C and I did not plan to go The Boathouse this year for dine out. His friends invited us to come out for dinner to catch up and we gladly went for the company.
Given that it was a Saturday night and Dine Out was happening, the parking lot of the restaurant was full. We ended up parking along a side road. The restaurant itself was indeed packed. There seemed to be a special celebration with a huge party as it took up 2 long tables. It was definitely a busy night as you see servers and waitresses zooming in and out. (C: I don’t think I’ve ever seen this Boathouse so packed!)
From the Dine Out Website, the restaurant serves the $28 menu. When we got there, we were pleasantly surprised to see Boathouse serves two different menu! It is nice for everyone to pick a different set of menu to their taste and to budget.
C and I both opted for the $28 menu. We are trying to be more money-conscious especially we would be going to Chambar the next day. I am not a seafood fan so I avoided most of the seafood items. (C: Dineout is also synonymous for breaking the bank! Boathouse is also not really Q’s forte has seafood is something that she’s not fond of at all)
We were given warm, crusty bread to start off. I love the generous portion of bread! It was enough for everyone to almost have a 2nd piece. We were also given garlic butter which is a plus for me! GARLIC AND BUTTER! YAY!
(C: Glad to see that they started off right with some soft doughy bread!)
I had the Ceasar salad and it was a typical one. The croutons tasted like they were made in house with load of garlic butter. There were 3 slices of Parmesan cheese shaved on top of the salad which I wish they were shredded and more evenly distribute onto my salad. Toward the end of my salad, it was unfortunately that I found a hair sticking on my plate. The waitress was informed and she took the salad off my bill ($5 off).
C had the Seafood Chowder. From what I could see, plenty of seafood in it! That’s a good sign. Didn’t hear any complains from him about this dish. (C: Pretty decent chowder. Nothing amazing, but at the same time nothing terrible)
2 others had the Lobster Bisque. We were so engaged in conversation that we kept on talking and forgot to ask how that taste for them! Sorry!
The 2 fish entrees did not entice me with their description. I automatically picked the safe choice: sirloin! C on the other hand went for the Blackened BC steelhead. With our party, 2 people ordered the Sirloin with Lobster Thermidor, 2 sirloin and 1 cod.
When ordered the steelhead, C was informed that it might be running out and salmon would be the replacement. It is 7pm and I am thinking…already running out of one of the entrees? Fortunately, it did not have to come to that. The steelhead was very delicious and refreshing with the mango salsa! It was quite a good combination as the sweetness balanced with the blackened butter rum fish. I polished off the dish for C! Poor guy, he only ate a quarter of it as well. The portion of the fish was generous and worth the value.
(C: I’m glad they still had the steelhead, because it was really quite good! Tender and flavourful! Definitely hit the spot. Good enough that Q tried it and kept the rest… which is a shocker as she’s normally adverse to seafood! The sides were pretty mediocre though).
The sirloins….mixed reviews. Of the 5 sirloins orders, 3 ppl wanted it rare and myself and another fellow wanted medium-rare. The 3 people were happy with their rare and I was not happy to see mine rare. It was a little too bloody for my liking. I am so glad C is always so accommodating and willing to switch with me. He quite enjoyed the steak as rare is his preference. (C: The steak wasn’t amazing, but it was good. It was tender and fairly rare – there were some consistency issues though as all three steak orders were supposed to be medium rare and two of the three came out rare. Not a huge deal though, as we all enjoyed the steaks!)
My friends who paid extra to get the sirloins with lobster were slightly disappointed. They were expecting more like surf and turf – steak with lobster tail. Otherwise not too bad but I will mention other mishap about the steak in the service section down below. (C: Have to say, the surf and turf was kinda sad; they got some lobster on their steak, but it sure didn’t live up to expectations!)
For dessert, there was Mocha Mud Pie or Gingerbread creme brulee to choose from.
Gingerbread creme brulee had a strong ginger taste to it for sure. I loved the crispy top and the creme itself was very smooth. It is not spectacular. I have a suspicious feeling the gingerbread syrup or ingredient was leftover from Christmas. Maybe I just naturally think of the worse. The caramel and the whipped cream garnish on the side were definitely store brought stuff. (C: I liked it, although it was a bit strange to have gingerbread themed meals after Christmas).
THE MOCHA MUD PIE!!!! I have never see a white mud pie before; I always thought mud pie is made with chocolate ice cream hence mud. Despite the colour, it was very tasty with the mocha chocolate bites inside the cake. The portion was much bigger than the creme brulee. Again, I asked C to switch with me. I finished the slice all by myself and my stomach was at maximum capacity after that. This definitely was the better dessert. (C: She loooooved the mud pie! I was expecting more of a chocolate-type cake, but Q liked it which is great!)
Hm…the service wasn’t bad but it was the little things that I was not satisfy about. Please do take it with a grain of salt as I feel Dine-out does not reflect how restaurants are normally run.
The kitchen was busy and behind. The waitress had to apologize for waiting a long time in between courses. I didn’t mind that too much since we had good company and I appreciate her honesty. For one of the two ppl who ordered sirloin with lobster thermidor, it came as the normal sirloin order. When it got clarified, the same plate came back but with a very small amount of lobster thermidor on it. When my friend asked the waitress for more sauce, the waitress did not understand. My friend gave up and just asked for any sauce like a mustard or the peppercorn sauce for steak. It would’ve been nice if the restaurant at least changed the plate…In the beginning, the waitress joked that steak knives were hard to come by that night. We later knew what she meant. As soon as someone finished their steak, someone would IMMEDIATELY take away the utensils and plate. She really did meant it when she said they needed steak knives fast.
Enough with the minor ticks…despite it being so busy, our water was never empty and the waitress did come by often to ask how was everything. The poor girl did try really hard. When we left by 9pm ish, walking past the kitchen outside to our car, the cooks gathered around to smoke and was relieved dinner service was over. I am sure they are not used to this high volume of people.
I don’t think it is fair to judge any restaurant during the dine out event as it is not a true reflection of their service and food. Overall, my experience at The Boathouse in Richmond was neutral. Since I am not a big seafood person, The Boathouse is not a restaurant I would go to in the first place. For $28, it was good value and decent quality. Not bad to start off Dine Out 2014. (C: Overall, pretty decent Dineout!)