The Sardine Can, Vancouver.

August 2017

This little dive in the heart of touristic Gastown has the happy characteristic of pouring your bottle of wine for a $20 corkage. On a warm August evening traversing the busy Powell-Water Street intersection there are a dozen bars, cafés, and little restaurants all with outdoor eating, all packed with tourists.

The restaurant is tiny, half a dozen seats at a wooden bar and five or six little fixed tables. The atmosphere is rustic, and the service and decor casual and faux-aged. Our server was a nice girl with very little attitude. The menu is mostly little tapas, with specials up on a blackboard.

Sardines on toast with cherry tomatoes came first, tomatoes a tart foil for the the salty fish. Next was a thin-sliced cucumber plate with pickled artichoke hearts, cool and fresh. A can containing roasted prawns afloat in Asian-flavoured fat allowed soaking of warm baguette slices. Roasted asparagus with south Asian sauce was good but a little heavy, and then a lovely tuna tataki arrived accompanied with toast. We finished with a sardine can full of creamy milk chocolate with salt.

Our Paso Robles GSM from Willow Creek was very nice and connected well with the wide variety of flavours among the tasty snacks. $107 for the two of us plus a tip.

Go to this place for rowdy tourist fun in the neighbourhood and to take your expensive wine to drink for a reasonable price with some passable delicacies.

Food 7.3, service 7.8, ambience 7.8, value 8.1, peace and quiet 6.3.

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 30 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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