DINER: Stewart & Durbach’s Little “Sardine Can” Opens Up On Powell Street In Gastown

by Andrew Morrison | Chef Andrey Durbach and Chris Stewart officially (if softly) opened The Sardine Can yesterday after a hectic Monday night dry run that saw three full turns of tables. I’ll go a few more times before I get into lengthy dish descriptions and broad analysis, but suffice it to say here and now that the little 20 seater at 26 Powell Street focuses on simple, unassuming Spanish tapas and pretty much nails both the requisite casual ambiance and bold flavour hooks. Durbach’s albondigas, patatas bravas (with soft fingerlings!), fish toasts, and so on are each represented well and are wholly pairable with Stewart’s select list of wines, beers and sherries. The prices are a little higher than I thought they’d be, but rents in Gastown ain’t cheap anymore, and I left feeling more sated than depleted (having torn through half the menu – doubling down on some items – and finding not a dud in the bunch). They’re open from 3pm until late and don’t accept reservations. If you go this week, and you should, be sure to bring cash. While they do accept credit cards and Interac, customers paying cash get 10% off of everything. Take a look at the before and after…


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The Sardine CanThe Sardine Can (doorstep)The Sardine Can | Octopus, potato and chorizo stewThe Sardine CanThe Sardine CanThe Sardine CanThe Sardine Can | A mash of smoked sardines on toastThe Sardine Can | AlhambraThe Sardine Can | Manchego and tomato toastsThe Sardine Can | DrinksThe Sardine Can | Patatas BravasThe Sardine Can | MenuThe Sardine Can | Serrano and Pata NegraThe Sardine CanThe Sardine Can | Prawns with garlicThe Sardine CanThe Sardine CanThe Sardine Can | Beef and pork albondigasIMG_6407IMG_6417The Sardine Can | Proprietors Chris Stewart and Andrey Durbach