Blue Water Cafe is Vancouver’s definitive destination for seafood, widely known for its excellence in celebrating the extraordinary flavours of BC. Consistently awarded “Best Seafood Restaurant” in Vancouver and recognized for its unparalleled service, an evening at Blue Water Cafe is truly an unforgettable experience.
4 of us dined here on a thursday night. The place is in a great location and is a beautiful restaurant. We had a warm welcome at the front door. The waiter was very knowledgeable about the menu and ingredients, top marks for him. Basically everything was excellent here.. Now for the most important part, the food.
Appetizer: I had the $33 BC Tasting for Two
dungeness crab salad, scallop ceviche, albacore tuna tartare, smoked sockeye salmon terrine - 16.50 per person (minimum for 2)
All 4 of the items were 'good' but not more then that, it seems like they held back in flavors.
Entree: I had the $33.50 Qualicum Bay Scallops
caramelized belgian endives, wild rice griddle cake, candied ginger and citrus sauce
Once again a 'good' dish, nothing more.
Dessert: I had the $12.50 Warm Dark Cuban Chocolate Cake
brandy truffle center, vanilla bean ice cream
Another 'good' dessert but not great. I am a chocolate lover and would never leave any leftovers but I didn't really care to finish this dessert.
Add a couple of drinks and for the 4 of us the meal comes to $373 before tip.
Overall everything was excellent here except for the food. The food was all 'good' but nothing more then that. Nothing popped in my mouth, nothing stood out. There were no amazing or memorable bites. All of the items were 'good' but at a high end restaurant with high prices I was expecting great/excellent. With the small portions and high prices I was expecting more.
I was there at a 'corporate event', at which my banker entertained a bunch of clients, and we had a private dining room next door to the main restaurant. This may account for the incredible service we got, but this is not to say that the service at the main restaurant is less good -- I simply don't know because I have not eaten there.
We had a multi-course dinner, and guests had choices for the courses. Suffice it to say that every dish was outstanding, and my fellow diners, including those who had different dishes from what I had, were similarly impressed. From the name of the restaurant, I thought they only specialized in seafood, but they had meat dishes as well, and those were equally outstanding.
I shall return for sure.
First time to Blue Water and overall experience was fantastic. The Chef came by the table to intro himself and had some recommendation which was a nice touch. Started with the crab cakes which were very good, also shared the seafood tower which was a nice mix of cold dishes and raw oysters, had the butter poached salmon with risotto which was excellent, for the main had the halibut which was good but a bit over cooked and a sampling of desserts which were very good. Overallt the food was great and the service was excellent. All dishes came at the same time and napkins folded every time someone left the table. The restaurant is a great place and sitting by the open kitchen was better than I thought as you get to see all the action. A bit on the expensive side at approx. $80 per person for food only, but worth it. Would return.
Two of us dined here on a weeknight and place was 80% full while other nearby spots were nearly empty. Sat near the sushi bar and started out with raw oysters which were great; good selection of west and east coast. Next went with sushi which is as good as it gets in Vancity (but New York prices; $5+ for one red tuna nigiri) but limited selection. The entrees were salmon which looked good, and shrimp cocktail appy which was kind of bland. dessert and a beer, wine and sake and the bill is $260 + tip. Overall a good meal and setting but way over my budget if it were not a business meal.
Blue water is definitely one of the best restaurants in Vancouver, and the quality of food here surpasses Coast’s by a long shot. The interior aesthetics may not be as pleasing or trendy as of Coast’s, but the food and service here is sublime!
Seafood Tower - $78 (6.25/7)
In the menu: two tiers with oysters, prawns, seared red tuna, smoked salmon jellyfish, scallops ceviche, clams and mussels
This impressive tower served as a delicious appetizer for the five of us! We personally love mussels and they were definitely big and juicy. The seared red tuna was excellent and reminded us of ahi tuna, the scallops were nice and plump, the salmon jellyfish was interesting but not a favorite, and the prawns were huge and delicious! The aesthetics of this dish was stunning and had many people turn their heads when it was placed on our table.
Toro Sashimi - $17.50 (6.75/7)
For those who don’t know, this basically translates to “Raw Tuna belly”. The tuna belly sashimi is more expensive than regular sashimi because of the high fat content of the fish, which makes it extremely tasty and soft. You only get approximately 7 full pieces of sashimi with this appetizer but it is definitely worth it as it is comparable to the sashimi in Japan! The fish is of extremely high quality and practically dissolves in your mouth!
Gianduja Hazelnut Chocolate Cheesecake - $11 (6.25/7)
This was excellent as it wasn’t too sweet and the cheese portion of the cake wasn’t too overpowering. The ratio of hazelnuts, chocolate, and cheese was absolutely perfect and was no doubt a first-class dessert. Even though blue water cafe is under the same group as Thierry, we could tell that the desserts here were of a higher level. The dessert was served with a scoop of what we believed to be hand made gelato, which was also delicious and refreshing!
Sablefish - $36.50 (6/7)
This dish was quite good but nothing too extraordinary. To be honest, we’re not really fish lovers so we can’t tell the difference between most fish unless it’s something common like tuna or salmon. This dish was prepared very intricately and the Japanese yuzu flavour really made the dish stand out!
Qualicum Bay Scallops - $33.50 (6.5/7)
These huge and plump scallops were served with a few caramelized greens, two wild rice griddle cakes, and a tangy citrus sauce that made the dish quite refreshing! The scallops themselves were pan seared to perfection and they were probably one of the best that we’ve ever had! However, we didn’t enjoy the wild rice griddle cakes as much as we thought we would. There was nothing wrong with them but they were simply not our taste!
Anyway, we had a great time at Blue Water and everything was excellent. The service was extremely professional (eg. when they came to take our dishes away, five staff members came all at once to clean our table in an instant) and there was an actual staff member who went around to refold our napkins whenever we left our seats! The food here is definitely top notch and could possibly serve Vancouver’s best seafood!
Service was good, we were greeted immediately as we entered, as soon as we sat down our waiter appeared! The vodka cocktail was weak though, did not enjoy my drink at all, kinda bland and too much ice! I really enjoyed the selections on the 2 tiers of seafood tower! The oysters were really good, jellyfish salad was okay, smoked salmon was average, scallops and mussels were good, shrimp was okay. I loved the plating and decor on the tiers! Not sure about my entree, had the Arctic Char, the mushrooms were way too salty to my liking, but I enjoyed the mini pearl pasta around the dish. The Beef Tenderloin was cooked well but nothing special, it came with a fresh baked macaroni and cheese with spinach, it was creamy and had a crunchy top. Dessert was good, cheesecake was light and sweet perfect to end the night, but I did not like the super sour mandarin in the cheese cake though, it was way off!! Yikes! Overall dinner was okay, guess after all the great reviews we expected more.
We were a group of 8 people who went to the restaurant for the DOV menu. The ambiance was really great. Very romantic atmosphere. Since the meal was $38 for the three course, it was a great value compared to the regular menu items. I ordered the Matane Shrimp Salad, Kurobota Pork and Apple Raisin Bread Pudding. The shrimp salad was okay. I didn't find it impressive as the other two appetizers. It was basically lettuce with shrimp, grapefruit and avocado. I didn't finish my salad and gave the rest of it to my friend. He was hungry enough to take my offer. Next item was the pork. It was really tender. The cornbread was a good texture to match the meat. The sauce went well with entree. The Hazelnut + Almond Meringue was a better choice than my Bread Pudding. I found my dessert to be average. It tasted okay, but the presentation for all of the food was amazing. Their regular menu is actually better than the DOV one. However, the price made it worth the visit. Service was fast. A number of people came by and cleared all our plates shortly after we were done with each course. I got the impression they were really trying to get us out before the 1.5 hr that was set for DOV customers. We were told before we were seated that only that much time was alloted unless we were eating off the regular menu. I guess they were trying very hard to maximize the number of people eating at the restaurant. If you haven't been to this restaurant before, it a good way to try their food. However, you should just eat off of the regular menu.
Hosted a supper here with 10 clients a couple of days ago. The crew at Blue Water do a great job of accomodating requests. We had a couple of seafood towers - shrimp, oysters, scallops in shell, all on ice. I had the beef tenderloin which was cooked to perfection. Everyone else loved their dish - white sturgeon was the other choice...
What is great about this restaurant is the ambiance and the service. The service is professional and attentive. The decor, with the exposed brick and the wall to wall wines makes quite an impression. The evening came to 180 dollars per person but was definitely worth it.
I think the only reason I tried this place was because of the gift certificate I won. WOW, was it ever good!
We ordered the lobster in cream sauce which was absolutely to die for! I was not impressed by the lack of selection on their beer menu, but this is the kind of restaurant where somewhat 'classier' drinks are to be ordered.
Serive was great & the ambiance was good.
The seafood options are unique and esthetically pleasing but not worth what they're asking. I have been there a couple of times in small and large groups and find the service inconsistent. The seafood tower is tasty but not great value. My last experience there was in the private room with clients - many of them grumbled about the service and mediocre food. If my customers aren't impressed, I never take them back.
Went here a couple of years ago with a group of four and the waitress was quite rude to us. We sat there for a loong time waiting for someone to come and clear our plates after we were done. When we complained the restaurant was very apologetic and offered us a bottle of wine. Sat on the patio which was nice, but it's hard to achieve a good sense of the ambiance this way.
I don't remember much else except that the food was average and not memorable.
I arrived about 45 min late for my DOV reservation due to parking difficulties/Canucks home game night, and my friend was made to feel comfortable by our waiter. Good start! SInce she was told by the hostess that there would be a 1.5 hour maximum for DOV diners.
The Tuna tataki starter with a ponzu and mayo dressing was lovely - quite generous in their portions too.
Arctic char was nicely cooked. Really loved the bed of belgua lentil, pearl onion and vanilla butter that accompanied the fish.
Key lime cheesecake was on the tart side, but the house made maple ice cream was a good counterbalance to the tart with its sweet, creaminess, heavenly!
Altogether a worthwhile and memorable DOV experience!
Our recent dinner here confirmed our thoughts of our dinner here a few years back...we can't understand all the hype about this restaurant.
We thought that perhaps we had gone on an off-night for our first dinner. Well, we were underwhelmed again. We did have very large selection of oysters to choose from, which we appreciated. My husband's short-rib entree was delicious, but far from show-stopping. I can't even remember what I had for my entree, just that all the diced root veg served with my meal were still raw. Uacceptable at a fine dining restaurant when the restaurant was only about half-full.
Our server was great, however another server ruined it a bit for us. He was chatting with another table, and he just wouldn't stop. He was loud and persisted on asking them so many questions it was making us feel uncomfortable!
Dessert of molten chocolate cake was delicious, but warm chocolate cake is hard to ruin...
I can't recommend this restaurant as there are quite a few restaurants out there serving better food with comparable ambiance and better value.
Contrary to the previous review, I had a solid to outstanding (using dinehere terminology) outing last night at Blue Water. First of all, the outstanding side of the visit. The service was as good as I’ve had for regular dinners and the room had a nice buzz last night as early as 6:30, no doubt due to Dine Out and some pre-Canuck people. Dine Out is a decent value but it still costs $60 per person for food, wine, tip/tax, and parking (at a $38 dollar joint) and there are enough restaurants where I can do that and order what I want, that DOV isn’t tops on my list of must dos. Food was what I expected. Well prepared but not extravagant. I thought the veloute was a nice, rich soup, with the salty pancetta and earthy truffle oil playing nicely against the white bean texture. The salad looked OK but nothing special there. The Artic Char was actually quite rich with the sauce, and the fish and vegetables were perfectly cooked. The Braised pork shoulder was tender (I only had to use a fork), and the jus and BBQ sauce had a nice kick to it. The vegetarian dish was a big hit, great saffron sauce and a well-built vegetable tian made it the surprise of the night. Desserts, however, were the low light. Cheesecake was sour, not key lime, and marshmallows did nothing for the dish. The meringue had average flavour, though the texture contrast was nice. They were also more than willing to sub in a dessert due to dietary restrictions. All in all, what I would expect from DOV at a restaurant of Blue Water’s pedigree. For $38 dollars (just slightly more than the price of an entrée on a regular night or less, in many cases), you can only expect so much and either you except that and enjoy or have unrealistic expectations and leave disappointed. They did a good enough job, in my opinion, to entice a patron back for the real thing, knowing there is still more to experience on the food side of things.
Went for a lunch with the department from a mid sized law firm. There were 15 of us for lunch. We were able to choose from a set menu of three appys, three entrees and two desserts.
We were given four seafood towers which were quite unbelievable. Everything was on ice and very fresh. Cooked mussels (plump), scallops and prawns (could have been a little less cooked). Raw oysters, two types of sushi (good but nothing spectacular as the rice was too stuck together). Jellyfish, smoked salmon and ahi tuna were outstanding. Oysters Rockefeller appy was ordered and I had one and it was tasty.
Appy was the dungeness crab and potato cake. It came with avocado and was very good. Flavours were really nice.
Entree was sablefish aka Alaskan Black Cod. Cooked to perfection on a small bed of mashed potatoes and pea sprouts (really amazing).
Dessert was chocolate cake with a dollop of ice cream. Cake was really rich and couldn't get through all of it. Would have been better if it wasn't a lava cake. It was served with caramel and a thin fortune like cookie. It didn't need the caramel as it was overdone to me. Sorbet looked like it was a much better choice.
Everything was beautifully served and service was excellent. Servers were professional, unobtrusive and extremely attentive. They took great care to give us excellent service.
Would definitely like to come back as it was probably one of the best higher end restaurants I have been to.
I have been eating at a lot of sushi places around Vancouver with guests from Europe. I was told that you had to try this place because there sushi was great. So I went there as soon as I walked in I knew where all the yuppies hang out. The service was very good the place is nice but no nicer than any earls or cactus club. We ordered the tuna sashimi, salmon sashimi, lobster roll, some sort of dynamite roll amongst other sushi.. One of the guess ordered a 12 ounce tenderloin ($65), I eat a lot of sushi and it is properly over prices by 50-70% of what it should be. It is good but no different than most average sushi places in Vancouver that charge even half as much. There prices for baked fish was very expensive. Even having a fish tower at $126. 5 out of the 6 people ate sushi and with the steak and 1 drink each the final bill was $270, with tip it was $310. We all left hungery and when down the road to the keg was a big piece of Billy Miner pie.
I would not return. I didn't think the sushi was great, and very overpriced. But if you like place full of narrow minded people in suites this may be the place for you.
I always look forward to this time of year because it's the 1 of the 2 times in the year that I visit Blue Water Cafe. To be frank I only visit twice a year because I'm not rich. If I need to spread my budget over the course of the year between other fine dining establishments and out of country food tours I would say twice a year will suffice.......
So we sat at chef Tabo-sans sushi bar. It helps that my mother knows him so getting served little tasters in between courses recommended by him made the experience much more delightful. Quiet and reserved it's amazing how slow Tabo-san moves with his knife but manages to keep up with tickets spitting out and keeping every dish consistent. I have to admit the sushi is good but overpriced.
What I love is the firsts and mains that Chef Pabst comes up with. Whether it's the ling cod, sablefish, halibut,
or live tank lobster they all seem to be perfect in every way. Everything from the sauce, center, and accompaniments it's all combined perfectly. I have never had a bad experience and the staff has always been great. I learned about eating raw oysters from one server, the kusshi is a great starter oyster, choose flavoring, grab the boot and slurp it up. The service at these prices is always the breaker for me. Going to restaurants that are "hoity toity" and "fine dining" and really expensive always bother me when the servers are snobby and make you feel uncomfortable. It's one thing when you go to eat a bowl of Pho for 8 bucks and get poor service, but spending 100 bucks and feeling uncomfortable because of the staff is another....... So it's always nice to have friendly staff at these types of establishments and Blue Water has friendly staff.
There's a reason why I go twice a year and I'll keep returning until Blue Water gives me reasons to do otherwise.
This is a review just about Blue Water's Raw Bar - not the general cafe part. In case you don't want to read the rest of this review, I'll sum it up for you: it was spectacular!
We arrived and sat outside in the patio. It is a gorgeous setting. Great ambiance outside (and inside too). The music is funky and not too loud. The flowers were in bloom. The decor is stylish, as is the plating.
The oyster menu is comprehensive, although they don't stock all the oysters on it. Tonight they had 6. We tried them all and they were all beautiful. Perfectly shucked. Brine still in shell. Red wine mignonette. Lemon. Freshly-grated horseradish.
The sockeye salmon sashimi was to die for. Vancouver does salmon like no other place I've ever been and sockeye is - at least when it comes to sashimi - the king of salmon.
The service was friendly, professional, knowledgeable and prompt. The Whistler-brewed pale ale was served in a hybrid baloon-tulip which was perfect and complemented the food.
It's not cheap, but for fresh seafood, you cannot do better.
This is short and sweet...Blue Water never lets me down. The service is always amazing and the food is incredible. Sat at the Sushi Bar last week and didn't want to leave. I have nothing negative to say about Blue Water and can only hope that other restaurants will rise to this level. I can see why they win so many awards and have such praise. I have sent many people here and when I can't think of anywhere to go, I end up back here!
So me and a few girlfriends went out to try this place. We had all been meaning to try out Blue Water for some time. Well let me tell you...WASTE OF MONEY! The room is pretty decent but a bit cavernous (The place is huge). As for the food, it was decent but not even close to being worth the money we paid. Oh, and the service is average at best. Our waiter was snooty and reeked of cigarette smoke. EW! With so many new restaurants out there that offer value I don't know why anyone would eat at a place like this. I musn't be alone in my thinking as the place was also pretty slow, with like 20 waiters/waitresses all standing around looking bored. I might try Blue Water again...but only if I won the lottery.