21 January 2012

Water St. Café (Gastown)

Water St. Cafe on Urbanspoon

An interesting piece of décor that fits the weather outside
It's that time of the year again - the 2012 Dine Out Vancouver event. It has became something that we tend to do every year. The event itself was good in the sense that we were more open to trying places we would typically hesitant to try. Usually, price would be the factor of it.

This year, Greeny and I started out our 1st Dine Out at the "Water St. Café" along with Lun and Yogi. Never heard of it? Perhaps you have passed by it so many times without realizing. Located right across from the Gastown Steam Clock, the restaurant has been there for more than 20 years! The interior was mostly black tone with quite a bit of historical feel to it. Given it was the 1st day of Dine Out Vancouver, it was a pretty busy night for sure.
I never knew the place has a second floor to it until we sat nearby the staircase. The location definitely gave it an advantage on the view of steam clock. No more waiting in the cold just to wait for the steam clock action. If you're lucky, the steam clock is just right in front of you. I bet the view in the morning would be even better.

Complimentary Bread - n/a
Right after we placed our order, the complimentary bread followed quite quickly. The texture was quite dense and seemed to be sourdough based. It was served cold rather than warm - which would have been nice for a cold and rainy night.

Fanny Bay Oysters - 4.5/6
There were three pieces of oysters across a lean and long plate. The cream itself was very flavourful and seemed to go well with the bread. The oysters were small to medium size - it was a bit fishy so probably not for people who dislike "the taste of ocean". The sundried tomato was surprisingly not overly salty at all, but I thought it could have a bit more flavour to it.

Sunshine Coast Seafood and Corn Chowder - 5/6
Given it was a fairly wet and cold day, I thought a bowl of soup should help to warm me up. The chowder was loaded with vegetables and seafood - definitely a plus. Having said that, the bowl (or shall I say the "plate") was quite shallow so there wasn't too much of it. Perhaps I should put it this way - I really enjoy it that I wish there could be more.

Potato Gnocchi - 3.5/6
Our server recommended this for people who are looking for a fulfilling entrée. It was definitely very filling. The sage sauce with butternut squash and prosciutto gave it a savoury and full volume taste. Probably because of the prosciutto - it was a bit salty as well. What I didn't like so much was the gnocchi - it felt overcooked to the point that it was quite mushy. It took away the texture it should have had, which was quite a pity.

Duck Confit - 5/6
The balsamic glaze put some sweetness to the confit. Adding on the pineapple, it helped to take away the greasiness from confit itself - leaving a memorable after taste. The garlic mashed potato was nicely flavoured. I thought the flavour was fine but Greeny thought it was a bit blend. Also, the part near the bone was a bit drier than expected.

Tiramisu - 2.5/6
Hum… this… I was a bit disappointed. The tiramisu was a bit too creamy but not enough flavour coming out from the mascarpone cheese. The coffee liquor was also a bit overwhelming - it overshadowed the aroma supposedly should come from the espresso. One of the layer seemed to be spread with dark chocolate - but it wasn't an enjoyable addition. I didn't like it so much but Greeny was happy with it.

New York Style Baked Cheesecake - 4.5/6
Tonight's cheesecake was baked with a layer of cream cheese on the top and coffee-flavoured cheesecake as main - graham crackers crust at the bottom. It has a very distinct taste where I thought the layers complimented each other. I couldn't stop eating it and it was so very filling. The only thing that I didn't enjoy was the last couple bites. It seemed like the crust at the end was a bit burnt or something. The taste was a bit out of place.

Overall - I thought the food and its execution were quite solid. Although I wasn't very pleased with the tiramisu, it didn't take away the experience we have. It's a place I would go back again if I'm around there and looking for food. Come to think of it, it's probably a pretty good place to have brunch on a bright sunny summer day. =)
Out of the Dine Out menu ($28), I was having hard time deciding what to order. And that's the beauty of dining out with people I'm close with - I got to share food and try out different things.

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