I have eaten at this establishment a couple of times and the smorgasbord is pretty good. However, I am bewildered by the attitude towards customers. Once I was told I could not take a desert square home with me. Today, I heard that a customer was told by staff to clean up the mess their child [in a highchair] had dropped on the floor! Excuse me??? For clarification, the diners are NOT hired help and should NEVER even be admonished for the mess their children make and especially when it's done by someone under four years old. The diners are paying customers and part of the price they pay is for tidying up the table and the floor! Sheesh! I hope the customer takes up a petition against this place and writes the Chronicle too!
Hunger is a great sauce, but not even hunger could combat the poor taste Dragon City will leave in your mouth!!
I am not big review writer, and confess that unless its exceptionally fantastic or horrendous I generally don't contribute, however the experience at this establishment was so bad I feel it would be a public disservice not to take the time to review.
Not generally being of negative persuasion I will start with the only positive comment I can give on on this establishment, and that is the server was great! Clearly this was a testament of her own personal ethics,and not promoted by her workplace. She was clearly embarrassed at the lack of standards and constant customer service insults with which she was shackled with being the bearer of. Having a personal long history of working in both positive and negative food and beverage service industries, commended her on all of her efforts.
So lets start with the food....VILE , absolutely, the very WORST food I have ever been served. Three of us were dining, one chicken curry, one chicken balls and one beef chow mien.
I had the chicken balls, which arrived as a plate of batter containing a ratio of about 4%chicken to 96% batter (actual assessment, not exaggeration for effect), in an attempt to mask the grease balls I attempted to dip into the accompanying "sweet and sour" sauce which couldn't begin to compete with the grease. I can't recall the exact price, however when ordering as it had been ~$10 I had only considered as in my ignorance I figured it might actually contain some chicken.
The chow mien was a plate of salted mush, that may have potential in de-frosting winter road surfaces, but as a food source for human consumption, you are joking right?.
The chicken curry...where should I begin! First off, my cousin who was ordering is admittedly a picky eater, and as such requested it without veg, the server having placed order to kitchen was sent back to inform us that as we were having no veg it would cost more, $18 to be exact. This seemed a bit odd, as we weren't requesting extra chicken (in which case understandable)which we explained,cue our servers return to kitchen to verify and embarrassingly being sent back to tell us as it was being changed the increased price of $18 remained. As it was one of the few things on the menu my picky accompanying diner likes to eat we proceeded. What arrived on the plate was shameful! The only word that can be used to describe it is inedible! Watered curry sauce and chicken scrapings.
Now remember, we were hungry hunters, so we tried to choke down a few bites using the rancid tasting water to attempt to cleanse the slime from our alimentary canals, however after a few attempts the consensus was reached that McDonalds was looking good. So with all 3 plates almost full, our server politely squirmed to avoid the "was everything ok?" and cringed as she asked the inevitable "would we like it to go?" We politely declined and referenced its poor taste, to which,with the proprietor sitting by the pay-station, we were promptly issued a bill of over $60 (prior to tip).
Now lets move on to the atmosphere. We have to accept partial responsibility here, as on a weeknight when entering a quiet local business an hour and a half before their closing time and asking if we could get a table (where only 2 others were occupied) and it feeling like an inconvenience we really should have reconsidered and gone elsewhere. However the pantomime that followed was nothing short of shocking! Now don't get me wrong the mediocre decor, and low budget diner style table/seating and generic lighting had us under no illusion that we were in for a high end experience (but it was cold out, we were hungry, we were happy to take it as it was). Sure, I recall my serving days when the end is in sight and any measure to get out the door on time is actively pursued but instruction from the top to begin the vacuuming as a server places food in front of 1 of only 2 groups of paying customer with over an hour left to close is something that should be reserved for a slap-stick comedy who's purpose is to be "a dummies guide of how NOT to food service" or an ironic take on promoting food hygiene!
A recent new resident to Ladysmith I find it such a shame that in a beautiful community, where supporting local businesses is a core fundamental value to so many that a business like this exists on a highway that so many use. For those who are passing through, know that this is NOT what Ladysmith is about! In my personal search to find honest reviews on local businesses in the area I have not found a huge number of review in my regular searches of Urbanspoon, Yelp, Google Review, Dine Here, so I endeavour to start updating (shorter!) accounts as I check out the area. For now my best advise re Dragon City is keep going!
I VISITED THE GRYPHON'S LAIR ON TWO CONSECUTIVE SUNDAYS FOR THEIR BUFFET THAT BEGINS AT 10 A.M. AND CONTINUES UNTIL 2 P.M. THAT'S A LOT OF TIME FOR FUELING UP. I AM VISITING NANAIMO FROM WINNIPEG. THE BREAKFAST ITEMS ARE TOO NUMEROUS LIST ALL BUT THE SAUSAGES, BACON, WAFFLES AND FRESHLY MADE OMLETTE WITH YOUR CHOICE OF ITEMS WERE ALL DELICIOUS. ONE SUNDAY THERE WAS RIBS, THEN PULLED PORK, SIMMERING STEAK, LASAGNE, OR A SEA FOOD LASAGNE, ROASTED MAC & CHEESE, A VARIETY OF SALADS, FRESH SHRIMP, PICKLES, ONIONS, GERHKINS, OLIVES, FRESH BREAD. BOTH SUNDAYS HAD DIFFERENT SALADS, LIKE CAESAR, COLE SLAW, GREEN SALAD, NOT ALL AT ONE TIME BUT THEY CHANGE UP THE ITEMS EACH SUNDAY.
OUR COFFEE CUPS WERE NEVER CLOSE TO EMPTY, NOR THE EMPTY PLATES SITTING ON THE TABLE TOO LONG.
THE OMLETTES WERE DELIVERED HOT TO OUR TABLE! WHO COULD ASK FOR ANYTHING MORE?
WE THOROUGHLY ENJOYED THE GENTLEMAN PLAYING THE MUSIC! HE HAD TWO KEY BOARDS, COULD PLAY A VARIETY OF TUNES FROM OVER THE YEARS, SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE, NOT TO MENTION IF YOU HAD A REQUEST HE WOULD TINKLE THE IVORIES TO PLEASE EVERYONE.
WAS IT GOOD? IT WAS GREAT! WHAT AN ENJOYABLE SUNDAY OUTING. TRY IT WE KNOW YOU WILL LIKE IT. THE PRICE CANNOT BE BEATEN FOR THE CHOICES AND QUALITY OF SERVICE GIVEN.
This place does food so well. From the Guinness stew to the first rate Sunday brunch! Wow! If you love food and care about how you are treated - you will be so glad to try this place. This is my second review only - ever- this place is so good and the staff cares about what they do, I had to write. The flowers are stunning here, the outdoor patio is just lovely, inside you have comfordable booths and the atmosphere is so welcoming you will see what I mean. The best steaks, great veggies, fine quality service. I can't say enough good things about this place - the Chef is so very talented, he is such a great asset to Gryphon's Lair. You will love this place! It is easy to find, easy to park and easy to love.
I'm over fifty and have eaten in restaurants all over the world. This is absolutely, positively, the very WORST food I have ever been served. Won ton soup with broth so tasteless it can only be called damaged water; in which float a very few slimy (and I do mean SLIMY) flourly things with a bit of very odd, stale tasting mystery meat stuffing. Nauseating, unedible. Response to complaint was that was how its supposed to me and I am an uninformed consumer. I have eaten GOOD won ton soup frequently, I know the difference. Perhaps this has been sitting in the buffet for too many days (years?). Ladysmith does have a passible chinese restaurant - the Wigwam. Bypass Dragon City and go there - I'll be doing that in future!
The delivery guy was, however, very pleasant and very prompt - he gets a gold star. Hopefully he will find a restaurant to work at that will keep him busy, this one probably won't.
I had my Rehersal dinner there in 2006 and it was absolutely HORRIBLE!! They didn't reserve our table, so it was a scramble to get the tables together. Then they didn't have enough staff on that night, so we had to wait 1.5 hours for SOME of our food. This was the night before my wedding! omg. After 2 hours of no food, or any complimentary appies (for the wait- we had elderly guests at our table) we ended up leaving and having a hotdog roast where the majority of us were staying.
Needless to say, the marriage didn't work out! lol - but what an awful dining experience! It's a beautiful location! I just hope that there is a new and more organized management involved.
I cannot tell you how badly these people need an intervention. The truth hurts. This restaurant faces a highway on one side, a parking lot on the other, and an outdoor patio on the other. Our server seemed to want to sit us overlooking the highway. I suggested a seat by the outdoor patio as the cherry trees are in full bloom and i am a sucker for a beautiful patio. It just went south from there. Shame on you for having dead yellow tulips at every table. Your staff member, Jefferey was loud, awkward and in our personal space straight through our meal. He didn' t know the menu and though he tried, he is not meant to be a server. We had time to enjoy the view of the cherry trees but that was short lived. Your patio has such potential. Why would you not remove last years wasp traps hanging from the cherry trees????? Now thanks to the weather, these see through traps, complete with festering dead wasp bodies dance in the wind on the boughs of your trees for all to see. Seriously?.... Our meals arrived, Halibut and Chips for my friend and Roast Beef Dip for me. The Halibut had a weird pancake type batter on it... but the meat was moist and lovely inside. My sandwich was not what i had ordered. Once my order for a Roast Beef Dip (?) was taken again, our server explained that the kitchen didn't know what the menu items were. Once my lunch arrived, my companion had finished his meal. My sandwich was a mess of white bun, dripping and soggy with grey boiled roast beef and an au jus that was watered down gravy. Horrible horrible horrible. I urge you to take stock before you fall the way of the Dodo bird. You must care enough to make changes to your restaurant. It is unforgivable that you would present yourself the way you did today. You have a challenging location, but the restaurant is a nice building and there are so many people who take pride in their work, many of them hardworking and unemployed.... just find them. good luck, you'll need it
Please don't judge until to read the whole story...as it gets better...I assure you! Whenever I visit a restaurant, I like to meet the chef cooking my meals, and never hesitate to ask the server if the chef is available for a quick discussion! Several months ago, my friend and I had stopped for dinner on one of our outings, and had a real mediocre experience with a supposed chef Neal, who assured me during our conversation that I'd be blown away by his creations! I even let him select a chefs choice, roast beef dinner, and trusted his taste as he was very convincing....but my taste buds had to dis-agree. I was not impressed at all, and believe that dishwashing was probably the best position for the supposed chef Neal. The service was also lacking, as our server began a lengthy discussion about how many hours she works, and how her poor child is stuck at home as she dedicates so many hours to working...child services anyone? Anyways, another friend of mine, mentioned how they had been to the Gryphon's Lair just weeks ago, and couldn't believe how amazing her meal was. I was shocked and filled her in on my experience. She convinced me to give it another try, as she had heard that the dishwasher chef Neal had finally been replaced....SOOOO...glad I did! The new chef Scott Bland...hope I spelled that right, was extremely personable, and promised much of the same that dishwasher Neal had, but Chef Scott blew us out of the water! I tried to stay safe by ordering the Halibut & chips platter, (WOW...to DIE for!!), while my friend ordered a roast beef dinner like I had on my previous visit. I was dumb-founded by the freshness of the halibut, and home cut fries, the best I've ever had by far, not to mention the roast beef simply fell apart, was loaded with flavour, and the vegetables were not over cooked and mushy! Our waitress, who's name I will probably also mess up ( Bronsan?), was outstanding, fast and friendly! I was blown away, simply put! I'm sure I feel the same way, and know for sure that the negative reviews won't be posted while chef Scott is working his magic! Ask for Chef Scott...you will be blown away!
My wife and I were very excited to visit this place after seeing all the hard work they did all summer fixing it up.. Unfortunately were were both very dissappointed and niether of us could finish our meal...
I had the pulled pork sandwich, which was a soggy mess, which had to be eaten with a knife and fork. so I wouldn't wear it.. The sauce on the meat tasted like something out of a can or bottle and wasn't good at all..
My wife had the Ravioli, which sounded very good on the menu, but again the sauce tasted like it was out of a can, just like the 1/2 inch of Parmasean Cheese that you buy at the store in the green can that was poured on top...
This could be a great place, but the menu and value needs to be looked at in detail... Hopefully they don't end up like the last restaurant that was there..
First time visiting Gryphon's Lair. It was a great experience. The food was excellent. The RAVIOLI was delicious. My mom had the Mushroom Pot Pie, and enjoyed it very much. The service was great, Stephanie was the best! The menu had a wide variety of items, including a British Fare. It's good to see a nice restaurant in this area. They're quite busy, so make sure you make a reservation!
Read a few reviews before stopping here and couldn't believe they were speaking of the same place. The food was incredible. My husband and i love eating out. We started with a mixed drink - Caesar and a beer ( 2 drinks under 10.00 total).
I like doing appetizers for meals so went that route. Baked Crab and Spinach Dip i couldn't get enough of but had to slow down to fit in the Guiness soup which was awesome with quite a unique taste. My husband and i shared the Roasted Garlic and Three Cheese Toast-u don't get this flavourd toast in your everyday diner. Everything looked good but i ended up with the wee sliders...each bite an experiece. My favourite the pulled pork. My better half went for the fish and chips and he though it better then most he tried in BC. Coming from the east coast that is saying a lot. My compliments to the chef - the meal was beyond my expectations and reasonably priced. The service was good, the atmosphere ever better and our doggy bags weren't frowned upon. We thoughly enjoyed our meal and definitely will return for more. I hope to try the ribs especially.
My guess with other reviews would be they have no taste buds!!!
Stopped in for a beer and appy to check out the new place. It was a quick stop.
The recommended beer on tap ("better than all the rest we have on tap") was very not all that good, but that's our taste. The music was awful, awful, awful and LOUD. Music can tame the wild beast, but it can create one too! And by the end of the visit I was in a rush to leave - mostly due to the music (and the fly that wouldn't leave our table alone).
We ordered dry garlic ribs and chicken wings (asian ginger). It was just disappointing. The wings were too hot to eat - I know, don't complain about hot food, but I couldn't even pick them up. Otherwise, once they finally cooled they were ok. The dry garlic ribs were full sized ribs cut into 4 sections of two bones per section. They weren't dry, they were more like what you'd do for dinner AND they were full of bone fragments. At $11.99 ~ hmmm. Also, two finger food dishes and only one finger bowl with one lemon - I'll share lots of my hubby's things, but not his greasy finger washing bowl !!
So, sadly we won't likely go back. But service was good & our booth was clean; the menu LOOKED good, &the prices were good - but then that all depends on what you actually get...
My mom and sister and I went for lunch today. My mom ordered tea which came with a teabag in a mug, no teapot, we saw teapots at other tables...
I had Ravioli Arrabiata, excellent, spinach and mozzarella stuffed pasta with a chunky spicy tomato sauce, caramelized onions and lots of roasted garlic. One of the best pasta dishes I have had. Sister had Fish (cod) and Chips, light crispy batter and perfectly moist flaky fish, and hot, crisp chips. Mom had Pub Lunch, a generous portion, bread, ham, roast beef, pork, three cheeses, Scotch egg and Barnston pickle (mixed pickled vegetables, spices and brown sauce). B. Pickle was the only condiment. No butter, no mayo, no horseradish, no dijon.
Service a little slow getting back to us likely because ot the table of 16 who entered the restaurant just before we did. However, I highly recommend it and we will be back.
Gryphon's Lair has opened in what once was the Omega Restaurant (after 14 years of being closed).
We live close by and have been anticipating this opening for awhile.
Finally we managed to go for dinner last night. I highly recommend reservations. Even though the place is really big, it's also really busy!
The very tasteful decor and outdoor patio were pleasing. However, it somehow didn't 'match' the English Pub fare menu. Not really a complaint, just an observation.
The menu includes British favourites such as Shepherd's Pie, Fish & Chips and Bangers and Mash.
I ordered the Santa Fe salad which was very good. Only complaint is it could have had more sliced avocado.
One in our group ordered the Mini Sliders - 3 different little burgers as an appetizer at $11.95. I contemplated ordering it as a main. When I saw it I was glad I didn't - the sliders were tiny and to me appeared over-cooked.
Also ordered at our table was Southern Fried Chicken, a steak, calamari and a chicken burger. All looked good, I heard no complaints. We all said they should have Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding on the menu....maybe it will be a Sunday special?
The prices were reasonable and the waitress was very good at her job. All in all, good food - not outstanding, but we will go back...
We saw the ribs go past and they looked awesome, that will be my order next time!
Getting right to the point, my wife and I (and our ten year old son) had a lovely late night dinner here. She started with a seafood chowder (perfectly seasoned and brimming with fresh clams) and my son and I both had cream of cauliflower and broccoli soup, all served at just the right temperature in large warm soup plates, with utmost care taken to preserve the beautiful presentation from kitchen to table. I chose something very light for my main dish, perfectly seared scallops served with watercress, and my wife chose steamed Salt Spring Island mussels in an anise-infused coconut curry sauce. Our son had lightly battered cod with fries, and for dessert we shared a white chocolate creme brulée and a strawberry parfait layered with shortbread brandy cake made from scratch. The restaurant has expansive views of the water as well as the mountains in the distance. When the weather is mild, consider dining on the open patio, but even indoors you can enjoy the vista through large picture windows. A large stone fireplace anchors the interior, and prominently displayed along one wall are framed photographic prints of local scenery. In one corner sits a large upright piano, and if you ask, they might let you play it. In keeping with the slow food philosophy of Robert and Sandy (husband-and-wife proprietors), ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible. Good value considering the overall quality of the dining experience. We've barely sampled the menu, and we will definitely be back.