friend over drinks and appies or enjoy a chill dinner date with your partner, I think this lounge is a fantastic choice on a week day/night, thanks to its solid food, great drinks, relaxing atmosphere and nice selection of seating options (high tops by the window, sushi bar seating to watch the chefs/ bartenders, cosy armchair seating around a central fireplace).
If you’re looking for a more lively ‘see and be seen’ experience, then the weekend is your best bet! It’s usually pretty packed on a Friday/ Saturday night.