Remember my previous post about the Taste of Yaletown 2009? Well, we decided to spend a night out with another couple to see what this was really all about. You hear mixed reviews about Taste of Yaletown menus. People say that restaurants cheap out because they are “losing money” on their tasting menus. We’ll have to see about that. Let’s get started with our review, shall we?
Hamilton Street Grill is known as a steakhouse with comfort food and a tapas menu as well. Keep that mine while you read my review. They had a $25 or $35, 3-course tasting menu.
We had a 7:30pm reservation. By the time we found parking and got to the restaurant, we had to wait at least another 30 minutes. Why the delay? Our hostess was told to tell us it “was due to the rain”. Umm…okay? So the rain causes delays? Possibly…
A nice touch was the staff taking our jackets, and offering us some canapes while we waited for a table. Even better, was the manager on the floor bought my wife and I a couple drinks for the delay. Everything is looking great so far.
We sit down, and we order. Server is friendly but seems the restaurant is understaffed with a big birthday table of 45 off to the side. Bread comes, and our drinks as well.
Here comes the first courses…
Left: Sunshine Coast mussels, tomato broth, Berkshire Chorizo sausage
Right: Tomato and Bocconcini salad with organic greens and balsamic reduction
There was a good started sized serving of the mussels. Tasted pretty good. My wife’s salad was good, but the portion was way too big for a starter, plus too much dressing.
Left: Certified Angus Beef New York Striploin, bacon and green onion mashed, red wine shallot semi glace
Right: Pan seared Vancouver Island scallops, corn and scallion risotto, lemon herb pan sauce
My wife’s scallops were only seared on ONE side. Also, they were RAW in the middle, extremely underdone. She ended up eating them and we did not send them back. The restaurant was very busy.
Here’s where it gets interesting. I asked for my steak medium-rare, but it arrives rare. I’m talking it looks pretty much raw and blue to me. So unfortunately I had to send it back. They just re-fired my steak and the original taste was ruined. It came back charred on the outside. Not good. My friend’s steak was also way too rare and sent back too. For a steakhouse to not properly cook a steak is very, very disappointing!
Left: Belgian Chocolate Mouse
Right: Vanilla bean crème brûlée
So after our disappointing mains, dessert would be better, right? My chocolate mouse was very good and tasty! A rich flavour, so it was a nice way to end the night. My wife’s creme brulee was equally as flavorful, but the caramelized sugar crust was too thick, and resulted in a bitter, tough shell. Look at the parts of raw sugar that were “missed” during the caramelizing part.
Hamilton Street Grill had some good ambiance, but tonight it seemed like they were much understaffed. We had one of the chefs seat us at our table, and the bartender and hostess both served our meals. This isn’t a bad thing, but when you see people running around like they have their heads cut off, that’s not a good thing.
Just a note that our bill had an error as the server charged us for the two drinks that were supposed to be complimentary. She did quickly fix the bill. Maybe we came on a busy night, but we definitely will not be returning during the next time around for Taste of Yaletown.
What I Liked:
– offered canapes while waiting for a table; bought us drinks as reservation was 30 mins late
– dessert was tasty
What I Didn’t Like
– steak was undercooked; refired instead of cooking a new one
– scallops were a bit raw
– restaurant understaffed; people running around; had a hard time tracking down our waitress