It was another Let’s Go For Dinner event for us. We wanted to go to Downtown again and so we picked a restaurant that was within walking distance from the Canada Line station/Pacific Centre. This time we chose Coast Restaurant.
We made reservations for 5:45pm so it wasn’t that busy as it was quite early for dinner. I quite like the decor of the restaurant, quite simple and not overly eager to be trendy. We especially appreciated the adequate lighting so we didn’t need to get our phones out to see the menu, not that that really would’ve been a problem anyways since the menu was HUGE, it was almost like a poster.
But it won’t be a Downtown Glowbal group restaurant without something kitschy in it. I think the lighted liquor tower takes care of that. It was quite funny though, as there was a shorter bartender there and he could barely reach the second liquor tier. I was expecting him to flick the bottle onto the floor. They should probably provide him with a stool/step ladder of some kind. How can he reach the Grey Goose on top???
Anyways, on to the food. But first, regarding their wait times…
It was long. I know it’s a pseudo-fine-dining type of restaurant but still, it was more than we expected, due to the fact that it was quite an early dinner so they really aren’t that busy at that time. It took 20 minutes from ordering to get our appetizer, then another 30 minutes after we finished our appetizer to get our entrees, but there’s more, stay tuned.
For starters we chose the Buttermilk Batter Calamari with smoked garlic aioli ($13). It is one of their signature dishes and according to their website, was mentioned in the Georgia Straight as Food of the Week. So I had high expectations of it.
Well, maybe I don’t have refined tastes or maybe up until now in my life I’ve never had good calamari, but this was not good. I won’t say it’s bad outright but it’s pretty close.
First of all, I thought that the batter was too sour, but it IS buttermilk so maybe that’s the reason, but it was mushy. I like my squid with a bit more texture but this was like biting into a sponge. The aioli did not add much to it. Needless to say I was disappointed with this.
I guess one good thing was that it was chucks of meat instead of the usual baby calamari type.
Then there were the entrees. This part of the meal was when our dissatisfaction with the service began. I ordered the BC Cod ($25) and Boyfriend ordered the “Daily Special” version of the Sable Fish($32). First of all, when the entrees came, the waitress got my order wrong and gave both of us the Sable Fish (one DS and one regular version). When she was putting my plate down saying “Sable Fish” I thought it was the DS version so I pointed to Boyfriend, at which point she started getting confused as she had 2 versions of the fish in her hands. Then she proceeded to ask what I ordered, so I told her, and Boyfriend chimed in that he heard me order the cod also. It wasn’t loud in the restaurant (there wasn’t loud music blasting or anything), and if the person who was sitting across from me could hear me, I would assume the waitress who was basically on top of me can hear me fine.
Mind you, she was apologetic, and went to clear that up. Then she informed us that it’ll just be a moment.
It took another 20 minutes. The kicker was that she did not proceed to offer us any compensation for the screwup and the extra wait without us talking to the manager.
But service aside, the food was pretty good, but as usual does not warrant the price-tag (as Sherman puts it this would be a Filet-O-Fish dinner). The cod was simply grilled to a semi-crispy outside and moist inside. The simple side dish complimented it very well but left me wanting more. It was good in that there were some pretty big pieces of lobster in it, but the taste of the side was a bit sourish and weird. I liked the dish but again, it was small.
And this was Boyfriend’s special Sable Fish. The only difference is the side, which was a tomato risotto with arugula and a puree of some sort. Honestly, we both decided it wasn’t worth the extra $3 as my side was better. He liked the fish though, but then it’s sable fish, pretty hard to mess up that one.
If it’s not obviously already, this is not one of those places we’ll be aching to go back to. We’d much prefer Fish House as it’s similar in pricing for bigger portions of the same quality.
You like the Fish House??? Wow, have we ever had different experiences there. When I went the service was excellent but the food was literally barely edible and three people at my table had to send their entrees back (we are not a fussy group, by and large).
It sure seems pricey for what you get.
Not the kind of restaurant I usually frequent anyways, unless it’s free.
LOL… Thanks for the Filet-O-Fish reference! Did u go get one afterwards??? That risotto doesn’t look too good. A bit watery? A “fine-dining” establishment should instantly rectify errors or compensate immediately. Otherwise, why pay the money to go there? Thanks for the writeup Wendy!
And I thought I was being overcritical of Coast when I went there for lunch! I guess this confirms the overall thought of this place: an all show restaurant…
I hated the service at Coast too. I thought our food was okay, nothing special, but the wait was horrendous. I’d only go back if the meal was free.
Blue Water is consistently good. And I didn’t even mind Monk McQueen’s. And of course, Sandbar is one of my favourites.