After weeks of attempts, I finally got a table at the new pop-up eatery Bar Susu. The cuisine style is said to be temporary as the team behind the award-winning Published on Main has yet to finalize the concept for the former space for The Whip.
I did find the vibe perfect for the occasion of catching up with a friend (@heyitsjesschan) in the trendy part of the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. They have a full house on a Monday – a smart decision to become the hot spot when most of the restaurants are closed in the city!
The menu is West Coast and tapas-inspired, featuring fresh local ingredients and natural wines. If you are not familiar with natural wines, not to worry – your server is likely very knowledgeable and will bring over a few bottles for you to taste before you make a decision.
I was trying to be as open-minded as possible to try quite a few different varieties of the natural wines but just thought they tasted more like cider with all that natural funk, especially for the lighter ones.
The food, however, is much more memorable.
The Chicharones ($9) were crunchy and fun with some house BBQ spice. The Hashbrowns ($8) with mc’chiken sauce, according to my friend, are the best hashbrowns she’s ever tasted. But the most flavourful bite of the evening was the Duck Liver Parfait ($6), served with honey cruller, quince jam, and candied peanuts on a super flaky puff pastry.
The bigger plates were also packed with flavours. The Steelhead Gravlax ($14) was served on a smorebrod, a fancy Scandinavian name for an open-face sandwich. The charred bread tasted amazing but the smoked steelhead seems a bit lost on top, which didn’t stop me from enjoying the dish. The 8 OZ Steak & Frites ($80) was one of the daily specials. It came to the table medium-rare but I was surprised the server did not mention it. It was good but not $80 good for me. I rather have the 10 oz Tajima Wagyu Striploin at Per Se, which is only $76.
There was still room for dessert. We were wowed by the Quince Sticky Toffee Pudding ($10) and its bold sweetness combined with an umami quality from the pumpkin miso caramel but finished with a hint of tartness. the pudding was hot and sticky indeed, but the reduced milk ice cream at the bottom gave a cool and tasty contrast. I couldn’t help ordering a cocktail the Espresso Amari-tini ($16), a foamy Amaro shot with hints of citrus and coconut, tasty but confused about why it was called a -tini drink.
Overall I did have a good time and enjoyed most of the dishes. The vibe and the service did help a lot too. There were some memorable dishes while there were ones that are a bit less. Not crazy about the natural-wine-only wine list, I would still like to come back. I’ll just drink a bit less.
209 E 6th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5T 1J7
(604) 874-4687 or thisisbarsusu.com