The Observatory is a fine dining restaurant on top of Grouse with great views of the city. You need to take a gondola to the top but the price is included in your dinner reservation. You even can go earlier and spent a few hours on the mountain before dinner. They are also part of the Ocean Wise program to promote sustainable seafood.
Started off with the ride up the tram filled with loud ski/snowboarders hitting you in the head with their boards and skis packed in like sardines.
Do not bother with this place there are many other better restaurants for a fraction of the price.
The fact hat we found a hair in our appetizer was not a good start.
Our Mains were cold and no flavor, definitely expected much more for those prices.
No view as it was overcast and the table of eight with two babies crying did not help.
Largest markup on wine I have ever seen, so called Sommelier needs to relax, 300% markup is ridiculous.
By the way there is no dress code as it says on their website, there were ski/snowboarders in their snow gear all around us.
Do not waist your time with this place.
The view from this restaurant is one of the best in Vancouver. The restaurant provides a very nice ambiance to enjoy it as well with fantastic interior design and woodwork.
But at the end of the day, this place is supposed to be a restaurant and that is where the bubble pops.
Extremely small portions of incredibly pretentious food that tastes bland and uninspired, all for an outrageous price. Appetizers are $16.00, main courses $40.00. Not worth 99 cents in my opinion.
We started with the Dungeoness crab appetizer. It was a pile of crab mixed with dill and cucumber and some kind of acid, maybe lemon. As you can tell from my description, none of the flavors in this dish complemented each other at all - each component just there on its own. Indeed, the sour component ruined what would have just been pleasant sweet crab. Very disappointing.
We tried another appetizer - a dish consisting of heirloom tomatoes with cheese and a tomato consomme. This was a very pedestrian dish at best and awful at worse. This was probably the best dish AND worst dish of the night. The tomatoes were very tasty. But, come on, they were just sliced raw tomatoes marinated in olive oil and salt. Seriously - $16.00 for that? Oh, sorry, did I say tomatoes? I meant ONE tomato. Actually, one HALF of a tomato. And the Consomme was DISGUSTING. It was like... like... severely watered down barely tomato water. There was some kind of vodka gel floating in it too. That just made it 10 times worse as a totally inappropriate flavor combination.
Now came the mains. First off... talk about stingy portions.
My companion ordered the Pacific Ling Cod. It wasn't bad. It sure as heck wasn't good though.
I ordered the salmon. It came with a salmon and pea cannelloni. And this is where The Observatory managed a first for me. They created a cannelloni that sucked. I love cannelloni, I have eaten it in restaurants and cafes, made fresh and microwaved, meat, seafood, vegetarian - cannelloni all across the country and I always like it. Till I tried this. This cannelloni was UTTERLY tasteless. I might as well have been eating paper. Couldn't even taste salt or pepper. I mean SHOCKINGLY tasteless, as in I don't know how someone can cook something so completely sterile so as to taste like nothing. How do you get salmon to taste like that? Quite the accomplishment.
The main part of my dish, a small piece of salmon was overcooked. It was also unsatisfying and totally forgettable. Afterward, my dining companion asked if I wanted anything else (i.e. dessert).
To which I replied "Yes. Food."
The only thing keeping them away form a one-star food rating is only because the food wasn't totally disgusting - I save the one star good rating for that.
The value was terrible too - definitely one star material. BUT... since dinner comes with a complimentary cable car trip - a $40.00 value by itself - I bumped it up one star. Considering the spectacular view and the mediocre food, I'd say that it is more like the cable car trip came with a free entree.
Save your money. Eat somewhere else. There is a cafeteria downstairs with fries and chicken strips and pizza. It's 1000 times better.
This used to be a reasonable restaurant to which to take friends from out of town. Sadly, no longer. 1980's style nouvelle cuisine without the flavour - something you'd expect to find in the backwoods somewhere, where a chef might believe he'd just discovered something new. But not in Vancouver. An embarrassment to Grouse Mountain, and to anyone hoping to provide visitors with a pleasant experience.
October 6/2010, Wednesday, Sunny.
It’s a very nice day, we didn’t plan to go anywhere before hand, since its my girl friend birthday, I decided to take her up to Grouse Mountain to have dinner at the Observatory
dungeness crab napoleon, cucumbers, fennel, lime crème fraiche, sweet cecily foam
Pacific Ling Cod $39.00
mussels, clams, german butter potatoes, arugula, truffled velouté
Peach Semifreddo $13.00
basil champagne coulis, hazelnut brittle
We both have the same items as the above, despite the fancy name on the menu, basely
Appetizer is : Crab meat with slice cucumber;
Main course: Ling Cod with 2 clams, 2 mussels,
Desert: Slice peach with Ice Cream.
Taste of the food is rather flat and portion is very small, this so call fine dining place is more on presentation rather then taste. To me I like eat the food instead of looking at it. Apart from the view there is nothing special about this place. We are not a drinker; total bill for the food comes to $170. with tax and tips. We don’t eat at place like that very often, may be once every 5 years. . As a regular eat out (3-4 times a week) person myself, I personally prefer eating at place like The Kegs, Bridge and Cactus Club. It’s more comfortable and down to earth type of food. However, according to most of the reviews, they all like the place. I like the place myself to a certain degree but express my view for comparison purpose. This kind of place is for tourist and special occasion.
My wife and I go at least once a year. The menu has changed which is usually good. In this case not. Limited selection, expensive and small portions. Don't go hungry. Service was good and of course the view of the city was beautiful. Nice resturant if you are a tourist and want to see the city without caring how disappointing your meal will be.