I can't see how this restaurant and chef can be rated so highly in EnRoute and Zagat. Just about everything about our visit there missed the mark by a wide margin. The service was a bit spotty. The worst was the food.
I'm not sure if the chef intentionally prepared food so bland and off-texture just to achieve true 'Britishness,' but if he did, it was a real success. I mean, I'd be happier gnawing on chicken wings in a pub than eating some of this food.
We started with the raw Oysters - they were drowned in an awful tea-ice-jelly. There was no oyster taste, just the taste of some weird jelly that wasn't balanced with anything complementary. We also tried the Crab Perogies - while of good texture and a bit creamy. The crab taste was weak and the cream was weaker - OK at least I know the British like rich cream, so why are you using 10% table cream? LIkewise with the tasting sample salmon soup - weak and cheap tasting - at least that was free.
Then the main dish came. We both had venison with foie gras with au jus and squash. Something rich and hearty for the Boudeaux we received (wrong wine - they ran out of the one I ordered), I presumed. Problem is, rich is not in their vocabulary. The price says fine dining, the pictures and presentation of the food is mouthwatering. The actual venison was of good texture but very little flavour. What passed for foie gras could pass for shoe leather: tough, bland (oh, and they gave us half portion of the liver because they ran out of that also) and really dissapointing. You'd be better off gettign steak and kidney pie at the Irish Times for half the money - NO KIDDING!
The best two fine dining establishment in town are Matisse, Sooke Harbour House and the Deep Cove Chalet. The Rosemeade isn't in the same league - not in the same business I reckon! Choose Matisse for the best prices, though their prices are slightly more than the Rosemeade.