I am a big fan of sushi, so I’ve already sampled a number of the sushi options available in Bogota. A friend of mine had mentioned Canoa sushi restaurant just a few blocks from where I live, so naturally I had to investigate! I can now declare it the best sushi restaurant in Bogota (and incidentally, this is NOT a sponsored post! 🙂 )
Canoa is situated on carrera 4A with calle 66 – 78, Chapinero Alto, and is diagonally opposite the BL Piano Bar and Pub, which is on the corner (cool place – more about that in another post!). It doesn’t have a huge sign outside and is fairly inconspicuous – but it does have a model canoe over the doorway! My boyfriend Javi and I first thought about going on a Friday night, so we wandered along to check it out at about 9.30pm. When we got there though, it was extremely busy, and we were extremely famished after finishing work late, so we decided to go somewhere else and return another day in the afternoon.
Last Saturday afternoon, at about 2.30pm, we returned, and there was one table available for us near the front of the restaurant – as though it were meant to be! As we took our seats, Javi looked around and said “It’s a bit snobby in here.” and he was right; it was a bit. I found that the first waiter we had had an air of “I’m-too-good-to-be-serving-you”, and we did have to shoot him a glare of encouragement afterwards as he stood chatting to another waiter instead of putting our order through the till!
We were encouraged to order a starter as the sushi would take a while. We find this is a common ploy, however, to make people spend more money, and we wanted to save ourselves for the sushi! So we declined a started and enjoyed our drinks for about 15 minutes before the sushi arrived.
We ordered 3 “rollos especiales” (special sushi rolls!): the Fantasia (wrapped in salmon) Dragon roll (prawn tempura and eel) and Acevichado (sushi and ceviche!). My favourite was the Dragon roll! The prawn tempura was crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and the combination with the eel and ‘dynamite’ sauce was just exquisite! I liked the Fantasia, which was soft, creamily-cheesy with a delicious mélange of Salmon, cream cheese and spinach.
What I particularly liked was that the cream cheese had a warm, soft texture, instead of that just-out-of-the-fridge cold, solid texture which I’m not a big fan of. I almost asked for it without cream cheese but I’m so glad I didn’t now! The Acevichado almost sent Javi into a food coma.. It was delicious, the ceviche soft, lemony and full of flavor, which combined perfectly with the sushi and red onion! I found it a bit too acidic/lemony for my liking, so I just managed four of my 5 pieces – I did a swapsies with Javi for another piece of the Dragon roll! We were asked which sauces we wanted with our sushi (soy, teriyaki or dynamite) so we just took all three and tried them with everything.. ah my mouth waters at the memory..!
We didn’t try any noodle dishes or dessert, but the next table had some hot dishes and they did look delicious! We will try some next time and report back!
Altogether we spent 100,000 pesos ($50) including the service, for 3 sushi rolls and our two drinks (an Asahi beer and a ginger ale – served with fresh lemon juice!)
Service: 8/10 (mostly fast but a bit stuck up!)
Bathroom: 9/10 (two single toilets, mixed men/women, clean, with cute little rolled up hand-towels in a basket to dry your hands with after!)
Value for money: 9/10 (Canoa is no more expensive than Wok or Osaki, well-known sushi chain restaurants, but the sushi is even better!)
Conclusion: We will definitely be going back to Canoa. It does have a bit of a yuppy/snobby atmosphere, but the quality of the food more than compensates for this and it didn’t affect our experience at all. If you’re in Bogota and a fan of sushi, it’d almost be a crime not to dine at Canoa!