The Boathouse: English Bay

Every story starts with a reservation.

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So after a lovely evening thanks to Dine Out Vancouver at Catch 122, I went for my second Dine Out dinner at The Boathouse in English Bay with my family. Overlooking the gorgeous view of one of the greatest beaches in the world (personal bias), The Boathouse sits on prime real estate on Beach Ave. We opted for their $28 prix fixe dinner menu. They also offered a $38 menu.

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The Boathouse offers the majority of these dishes on their regular menu. However, during Dine Out, its a significantly more valuable deal! Originally, I wasn’t too keen on coming to such an ordinary restaurant like Boathouse but by the end of the meal, I was really glad to have!

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The English Bay location is on Beach at Denman. Its surrounded by an upscale-looking Milestones and a newly built Cactus. A renovation might be in order…

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We had a lovely table on the second floor. It wasn’t by the windows but the beach was pitch dark anyway so there wasn’t much to see. The table had already been set before we had arrived.

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The interior of the restaurant was rather confusing. The tables were very beautiful but the walls were quite colourful in a strange way. It was kind of random but it didn’t disturb my dining experience.

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This view of the restaurant interior is much nicer. I prefer this theme. The green and orange walls? I’m not so sure about.

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Our server brought us complimentary sourdough bread with garlic butter immediately after we placed our order. The bread was light and fluffy while the butter was nicely whipped. However the first basket was a disappointing room temperature but the second basket was fresh. I always find the second basket of bread is better than the first!

I ordered appetizer #3, Calamariwith tzatziki. It actually also came with sweet chili as well. I thought it was a very generous serving. Xinya ordered this as well and she said the creaminess of the tzatziki balances out the tanginess of the sweet chili. However I found both sauces lackluster.

The calamari was very tender yet perfectly crisped on the outside.

My mom ordered appetizer #1, Lobster Bisque. It was incomparable with the one I tried the previous night at Catch 122. Rather than watery and rundown, it was very creamy and thick. It was salty with a spicy kick, which I didn’t expect.

And a slice of sourdough bread topped with lobster. I liked both the appetizers equally. Neither were anything special, both were classics that were done very well. And sometimes thats what you’re in the mood for!

This is entree #1, 7 oz. Sirloin Steakwith peppercorn sauce. Xinya’s dad ordered this but I didn’t get to try any. It sure looks good though. I thought I’d upload it for anyone thats curious.

I had entree #3, Cedar Plank Samplersteelhead, wild salmon and pacific cod. I really enjoyed the presentation of this dish! It’s absolutely gorgeous. This was my preferred entree, between the two that my mother and I shared. The mixed wild rice and white rice was interesting but nothing special. The mango salsa was nothing like salsa (in terms of consistency) at all. It was dry and almost unappetizing. The broccolini was done well.

The wild salmon and steelhead were a tie for my favourite. I think the salmon takes first place. It was so perfect.

And then there was this… the Pacific cod tasted like airplane food. I couldn’t even bear to finish mine.

The steelhead was definitely a close second. It was so fresh. Compare it to the steelhead I had the previous night? See here.

My mom ordered entree #2, Lobster & Prawn Curry Bowlvegetables in green curry over jasmine rice. She liked this dish over mine but I found it too spicy. The flavours were not true to what green curry should taste like. It was just salty and spicy. Also, why cherry tomatos?

It came with 4 oz. lobster tail and a skewer of prawns. The lobster was quite good and the prawns were cooked absolutely perfectly. Tender, succulent prawns is usually hard to achieve!

For dessert, I went with dessert #2, Molten Chocolate Brownie, served warm with vanilla gelato, whipped cream & fresh strawberries. I did not get any fresh strawberries nor whipped cream! Bad Boathouse! To be honest with you, reader, I didn’t notice until now. If I had noticed when I received this, I would have spoken up. But in any case, the vanilla gelato was delicious, a perfect pairing with the freshly baked brownie. It was very sweet.

My mom went with dessert #1 (so we could try everything), Chocolate Mocha Mud Pie, with chocolate ganache, maple almonds & whipped cream. My mom got her whipped cream! I can only take sweet things in moderation and I found the ganache to be overwhelming for me. I also hate coffee, so the whole mocha theme wasn’t going too well with me. The maple almonds were delicious though! Both my mom and I preferred the brownie.

Xinya had originally ordered the mud pie but our server came over to let us know unfortunately, they had run out. Xinya could either go with the other dessert on the Dine Out menu or she could pick from their regular dessert menu. This is the kind of service I was looking for the night before at Catch 122. When two of their Dine Out dishes ran out before we were even seated, I expected some alternative choices. Instead, nothing. Props to The Boathouse for extending this extra customer service to us. Xinya chose New York Cheesecake ($7.99)wild berry compote & whipped cream. She really enjoyed it. I’m not a big fan of cheesecake so I didn’t try any.

Overall, despite my initial hesitations to come to an ordinary place like The Boathouse for Dine Out, I was really pleased we ended up having dinner here. The value was extraordinary. We paid around $35 each for so much food. The portions were very generous and the execution of each dish was more or less very well done. Good job, Boathouse!

Thanks for eating with me!

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One thought on “The Boathouse: English Bay

  1. Seasons in the Park – I ate Vancouver

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