The Sardine Can, Vancouver
Monday, October 29, 2012

After visiting Cartems Donuterie in Gastown, my friends and I stumbled upon a Spanish inspired tapas-styled restaurant called The Sardine Can. It’s opened by Andrey Durbach and Chris Stewart who also operate La Buca, Pied-a-Terre and Cafeteria.

I’d never heard of the restaurant before but it looked busy (always a good sign) and inviting so we checked out the menu and decided to come back after some shopping. This small casual restaurant seats maybe 20 people at most and it’s first come first serve so try to avoid arriving at prime dining hours. But they’re open everyday after 3pm.

Amongst the 3 of us, we ordered 5 tapas at about $5-10 per plate. We all enjoyed the meal, it was especially nice on a warm, sunny Vancouver day. And it’s always more fun to share your food and have bites of different things. And here’s an interesting note, pay by cash and get a 10% discount.

You can spot the little restaurant by the ‘Sardine Can’ sitting outside the entrance.

Surprise, they offer sardines on their menu! But they don’t come from a can, they get it from a local fishmonger and smoke it. However, I found it heavily salted, a bit oo much for my tastes.

A summer goat cheese and beet salad, very light and refreshing. I could have probably eaten the whole plate.

Clams steamed with white wine, garlic, herbs, shallots. My only real complaint from this meal was that I found some of the clams to be quite sandy. However, the broth was so good we soaked it up clean with bread.

My favourite dish of the evening, sauteed prawns in a delicious chilli oil with spices that I can’t seem to remember. I do remember I liked it so much I had to ask what sort of spices they used.

Tender octopus in a tomato stew.

Our bill for 5 tapas, a beer, and a glass of wine came to almost $60 with tax. We silly kids thought that they gave us a can of sardines as an end of the meal gift. Since we weren’t sure, we asked the waitress who promptly told us it’s just for decorative purposes and that the cans aren’t intended for eating. Oops. 

Well? Let me know what you think. Write me a comment below!