Having always passed by Ouisi Bistro on our way to Ezogiku, I was eager to try out just what exactly ‘Southern’ cuisine it like.
More importantly, I wanted cornbread. I could NOT find it anywhere else in Vancouver.
Ouisi Bistro boasts authentic New Orleans cuisine, namely Cajun and Creole. On their website, they describe Cajun as “Rustic, hearty and spicy country food, originally from Southern France, brought to Louisiana by the Acadians and heavily influenced by indigenous plants and wildlife.” and Creole as “A cuisine born in New Orleans closer to French classical, yet heavily influenced by the Spaniards, Africans and Native Americans. Dishes more subtle in seasoning and refined in presentation than Cajun cooking.”
Much to my pleasure, cornbread was served much like how other restaurants give you bread and butter once you’ve placed your order. It was just as good as I remembered. However I think it would’ve been better if it was served warm.
For appetizer, we ordered the Fresh P.E.I Mussels (Lafayette). The broth was very different from Mussel dishes we’ve had in the past. In this selection, the broth is spicy and slightly bitter (but only I noticed that). Honestly I prefer mussels prepared west coast style. However, the Boyfriend enjoyed it very much and sopped up all the broth with the baguette which came with the plate.
For our entrees, the Boyfriend ordered the Jambalaya. He said it’s because Star Trek always talked about it (namely the Deep Space Nine series) and he’s always wanted to try it. The rice pilaf portion was very much like Uncle Ben’s Minute rice, so I did not enjoy it that much. Overall I did not enjoy this dish that much. It did not “wow” me.
For my entree, I ordered the “House Flight”. Basically, it is a sampling of 3 dishes. From the left there’s the Jamaican Jerk Chicken Tenderloin served with fresh fruit salsa, Gator Bite (‘house marinated, farmed Louisiana alligator served with Cajun tartar‘) and Cajun Style Crab Cakes with corn relish and a roasted red pepper vinaigrette.The Jerk Chicken was a bit too spicy and salty for me. I enjoyed the mango salsa though. Gator Bite was TERRIBLE. I’m not if it’s the fact it’s farmed crocs or what but there’s a certain fish tank smell to it and it was, as chinese would say…very “sang”. It probably bothered me also due to the fact that I couldn’t get over that I’m eating crocodile. The texture of it was also very tough, but that’s the nature of croc meat I guess. But I really couldn’t finish it. I had 4-5 strips at most and gave the rest to the Boyfriend. He didn’t seem to mind it though. But then, he doesn’t seem to mind anything…
Lastly, the crab cakes were ok. It was nothing that special. Nothing compared to the scrumptious ones we had at Mi Bar & Grill. The corn relish was overly sour too I found.
Overall, my impression of southern cuisine is SOUR and Spicy. I did not enjoy it that much. However, I did see on their menu they had lunch sandwiches which seems interesting. We’ll probably go back to try that for lunch one day.
The bill came to a total of around $35 with Entertainment coupon.
So this post is a bit old, but I wonder if you ever went back. I must say, being from the Southern US, this looks nothing like Creole or Southern food. I’m pretty sure any restaurant with the word “bistro” in it is just code for “not authentic”. I grew up in North Carolina with very little appreciation for the wonderful Southern cooking of my grandmother. It wasn’t until I spent several years in NYC, Japan and India that I got nostalgic for the cooking and food I grew up with. I love good food from all over, have tried everything from dog stew in Korea, to raw turtle liver and horse in Japan, but sometimes nothing but a good bowl of grits and healthy North Carolina Brunswick stew will satisfy! Southern food sometimes gets a bad reputation when folks haven’t had the opportunity to try the good stuff, so I hate that this dining experience wasn’t a pleasant one. If I find a good place in Vancouver, I’ll let you know! Until then, stick with the great Chinese and fresh seafood this side of the continent excels in!
BTW- Tell your boyfriend that real jambalaya should be an amazing stew-like dish full of spice, shrimp, okra and tomatoes! Those cats on Star Trek didn’t lie about it being awesome.
That is very nice to know. I would love it if you could steer me to a proper southern restaurant here in Vancouver!