This past weekend, my friend and I decided to try out this Japanese restaurant located in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle. Suika (Japanese for watermelon) offers a variety of fusion inspired foods with an interesting twist. This spot is hard to miss since it is basically a hole-in-the-wall and there aren't major signs outside indicating its location. However, the inside is nice and cozy featuring a cool collage of old video games and a chandelier made of used sake bottles.

Duck Carpaccio
Negitoro Tartar
Ma-po Rice Cakes
Mentaiko Kimchi Udon
Green Tea Crème Brulee
The menu wasn't too large or overwhelming and had a good variety of foods. There was offer a special sheet for the day which we also ordered off of.
We went for 3 appetizers/starter dishes: Duck Carpaccio, negitoro tartar, and ma-po rice cakes.
Duck Carpaccio: The duck could've been sliced a little bit thinner, but other than that it was great. It wasn't too gamey in flavor and it paired really well with the shiso (a type of perilla/herb) jelly. The added bit of bite from the kaiware (radish sprouts) and green onions also gave the dish a more pleasant experience all around.
Negitoro Tartar: Negi (a type of green onion) and toro (Bluefin tuna belly) were added and mixed together in a kimchi marinade over a bed of greens with some citrus yuzu and teriyaki sauce on top. It was served with a side of garlic bread crackers. I really enjoyed this and found all the flavors to mesh well without being to overpowering or too spicy. I just wish that they gave a few more crackers to eat the tartar with.
Ma-po Rice Cakes: This was basically a ma-po pork over grilled/baked mocha (rice cakes). The flavoring wasn't spicy enough for a 'ma-po' dish but you could taste the ma-po essence of the dish. The rice cakes were way too thick and definitely felt like you were chewing for forever. I think if the rice cakes were sliced thinner, it would've been easier to eat. I didn't really care for the combination of ma-po and rice cake either and would rather have the rice cakes baked with a traditional shoyu & sugar.
 My friend ordered the Hellz Ramen for her main dish and I got to try a bit of it. It wasn't as spicy as the name would indicate and I wish there was actual ox-tail pieces in it. However, the broth was tasty since it was an ox-tail broth so I guess that somewhat makes up for it, for me that is.
My main dish was a Mentaiko Kimchi Udon: Most people have udon in a soup broth but this was in a drier style with the mentaiko sauce mixed in which I think I actually prefer. Mentaiko is spicy marinated Pollack roe. The udon was coated with this mentaiko sauce and had chopped bits of kimchi on top with nori (seaweed) flakes and green onion as a garnish. It was definitely a heavier dish but it was exactly what I hope it would be. There was the fishier essence of the fish roe and isn't something I'd recommend for someone not into seafood. The spiciness was just right and the added bits of chopped up kimchi layered in for a nice texture and another layer of flavor. I would recommend this for seafood lovers and anyone that's willing to try a different type of noodle dish! Udon noodles are my one of my favorites so the texture in this dish was very enjoyable.
Green Tea Crème Brulee: This dessert is different than your traditional crème brulee despite the fact that it is made with green tea. The brulee part itself was more of a frozen/ice cream type texture yet it still had the crunchy fired/burnt sugar layer on top! The green tea flavor was noticeable and the dish overall wasn't too sweet which is always nice. This was definitely a palette cleanser. There was a nice azuki (red bean) puree sauce to the side that paired nicely with the green tea and also some light whipped cream as well. I loved this little treat and would try this again in a heart beat!
I love the ideas behind the different food creations going on here at Suika. Since I'm not drinking alcohol, it may be of interest for those you who do to check out their drink menus. They have a few specials as well that include watermelon which is fitting since Suika in Japanese means watermelon!
If you try to go in without a reservation, be prepared to wait, especially on the weekends. The place can get crowded pretty quickly especially with the small size of the whole restaurant.
I definitely want to come here again to try some other things out for sure. If you're in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle and are craving for some Japanese food, check this place out!
Readers, do you guys like Japanese food? What are your thoughts on Japanese fusion foods? Let me know!

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