When I visited: March 2018
Location: Vancouver (Yaletown)
Rating in the Michelin Guide: Not rated in the Guide
Team: Frank Pabst (Executive Chef), Jean-Pierre Sanchez (Pastry Chef), Masaki ‘Masa’ Kudo (Sushi Chef), Raimund Heuser (Chef de Cuisine), Stephen Cachard (Restaurant Director), Adrien Boutet (Restaurant Manager), William Mulholland (Wine Director), Luke McInnes (Bar Manager)
What to wear: Men – jeans or nice trousers and a shirt; women – jeans and a smart top or a smart dress / workwear
Course of the meal: Scallops
If I could change one thing: Friendlier staff at the door
I visited Blue Water Cafe having received a voucher for a meal there, although the staff on the door seemed a bit nonplussed by this. Straightaway, it was obvious that it was an extremely popular and busy restaurant with a big dining space and tons of food and drink options (including a sushi bar). During the evening, the tables were efficiently turned around but there were always good gaps between courses and we were actually told when there would be a break in service, which was appreciated.
We shared a carafe of Viognier blend white wine from British Colombia, a good choice to accompany the seafood. To start with, we shared a seafood platter on a tower – scallop ceviche with cilantro and crunchy balls, crab and prawn mini taco, albacore tuna tartare on seaweed crunchy rectangle, and salmon terrine with herbs. Our mains were sablefish with miso broth and vegetables (which triggered a conversation with the waitress about the sablefish at Kissa Tanto – she seemed interested in their rival) and scallops with wild rice griddlecakes and caramelised vegetables, which were basically perfect. We also shared sides of truffle fries and garlic and lemon spinach, which were good if a little oversized.
Our very friendly and effusive waitress helped choose dessert, and on her recommendation I went for the warm chocolate cake oozing in the middle with a toffee crunch shape and vanilla ice cream (which was good but not amazing); we also sampled the dulce de leche bread pudding with Bartlett pear and chocolate gelato. The waitress recommended not going for the financiers for our takeaway petits fours box (she said they were the most boring choice and that we would get some with our teas afterwards anyway) so we bought the box of chocolate rochers and pistachio and passionfruit macarons (to be fair we had a long journey to get through the next day). The financiers were flavoured with maple almonds, and I actually disagreed and thought they were better than the stuff in the box.
Blue Water Cafe was one of the most fun dining experiences I had on my Canadian trip and I would definitely go back there if I got the chance.