The Sardine Can

There’s nothing better than dinner and a show. Spain has become a must visit destination after enjoying two years of home-cooked Spanish and Latin food. The markets, music and liveliness of Spain feels like a far reach but at The Sardine Can, we’ (literally) given a taste of what Spain could be like.

Hidden in a small space at the mouth of Powell street (Gastown), the area has begun to thrive with new and upcoming restaurants. The only indication of The Sardine Can is it’s sign of, you guessed it, a sardine can. Cozy and inviting, it begins to fill up and forms a wait list around 7:30. Since it is a tapas restaurant, the fare is reasonable and full of flavour. They offer unique alcohol from Spain and occasionally have special import delicacies from Spain.

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Piquillo rellenos de bacalao
(Roasted piquillo peppers stuffed with salt cod)
Sweetness comes from the peppers as you get a bit of tang from the tomato sauce that it’s prepared in. The salted cod is an interesting touch where it was soft and muted but the sweetness from the tomato brought out the sweetness in the cod itself. The only comment I would have on this dish is that it had too much sauce and the roasted peppers were almost non-existent.

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Carrilladas de cordero
(Lamb cheeks, raisins, capers and pine nuts)
I am a huge fan of lamb. Did you know that it adds heat to your body in Chinese medicine theory? Anyway…the lamb was tender and rich. The sauce had a nice sweet hint of tomatoes while the raisins added the push of sweetness so you wouldn’t be bombarded by the overwhelming of lamb. The pine nuts were almost secondary but it added a nice texture and roasted flavour at the end.

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Braised Pork Belly
Placed atop a tangy zucchini and tomato ragù, the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly was simply divine! The balance between fat and meat was perfect (and by that I mean there was slightly more fat). As expected it was rich but bold with some simple notes of spices. Together with the ragù, the balance of citrus-y clean sauce versus the smokey softness of the belly.

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26 Powell St. Vancouver
The Sardine Can menu
Definitely a place the check out, especially if you’ve been the The Cafeteria, La Bucca or Pied à Terre (since they’re all by the same owner)

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