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3.5
  • Food4
  • Service4
  • Value3
  • Ambiance4
  • Reviews69

Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar

1095 Hamilton Street
Vancouver, BC V6B5T4
Tel: (604) 688-8078 Reserve Online
Fax: (604) 688-8978
Neighbourhood: Central

Reviews

Displaying 21 - 40 of 69 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
One of the best services we had
By Sakura of Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, February 22, 2009 - 3:57pm [Dine in]

My boyfriend and I were there for DOV for the first time and we were happy with our choice.

Although there were people lining up, but we got a pre-booked table the moment we walked into the place. Lots people already commented on the foods so I wont mention much about it. The only thing was that my boyfriend said he was not really full afterwards ( I guess it happens with lot places during DOV).

One thing I love about this place was the service. The waiter was very courteous and checked back with us frequently although it was very busy, and always had eye contacts with us when he asked us how things were and everytime we said thank you. One of the best services we had during DOV, or even just regular dine outs at other places.

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Poor service and decent food for Dine Out 2009
By fluffyyy of Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, January 20, 2009 - 9:12pm [Dine in]

My boyfriend and I decided to go to Dine Out at Blue Water Cafe as there very good reviews on dinehere.ca about the restaurant. It was our first time there and we enjoyed the atmosphere as we were seated in the cozy wine-cellarish dining room. However, the service that we had expected at a high-class restaurant was severely lacking. It appeared that the staff simply wanted to get us in and out as the staff had not frequently checked up on us to ensure we were okay and they did not try to make small talk with us at all. I am not sure if the Dine Out courses are reflective of a regular meal at Blue Water Cafe, but the only dish that we found exceptional was the Tataki (appetizer). The rest of the dishes were decent.

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Standard DOV - worth it, if you aren't expecting the real thing
By zach_food of Vancouver (33 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, January 16, 2009 - 12:06pm [Dine in]

Contrary to the previous review, I had a solid to outstanding (using dinehere terminology) outing last night at Blue Water. First of all, the outstanding side of the visit. The service was as good as I’ve had for regular dinners and the room had a nice buzz last night as early as 6:30, no doubt due to Dine Out and some pre-Canuck people. Dine Out is a decent value but it still costs $60 per person for food, wine, tip/tax, and parking (at a $38 dollar joint) and there are enough restaurants where I can do that and order what I want, that DOV isn’t tops on my list of must dos. Food was what I expected. Well prepared but not extravagant. I thought the veloute was a nice, rich soup, with the salty pancetta and earthy truffle oil playing nicely against the white bean texture. The salad looked OK but nothing special there. The Artic Char was actually quite rich with the sauce, and the fish and vegetables were perfectly cooked. The Braised pork shoulder was tender (I only had to use a fork), and the jus and BBQ sauce had a nice kick to it. The vegetarian dish was a big hit, great saffron sauce and a well-built vegetable tian made it the surprise of the night. Desserts, however, were the low light. Cheesecake was sour, not key lime, and marshmallows did nothing for the dish. The meringue had average flavour, though the texture contrast was nice. They were also more than willing to sub in a dessert due to dietary restrictions. All in all, what I would expect from DOV at a restaurant of Blue Water’s pedigree. For $38 dollars (just slightly more than the price of an entrée on a regular night or less, in many cases), you can only expect so much and either you except that and enjoy or have unrealistic expectations and leave disappointed. They did a good enough job, in my opinion, to entice a patron back for the real thing, knowing there is still more to experience on the food side of things.

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Good all around
By garammasala of North Vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, August 6, 2008 - 8:40pm [Dine in]

The previous critics don't lie, it's a pricy place but it must be paid for the BWC.

The food is top of the line. 2 of us went and started with sushi. I've been to my share of good and bad sushi restaurants and this was among the top. Had the beef tenderloin (strange considering I was at a seafood place, but anyways..) and it was cooked to perfection. The dishes are a bit smaller but we had come in on empty stomachs and after the few dishes were full.

The raw feeling of the restaurant is what makes it special. Most Yaletown restaurants do have that same brick feel, but the way the BWC was lit up and table placement, etc. it really is a great environment to be in.

The service was good. Not incredible, but good. It wasn't a busy night so I expected more from my server, but didn't get it.

Dinner for 2 plus drinks came to under $150 incl tax & tip.

Highly recommend.

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DOV '08 - Elegant Dining
By feebs of Yaletown (4 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, January 25, 2008 - 4:29pm [Dine in]

The Dineout menu looked very yummy so we decided to give it a try. And we always had a urge to try it when we walked by.

Food: We gave the oysters a try and it was quite interesting. I had a bad oyster experience previously elsewhere but this was much better than i expected. I had the Seafood trio, which was good. Presentation was good, but not that much taste. Next i had the Albacore char with rice. It was the best choice i think. The rice was soft, not like normal caucasian rice, which i was greatful for. Dessert was average... I've forgotten what i had. So i had to check. I had the Cheesecake, which was okay... but nothing i couldn't find frozen in the Superstore aisle.

Service: GREAT! I have to admit, to a previous poster, cassey, we went on the 22nd as well and our table was probably yours because we were running like 25 minutes late and stayed 20 minutes later than was allowed. Sorry! But the servers showed no sign of impatience, and the hostesses did not seem annoyed that we were late. It was pleasant all around.

Ambience: Not crowded at all, pretty bright, full view of the kitchen, and not loud!

I would definitely go there again, but maybe on a special occasion.

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Excellent DOV 2008 Night
By casseybanks of Burnaby (8 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 2:50pm [Dine in]

went with the hubby to Blue Water for Dine Out 2008. We had a really good time. the place was busy, but we expected that. We had to wait for our table, only because the customers ahead of us had not left yet. No matter, we had a drink at the bar first. Our sever was very attentive and knowledgable. Even though it was busy we were not made to feel rushed, which was much appreciated.

Definately worth the visit. Will be back again.

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A classic that doesn't grow old
By Jhanson of Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, November 10, 2007 - 9:53am [Dine in]

We have now enjoyed Blue Water Cafe for a few years and never had a bad experience.

We love the fact that you can have sushi but also great European food and both of the best grade.

Service is always attentive well trained and knowledgeable. A big difference with a few places who say they do fine dining.

Love the wine list one of the best in the city and the wine room show the fact they pay attention to the storage of it.

Keep the good work and we will be back

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Love the Sushi bar
By foodinvancouver of vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 11:38am [Dine in]

Blue Water is one of my favourite restaurants when I visit Yaletown. I love to sit at the Sushi bar and watch the chefs at work. On my last visit we had a few Citrus Bomb martini's and a selection of sushi. I have to admit that I don't recall everything we had because the martini's definately got me "bombed". I love the decor in the room and the buzz. Looking forward to coming in for a dinner in the dining room.

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Simply Fresh
By YumFresh of Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, February 25, 2007 - 5:26pm [Dine in]

At Blue Water, not only will you get great service, you also get to sample some of the fresh variety the sea! We have recently had one of the best oysters as well as the sockeye salmom sashimi in town. They have a variety of sushi rolls that are very tasty as well! If you are looking for quantity, you're in the wrong place. The price is fair consider the quality of food. The winelist is extremely extensive. A good seafood restaurant is determined by how simple they serve their dishes, it's really the only way to taste the freshness of the ingredients.

Blue Water is similar but has a less clustered menu than Joe Fortes. Dishes are better prepared and well coordinated than The Boathouse or Sandbar. Fresh, Clean, Contemporary. This is definitely one of the best seafood restaurant and raw bar in Vancouver.

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Max out your card
By dlishusfood of Downtown, Vancouver (30 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 4:29pm [Dine in]

Been meaning to go here for a while and was not too disappointed. The noise level was perfect and the atmosphere was tingling. We decided to start with a spider roll and clam chowder followed by the Ling Cod w/mussels and black rice and my partner the tuna. The soup was only OK and still not sure if there were clams in there. The spider roll at $17 was good but not exceptional. The starters were soon to be forgotten as the mains arrived. Nice presentation and both perfectly cooked. Loved "em both. We shared a creamy nutty desert which polished off the evening nicely. Not a place to go unless you have a min of $250 for 2 including tip to go splurge and many seem to have, as it was a full house on a Wednesday!!

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Great food & amazing wine list
By rusheat of vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, April 2, 2005 - 1:56pm [Dine in]

We started with the seafood tower which was great, the sommolier was on had to recommend a great bubble cant remember the producer but it was a german sparkler. Our friends enjoyed three entree's which we shared, Cod, Lobster and Spaghettini all very strong dishes. Service was good but we had a waiter that was very chatty, my friend asked him what would be a good point of interest to explore the City. Well he stood there for a good 10 minutes talking.
Desserts rank near the best I ever had some sort of Chocolate Fondue yummy.
Overall I would definatley go back they have it all, food, wine, atmosphere and service.

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DOV experience
By anton of Greater Van (23 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, February 3, 2009 - 2:08pm [Dine in]

So many people already commented on their DOV experince, so I will try not to repeat. Yes, the tuna tataki was divine. So fresh, and the dressing complements very nicely with the fish. The pork did seem to be on the dry side, but mainly due to the part of the pig it came from, and the BBQ sauce did tasta a bit store-bought. Desserts are not bad, but I was not wow-ed by it. However, no one had mentioned the complimentary bread basket, and the delicious chick-pea dip, with free refill. I got to say, they definitely did not skimp on the food portion. I was really full after. I personally quite like the decor of the restaurant. You can see the details, but you don't feel a ounce of pretention, and you can get into a lively conversation with friends without being afraid of disturbing other patrons. Although it was very very busy, with continuous line-up, we never felt any pressure to get the bill and give back the table.

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Almost Prefect
By feel100 of richmond (29 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, January 30, 2009 - 9:54am [Dine in]

This is my first time go there for DOV. First impression, a lot of people there.

Food is excellent, cannot even complaint anything. Must try the Osyter, so fresh. Even i am not the person who like eating Osyter, i love it. Start, main course and dessert is prefect.

Service is very friendly, they treat you like high value client. Also, I can see all waiters are fully trained. They know everything on Wine and Osyter list. Impress, Not so many restaurant can do that.

DOV menu is good price. However, the side order is very expensive.

That is not a restaurant for candle dinner. But the atmosphere make people feel very comfortable.

I am extremely satisfy the service and food. And i will strongly recommendate to my friend go there for sure. ** MuSt go back **

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Group Event was FANTASTIC/WUNDERBAR/DELICIOUS! - Exemplary service - 5 stars all-round
By MarshallPlacid of Richmond (14 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, December 6, 2010 - 7:16pm [Dine in]

Brief description:
Event for 39 people at the Pacific Room at Blue Water. A dozen or so guests took the sushi and cocktail mini-course.

Food:
Cooked to perfection. I was the host for the event and everybody agreed the food was excellent, one of the best, if not the best, they have tasted for seafood and Western cuisine. We had the Group course for $109 each (look for it in their menu in the group section of the website). The "table dish" of sushi and sashimi was good and fresh. The appetizers were fresh and the avocado sauce for my own dish mixed in well with all 3 different mini-dish comprising the appetizer. The foie-gras for other guests were amazing and the oysters+caviar were the best my brother-in-law tasted ANYWHERE in Vancouver (he eats a lot of oysters). The entrees were even better. The poached lobster was very good and cooked perfectly. My char was crispy on the outside (as it is suppose to be) and tender inside. WUNDERBAR! The kobe-style ribs were the best my guests tasted. That dish was braised for 21 hours before being cooked. The dessert was plate of 3 mini-desserts: the famous Blue Water lava cake/brownie + cream cheese ice cream + creme brulee. The nice little addition of liquor inside the lava cake was a master stroke. Instead of just plain "super" sweet, the mixed in liquor gave the cake a slight bitter, yet sweet taste. It was the perfect blend. The creme brulee was good, but the sugar cover on top was perfect. The cream cheese ice cream was unique.

The wine was very good. I didn't drink but the rest of the guests were absolutely charmed by the taste of 1 red and 1 white selection. The white was from Italy and the red was a local maker. Blue water is known for their wine, and Andrea, the wine director, gave the guests a perfect wine/meal combo to choose from.

Service:
My thanks goes to Brent, Scott, Jen, and Andrea for their wonderful service. There were no hiccups and everything was perfect. They put their efforts into perfecting every minute detail of the service, from the lightining, to the food distribution, etc. They were very genuine in their service. All the dishes came out perfectly timed. We had 39 guests, yet they were able to have ALL the dishes come out at the same time (within 1 or 2 minutes).

The mini courses some of the guests took before the dinner was very fun. They enjoyed the courses and were delighted that there were options to partake in, besides eating the dinner dishes (look it up on the website).

Value:
The value of the entire meal was perfect. The selection for the group course was good. Please keep in mind the dishes included a few caviar dishes, foie gras, seafood, sushi, sashimi, etc. Added to this was the fact that we booked the entire Pacific room (enough room for 80 guests), at no charge. So, it was the perfect blend of price and product.

Ambiance:
The best ambiance I have been in, ever, in a group setting. I showed a slide show in the room, and they had 2 projection screens synced up, to 2 projectors. It was easy to set up by plugging my laptop to the terminal. The Pacific room is essentially a large wine room, that measures approximately 16 feet by 45 feet. There were Christmas decorations everywhere and the room was very well lit (I love well lit dining experiences, not low light ones). Even if you don't like the room being well lit, you can customize the brightness yourself. If you are dinning for 2, the main room is dimly lit, and has a nice ambiance, but the pillars make the main room seem smaller than it really is. But for group events, the Pacific room is INCREDIBLE!

Conclusion:
Perfect service. Perfect food. Perfect Ambiance, Perfect Value. Have a group event of 10 to 80 people? Book the Pacific Room. I booked it 4 months in advance and only got a Sunday booking. The Fridays and Saturdays were booked solid 4 months in advance. Got an itch to eat for 2? The food is just as good as in group events. If the group event food is good, the dinner for 2 food is always better. Oh yeah, they have been recognized to have one of the largest selection of wine in the world, and won Vancouver Magazine's Restaurant of the year Award for 2010. Bon Apetit!

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Special Occasion
By tentales of Vancouver (12 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 10:56am [Dine in]

I took my girlfriend out for her birthday last night and we both thoroughly enjoyed the food & service.
The cuisine is an interesting fusion of European / Asian / West-Coast fair.
The fish, both sushi & cooked is delightful and fresh. Try their Uni! It's like "fois gras of the sea". You will never accept "fishy smelling" Uni at your regular Sushi place ever again, after learning here what FRESH really means.

Service is attentive, charming and very knowledgeable.

Sure, it comes at a price, but you typically get what you pay for it. If you want Cactus Club prices, walk a block.. the CC is around the corner. This is for the discerning foodie or gourmet.
I recently had the pleasure of trying their partner restaurant the "Araxi" in Whistler. Different menus but same standard.

Blue Water's wine list is probably one of the best you will find in Vancouver. Despite what you might think though, there are good value bottles amongst the otherwise typical high-markup Bordeaux finds. Although I'm quite knowledgeable on wine, I enjoyed using the Sommeliers advice. The Angelo Gaja was delicious :)

We'll definitely be back, after I pay down the mortgage I took out (kidding!). Seriously, you go once or twice a year to this kind of place.

One small complaint. While 90% of the diners were dressed appropriately, it still surprises me to see some people dressed as if they're dining at McDonalds. Seriously folks, if you have the dough to eat at such a fine establishment, buy a collared shirt and some slacks and blend in! Not that the restaurant is snobby in any form or shape, but it's a show of respect to your fellow diners to not come in sweats & sweater.

To all future diners. If you get a chance, ask to be served by Erica. Not to take anything away from other waiters, but we thoroughly enjoyed her warm & attentive service.

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Always a sure bet
By shellyBjolly of Vancity (13 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, August 28, 2009 - 2:17pm [Dine in]

Upon many many visits over the years, we've always been happy and more than satisfied with this restaurant. Great service, a phenomenal ambiance and a great menu. There's a reason why this place is always busy even on weekdays.

Had fresh s sushi made from the sushi bar and my date and I spent our evening with a couple of nice bottles of wine.

My number one spot in Yaletown.

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Lovely oyster
By mayo of Burnaby (19 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 28, 2008 - 11:24am [Dine in]

Went there for DOV 08 last night with my parents. We ordered 3 courses from the dine out menu, and a dozen of oyster from the chef's selection.

For the dine out menu, food were great overall. My mother's Kazuo Tataki was very fresh. But my Seafood Trio was great on the look only; taste is just ok, and all 3 preperations were room temperature....... I expected clam fritter would be hot (at least warmer than room temperature), and scallop ceviche would be chilled. For the main, Arctic Char dish was impressive, everything on the dish was nicely balanced. Dessert was awesome. My father isn't a dessert lover, but he couldn't stop on his piece of cheesecake.

And about the oysters. A guy (not our server) probably from the raw bar came to our table and presented to us. So he told us which is which and where they are from. But when I asked him about what one we should start with, he was confused for a second or two. And he said we could start with the ones from local west coast first and then the east coast ones. But the direction he gave was a miss.... Generally you would go from mild to strong, but last night.... it was like random; salty, fresh, mild (which became favourless after the nice fresh one), and sweet. I know oysters can taste different all the time and that's why I asked before I ate. It would be better if they know how their oysters taste like THAT DAY before they serving them to customers. Especially you called it "chef's selection".

But overall, outstanding oysters and great DOV experience.

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One of Vancouver's finest
By Zanzibargirl of Yaletown, Vancouver (10 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, November 12, 2007 - 11:18pm [Dine in]

I ate here twice in October 2007 and was impressed both times by the quality of the food, the ambience, and the service. Waitstaff are professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. The food is very well done. The ambience is good and they are one of the few good restaurants on the street that serves after 10 pm. It's expensive but it's worth it, a great place to take someone you want to impress.

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Fresh, contemporary flavours
By foodiebabe of Victoria (18 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, July 20, 2007 - 3:11pm [Dine in]

Yes this place is expensive, but we thoroughly enjoyed the food and felt that it was worth the high prices, if only for the imaginative and well-crafted flavours. We ordered the daily special appy to share, which was a persimmon and fennel salad, with fresh, clean summer flavours. We both ordered a special of the day - jumbo scallop for me and dry-cured steak for hub, and both were excellent. The steak was a good portion, but the scallop dish had two scallops only. I know they were jumbos, but still, they weren't gigantic and I think at that price they should have served at least four! Dessert was the lemon tart with raspberry sorbet, which was also very tasty, but small. We usually find that most restaurants are generous with their dessert portions - not here. Definitely too small to share. Overall, the food was fabulous, and hats off to the kitchen for creating those flavours.

Service however did not match up. Although knowledgeable and attentive, it was insincere. The wait staff seemed to be trying quite hard to be as snooty as they could be. They should learn to smile. A 'fine dining' establishment doesn't have to have snobby servers. So we give service a rating of 3.

So overall, expensive but we really enjoyed the food.

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One of our new faves
By foodhedonist of East Vancouver (15 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, February 6, 2007 - 7:44pm [Dine in]

The Mr. & I dined here during Dine Out and we were both really impressed. Each course was very good to excellent. Service was attentive but not intrusive. We were seated in the wine room, a quiet and intimate retreat from the busy main dining room. The only thing we didn't care for was the roasted red pepper hummus which accompanied the bread rolls. This is one of our new favourite restaurants. Unfortunately, we can only afford to dine here during Dine Out :(

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