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BydesignprezSaanich, VictoriaSince November 14, 200760 Reviews
Average Rating
3 (3.2)
  • Food3.5 (3.3)
  • Service3 (3.2)
  • Value3.5 (3.5)
  • Ambiance3 (3.2)

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 60 Reviews Found
Aegean Cafe799 Fort Street, #B, Victoria
Interesting place
Submitted Friday, June 10, 2011 - 3:43pm [Dine in]

The Aegean Cafe is tucked away behind the Royal Bank in a passage way that leads to Sussex Place. Their origin is Greek and they offer a pretty good range of light meals and salads for lunch. They also have about 4-5 different coffees which can be enjoyed downstairs or the small upstairs.

The ambiance is best described as cozy as there are only about 30 seats and it is tight. I think their lunches are a bit pricey so rarely eat there. They seem to do a booming catering business as I often see their staff delivering supplies to neighbouring offices.

The location is a bit hard to find as it's in a shaded passageway. There is nowhere to sit outside there.

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Paradiso Di Stelle10 Bastion Square, Victoria
Nice place - that's all I can say
Submitted Friday, June 10, 2011 - 12:48pm [Dine in]

I really really want to like this place more than I do. However, as actions speak louder than words and I have been there 3 times recently this is a nice Italian style Ristorante for (at least in my case) a reasonable pasta meal in the very lovely setting of Bastion Square. It's been too cool to eat outside this spring, but the outdoor seating looks very nice with views over the inner harbour and the goings on of Bastion Square. Inside it's all small tables close but not too cramped.

The girls serving behind the walk up and order counter don't seem terribly knowledgable about what they are selling. I guess I am partial to table service as it knocks it up a couple of notches in the take care of me index that I enjoy in restaurants. Maybe that's it - the ambiance and food are, quite honestly, very nice. No complaints - but the idea of ordering my food at a counter is just so commissary like. Why not have the customer sit down, relax and order from a menu instead of straining (in my case) to see what written on the overhead order board - just like McDonalds. Ugh.

So all in all - it's a very nice place to eat with a good range of reasonable (but not cheap) Italian foods and beverages. It lacks the charachter and crowds of places such as Pags but with some clever marketing could be like them - but that would spoil it.

I like it - and I'll be back to try different meals. Next week.....and I'll have to take longer to study the menu.

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McRae's1652 McRae Ave, Victoria
I wish this new business well
Submitted Friday, December 31, 2010 - 4:03pm [Dine in]

I think the location used to be a garden store that was closed for the longest time so I was intrigued at what was being built here.

McCraes opened with a bang and offers good food and very reasonable drink prices. We have eaten there a number of time and always enjoyed the fairly limited menu. Meals are sold a la carte - so you order the burger/sandwich whatever and then pay extra for any side dishes you may want...these include fries, salad, mac and cheese etc. All the meals that we have had have been served quickly and very tasty. No complaints whatsoever.

We have yet to try the deck/patio but it faces Shelborne so is going to be noisy and there is no view. Inside the decor is simple with a fireplace at one end. The only complaint, and it's a minor one is that the doors open right into the restaurant so on cold nights as we have had recently, I don't want to sit anywhere near the door. That's it - minor stuff so I hope this business does well as we will continue to patronize it.

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Gatsby Mansion Inn & Restaurant309 Belleville St, Victoria
Lovely place by the harbour
Submitted Friday, December 31, 2010 - 3:44pm [Dine in]

Let me state my bias from the outset - I had a coupon.

I went with for lunch with an acquaintance who had never been here. The location right by the Belleville ferry terminal blocks the view of the harbour a bit - but it means there is lots to look at as people come and go. The tables were set with crisp white linen and it rather feels like dining in someone's old house. Charmingly eccentric.

There was nothing eccentric about the food as it was well cooked, delicious and more than ample quantity. Lunch is always cheaper than dinner so I cannot comment on how the dinner value compares but I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this place for lunch and do recommend it. Even without a coupon!

Service was great with just the right level of intrusiveness. In December the restaurant was not overly busy - but with all the rooms it seems quieter and cozier than it would if it were one big room.

Quite charming.

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ABC Country Restaurant2900 Douglas Street, Victoria
Pretty solid restaurant
Submitted Friday, December 31, 2010 - 3:38pm [Dine in]

I have eaten here a couple of times as the food is quite well priced and the location is convenient to all points in Victoria as it is on the corner of Gorge and Douglas.

The place is always busy but service is predictable and efficient. I had a coupon which was nice but even at full retail prices, the value is still there. Many of the meals come with wedge fries which stay hot for a long time so be warned. Nothing was greasy and it all seemed well cooked atc.

All in all - a decent place for a meal.

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J & J Wonton Noodle House1012 Fort St., Victoria
Better - much better than its rating
Submitted Friday, December 31, 2010 - 3:34pm [Dine in]

We tried this on Christmas eve when not much else was open. The portions were smaller than I expected so a hungry son wolfed down all the food that I had hoped to take home for the next days (as a snack before the turkey you understand...)

I was a bit peeved at being charged $6 for plain white rice, but the foods we had were extremely good and came in quick succession so we were able to put more than one food on the plate at a time. Authentic? How would I know. I know they had chopsticks at each place setting and if you wanted to use a fork you had to ask for it. The kitchen was clearly in view from the dining area so it was nice to watch someone else working hard - the place was clean and efficiently run. Decor was the normal slightly tacky Chinese restaurant style and the outside does not do the place justice. All in all - it was a very good meal so I do recommend it, even given my finicky tastes.

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Urban Cup Cafe3690 Shelbourne Street, Victoria
Just a lovely place - one of our favourites
Submitted Friday, December 31, 2010 - 3:04pm [Dine in]

It's tough to get a table here at peak times (most of the weekend in my experience). This coffee shop/cafe sells a range of lovely sandwiches, salads and quiche. It's always crowded so in summer we have often sat outside. The ambiance facing Shelborne leaves a bit to be desired and sometimes I wish that the proprietor would move people along rather than let them dawdle.

Good food, great coffee and a warm atmosphere has made this one of our favourites...now I will wish I had not told you that as it will be even busier.

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James Bay Fish & Chips211 Menzies Street, Victoria
A delightful find in James Bay - Amazing Value
Submitted Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 9:42pm [Dine in]

In a brave new world faced with rising gas prices, HST and other economic ills, the value of this cute little diner in James Bay is amazing. The individual combo plates are huge and at $7.95 (no egg roll) are an amazing value. It took a while to study and understand why a 2 person combo was more until I realized that the dual combo included egg rolls. However, as eggs rolls are $1.50 each, it seems to be cheaper to order 2 individual combos and the egg rolls.

Mathematical games aside, I wish this small business well as they seem to be trying hard. I was a bit put out by the sign saying the washroom was broken. I did not inquire if that was only to stop people wandering in to use it - or for customers as well.

The restaurant also serves a range of fish and chips, soups, burgers and fish and chips. All that comes out of a kitchen half the size of ours, so I am not sure how they cope when it's busy. The food that we had was of good quality and was satisfying. This is not an upscale yuppie dinner place - simply wholesome food served at very reasonable prices, so that even with the new HST I did not faint from the price.

They also offer take out and delivery.

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James Bay Coffee & Book143 Menzies Street, Victoria
Coffee and a book
Submitted Monday, July 19, 2010 - 9:36pm [Dine in]

I had a few minutes to kill and thought this place looked interesting. They retail a wide range of coffees, but in terms of a restaurant - it's pretty limited. Just coffee (and tea I presume) an eclectic range of soft drinks which you fetch yourself from the cooler and a range of baked goods. Frankly - it is pretty much what any half decent coffee shop can muster up.

Where this place shines is in the ambiance as it is a book store with a room at the back that holds computers (internet cafe). I found it quite enjoyable to just people watch both inside and outside the store as James Bay is full of characters. Maybe I am becoming one too.....

The service gets a low rating as they don't really do anything other than take the money and tell you to get your own drink from the cooler and pour your own coffee. That might seem unfair, but if you are expecting a high level of service you won't get it here. Frankly, I do not recall whether they serve lattes and gourmet coffees. If they do then I would have rated their service higher. Time to visit it again - which i would if I am in the area as it is certainly preferable to Starbucks yuck.....

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1550's Pub Style Restaurant1550 Cedar Hill X Rd, Victoria
It's kind of our local
Submitted Monday, July 19, 2010 - 9:10pm [Dine in]

I like this place. For its price point it serves good solid food reasonably quickly. The outdoor patio is popular in summer although it can be noisy with traffic roaring up Cedar Hill Cross Road. The best value is the daily special and I think it's Pasta on Tuesday night - great value. None of the other meals is really expensive but the quality can vary a bit occasionally. Still, the service is friendly and they seem to treat everyone well.

Over the past few years I have tried a range of burgers, wraps, pastas and their breakfasts. The portions are way too big, so it works better (particularly value wise) if I split the meal with someone and the staff are happy to do this. They have a small range of beers including a few on tap - but it's more of a restaurant than a pub.

Parking is tight in their small lot and there is a sign warning you not to park in the lot across the road as you will be towed. Best to save the gas money and walk there if you can!

They have a Brunch menu with range of meals made with eggs etc. They do tend towards the greasy end of meals and way more fried potatoes than I can or should eat. The staff are very friendly but professional about what the do so although the food is not outstanding, I keep going there.

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Deep Cove Chalet11190 Chalet Rd., Sidney
This is very hard to beat - but at a price
Submitted Monday, July 19, 2010 - 8:56pm [Dine in]

This is a great restaurant with a view to die for - over Deep Cove. It is located amongst some lovely landscaping with beautiful flowers and trees and a small vineyard as you drive in. There is no valet parking. I found necessary to take a constitutional walk in the gardens afterwards to help the digestion.

We had salmon and Coq au Vin and they were both excellent, as they should be. There were 4 choices of fixed price menus but I simply cannot eat that much these days so we decided to choose a la carte. The portions are not large, but we all eat way too much and everything was cooked to perfection - in rich French style. It's a very extensive menu with most main dishes ranging upwards from $30. The menu is on the website so you can see what everything costs so you don't faint in front of your date. There is also an extensive wine list of domestic and imported wines although the waiter did not not really express any strong feelings about the wine I was thinking about. It was, quite frankly, one of the cheaper bottles at $40, so maybe it did not warrant any special effort. There were also half bottles available for $25 and up.

The service was excellent, reasonably casual and unobtrusive. The waiter was there when needed otherwise stayed out of the way. If you want a window table you need to reserve it ahead and you can dine outside, although it was a bit cool on the evening we were there. I thought it might be a bit stuffier than it actually was...there were even a couple of "gents" in shorts - I think resort casual is the best way to dress here. I did not see any enforcement of a minimum dress code which may be a bad thing...:)

The only observation where they might possibly improve is that they refuse to serve salad as a meal. Banish those on a diet - you have to eat more than you want. Frankly, it's not a problem for me, but then I burn it off, but there are many who are trying to watch their weight. There is also an $18 minimum charge per person at lunch to stop those pesky cheapskates from coming.

All in all, an excellent dining experience, although it is certainly more than I want to normally pay and is richer that I would want more than once in a while - but on a beautiful evening - it is almost impossible to beat. I'll go again...on a special occasion.

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Browns Socialhouse809 Douglas Street, Victoria
Just opened - they are trying hard
Submitted Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 4:02pm [Dine in]

I noticed this restaurant being built in the new building on Douglas where the HSBC is. Nice location, seems like a good reason to visit.

The staff look good and they seem to be taking their cue from the Cactus Club. I did not check out the washrooms although the decor is very new age. Frankly, that was my biggest complaint as I sat myself, or rather perched, on a bar stool at a small round table as it was too cool to sit outside when I went. After 20 minutes, I found it very uncomfortable and could not relax lest I fell off the stool. I had a gourmet burger of some description and a beer. The beer was good but the burger proceeded to fall apart because there was so much stuff jammed into it. I had to wipe my hands down from all the goo that squeezed out. Service was good and really just about the right level of attentiveness inquirying how the food was, did I want another drink, etc.

So, all in all, I assume this will become one of the trendy places to go which means that I will move somewhere else to have a quiet good lunch. That is not a complaint against Browns, but just the type of customer I am. The prices were equivalent to the Cactus Club and they seem to have hired some good looking staff who know it. Good luck....

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JJ's Restaurant @ Vancouver Community College250 Pender Street West, Vancouver
It's an experience
Submitted Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - 10:20pm [Dine in]

This is a really tough review to write as a restaurant usually has pretty consistent staff, managers and policies etc. JJ's is a college training ground so you should expect some variability as groups of students cycle through the program, gain experience and skill and then graduate.

Our group went for lunch the other day and the value is amazing with a really good variety of excellently prepared meals (steak, salmon, turkey etc.) for $9 including all the fixings. Dessert was $4 extra.

Most of our main meals were, frankly, excellent. The lamb was particularly appreciated by those who had it. The Christmas pudding was quite unlike anything I'd had before - and not in a nice way as it was crunchy and hard. It was a dare to try a Christmas pudding as it's always been an odd concoction.

If you are lucky - you will have an excellent group of confident and experienced servers and cook staff. Or, like us, you may have someone who looked very scared. The next table over appeared to have an excellent student who knew exactly what to do and say. We do hope we were not too hard on our server - but waiting 25 minutes for a cup of coffee is hard; and there were other issues. I was surprised that diners were not offered an opportunity to provide written feedback to the staff and students as it might have been helpful. I think Gordon Ramsey does that in his H**s Kitchen Show. Good idea as I'd like to help these kids learn quickly and learn well what provides them and the restaurants where they work - the best customer satisfaction and the biggest tips.

So - do go and enjoy the experience. It's really quite a nice room, but meal times may be a bit slow. I think reservations are a must as it seemed to be full the day we were there. Best of luck to the diners, the students and the staff that guide them. It is open at lunch and early evening only. Call in for details.

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Abkhazi Garden1964 Fairfield Road, Victoria
Lovely place to visit
Submitted Saturday, November 7, 2009 - 5:22pm [Dine in]

I cannot fathom listing Abkhazi Gardens as a restaurant - as it's a garden which just happens to have a house where the couple used to live and you experience the garden and it's worth stopping in the house to sample the experience of cream tea etc.

I think the Nature Conservancy runs the place and the food operation is run by volunteers so what they lack in polish they more than make up for which charm and friendliness. It's hard not to think about the love story behind these gardens while enjoying what was actually quite tasty light refreshments.

Do go - and enjoy the whole experience. It supports a very worthwhile cause and is enjoyable.

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Fresh Bakery And Bistro3115 Cedar Hill Road, Victoria
Could be fantastic - but isn't
Submitted Saturday, November 7, 2009 - 4:58pm [Dine in]

This business recently changed from La Collina to a very inspiring looking bakery and restaurant operation. Walking in the door you are presented with a cornucopia of interesting sights and smells. The decoration is quite beautiful and then the disappointment begins.

It seems you have to line up and order your food at the counter - sight unseen (witha tip jar prominenlt placed in front of you). After paying for it, the clerk hands you a playing card and then looks to the next customer. Each time I go - I ask her - "and what exactly am I supposed to do with this?" Apparently you are supposed to know that the food and drink is collected down at the bar - in 2 different places. Silly me it is just so darn obvious and has all the joy of a military commissary.

On our first visit, she forgot to give us a cake that we had ordered and paid for. Of course, there was no bill provided so it became a matter of our word against hers. Not fun. This visit - the lasagna came eventually, but it was cold in spots so clearly had been nuked to warm it up.

During our first visit some months ago the place was busy but today it was quite quiet and I just do not enjoy eating there with the poor service and confusing way they do things. Don't get me wrong - the bakery material looks great but they have decided to run the restaurant differently despite millions of others having developed a way of doing things. That is their right - but they really should tell customers that once you have paid - your food will be made available at the bar and you show your card to pick it up. Frankly it still doesn't make sense - why can't they bring it out and figure out an easier way to give you drinks?

Too bad - so sad.

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Crossroads Bar & Grill1889 Island Hwy, Victoria
A Nice Surprise
Submitted Monday, November 2, 2009 - 4:26pm [Dine in]

This "pub" is located on Island Highway at the junction with Goldstream and it looks like an English pub. Inside the decor matches and there are a few cozy fireplaces to warm those winter blues away.

I had been meaning to try this for a while, so I went on a quiet weekday afternoon - hence the lower than perhaps fair ambiance rating. Hard to say when it's almost empty.

The place is open to kids of all ages (so long as they behave themselves) and the menu has the regular list of pub and family type favourites. Prices might be a wee bit higher than most families can afford, so if you think of it as a pub the prices are fair.

There seemed top be a good range of beers on tap and ciders etc. appear to be available by the bottle.

Service was pretty good and reasonably fast. They apparently have an evening chicken special that the server was excited to tell me about. All in all - the place exceeded my expectations and the only odd thing is that the main door faces the Island Highway so you have to walk all the way around from the car park behind. If that is its worst fault - that is a good thing.

I'll go again. It has my vote.

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Jonathan's Restaurant425 Quebec Street, Victoria
Acceptably quant
Submitted Saturday, October 31, 2009 - 4:51am [Dine in]

This restaurant is located inside the Royal Scot Hotel a couple of blocks from the Inner Harbour. It's a bit like stepping back in time which is charming in its own way and there is a bar portion to the restaurant where a few patrons were sitting at the time of our visit.

The menu (at lunchtime) had a standard range of burgers, chicken fingers and sandwiches. I tried a Crepe which turned out to have been baked in the oven and more like a small stew with a light pastry lining than what I had expected. Other meals looked a bit more like what one one expect. It was an unusual crepe and certainly more filling than I really wanted or expected. I can't speak for the fries but the ceasar salad I had was quite good and the coffee was hot and tasted as it should.

The waitress was efficient and friendly and the restaurant was uncrowded, so I am left with no strong feelings about the dining experience one way or the other. I would therefore add it to my list of might attend locations, but it's a bit off the beaten track (for those of us who work downtown). Parking is available in the hotel lot (drive through the entrance) so it is not hard to get there.

All in all, an interesting and acceptable visit so it might be worh going there to enjoy a slightly dated experience - which is not a bad thing.

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Garrick's Head Pub, The1140 Government Street, Victoria
It's our version of Cheers
Submitted Friday, October 23, 2009 - 11:07pm [Dine in]

If you have to ask what "Cheers" is you are too young. This is a gtreat friendly local pub with regular people coming and going. In summer they have a small deck overlooking Bastion Square and in winter a fireplace tries to chase the chill away.

Whenever I am there a couple of lovable good old boys are running the place and will tell you what's good and what's not. I always feel at home there and tend to go way too often so that I have tried everything I like on the menu and feel like I should go somewhere else - but I come back. So should you.

They put their prices up at the beginning of 09 summer so it's not quite as good value as it used to be - but the food is always good and satisfying.

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Darcy's Pub1127 Wharf Street, Victoria
Need heat - cold place
Submitted Friday, October 23, 2009 - 10:44pm [Dine in]

Darcy's is in a great location at the foot of Bastion Square at Wharf St. with a view over the Inner Harbour. I tried lunches there a couple of times in the cooler months and the food was the normal pub fare but I found the place freezing - and this from a guy who likes it cooler. It is hard to enjoy your meal when you are shivering, but maybe that's just a lunch time phenomena.

I always found the service quite adequate and enjoyed the regular range of pub foods reasonably priced. They have an outdoor patio area that is very sunny (and likely warm) in summer and I am told it is a popular place with the young crown in the evening.

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Keg Steakhouse & Bar, The3940 Quadra Street, Victoria
A dark and dingy Place
Submitted Friday, October 23, 2009 - 10:38pm [Dine in]

The Keg is a well run chain that knows how to cook and serve steak. This Keg is tucked away on Quadra just south of McKenzie and parking can be a bit tight. Some parking is free but I ended up paying $2 for an evening which seems cheezy given the space back there. I suppose you could park in the lot across Quadra and risk life and limb running over. I diddn't bother.

On to the restaurant. The food really was impeccable - cooked exactly like every other Keg, so if you like one - you like 'em all. The staff were suitably attentive but I have never seen this place packed to the gills so I wonder how it is doing. My biggest complaint is that to increase the ambience they have made it extraordinarily dark. It was so bad we could not see the menus so the waiter brought a flashlight. We cannot be the first to have noticed this problem.

So - it was a routine Keg experience and they do know how to cook a steak exactly how you want it. The meals always seem to cost more than I think they should, but that's just the way the Keg is. We'll go ocassionally....

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