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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
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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Bad food DOV
By vwou of vancouver (24 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, January 15, 2009 - 11:38pm [Dine in]

I knew the food quality is bit worse during DOV but I didn't expect this bad.

1) White Bean & truffle Veloute: first impression in my mouth: taste like alfredo sauce with bacon bits. what? where am I, Denny's?

2) Artic Char: very average..bleh

3) 24 hr braised pork shoulder: dry like hell and no flavor,felt like eating a boiled thick piece of pork. braised for 24hrs? in what? water? had to wash it down with a glass of water

4) Lime cheese cake: all I could taste is super sourness, no lime or cheese taste. Got bits of charred mini marshmellow on top. what the heck? it doesnt look good nor did it complement the flavors. Did some apprentice dreamed this up sitting on the toilet?

Service was not bad but I left feeling totally ripped off for $38 + tax + tips per person.

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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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very nice....
By DaGasMan of Vancouver (17 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, February 1, 2007 - 6:05pm [Dine in]

went here for dineout with a few friends...nice decor, nothing outstanding special, but quite inviting and warm...lighting was dim, but not too dark...the restaurant was quite busy, almost all the tables were full. I had the tuna takaki which was very good and fresh. The main was the beef ragout; nothing that special, sort of a beef stew with some fettucine noodles...but the beef tasted very rich...the dessert was a green tea cheesecake with wasabi ice cream; the green tea cheesecake was nothing spectacular, but the wasabi ice cream was quite interesting. The service was very friendly and prompt...had a good experience, but was not blown away...definitely above average in both food and service.

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blue water is wishy washy
By tender of vancouver (11 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, November 12, 2005 - 7:18pm [Dine in]

Have been to this popular spot twice and disappointed both times. It's a lovely enough restaurant with it's big patio and spacious and warm interior...good looking menu albeit nothing terribly daring and wine list as thick as the yellow pages. Unfortunately, for the price, they gotta do a lot better.

Started off trying to find a sparkling wine in the categorized-by-country epic wine list...it was far too onerous a task so we tried to enlist the help of the waitress who i swear had over-medicated on her prozac. She knew nothing about wines so we asked if the sommellier could help, apparently he was MIA so we defaulted for a wine we knew. This first exercise took about an hour to complete thanks to our dazed server. What is it with the service in this city...either they wanna be your best friend or they're just OTL.

Food was generally well prepared but ruined with some hack sauces. If you're a purist like me, make sure you ask for straight soya sauce and wasabi with your sashimi or else you'll get some gloppy worcestershirish concoction. On the upside, the creme brulee trio was up to the standard i expected of this place.

Overall, this place reminded me of a cactus club minus the chirpy wait staff and priced way out of its league. I was so disappointed that i even emailed them (first time i'd ever complained to a restaurant) and instead of acknowledging my concerns, i got a too bad so sad response. Will definately not return to those murky waters.

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Certainly a postive Expericence
By AussieChef of Vancouver (downtown) (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 1:27pm [Dine in]

I visited Blue Water Cafe on the notion that it is Vancouver's Premier Fine Dining Restaurant and I left satisfied but with a lower opinion of Vancouver Dining.
I called to make a my booking a few days before and was told the only time I could get was 9:30pm which was alright with me and I requested to sit at the Sushi bar which they said would be done. Luckily I called just before going to confirm my booking because they couldn't find it I was on the phone for 10 mins when my reservation showed and I left to the restaurant.

We arrived at the restaurant and had to wait standing at the door for a long while (not an uncommon thing for fine dining) before being shown to our table which wasn't any where near the sushi bar (I think they lost my reservation). Didn't bother me much though I was happy to be there.

When I dine out I don't drink much but like to taste as much of the menu as possible. The food was really good though not as extravagant as the the price and hype I've heard suggests. The biggest let down of the evening was the service. My waiter was really nice, very friendly and was constantly checking up on us to check everything was all good but he made a few huge mistakes. Notably, topping up our sparkling water with tap water, after knocking a drink over half way though the evening not replacing the table cloth, instead just placing a napkin over the top of the mess to cover it up and he lacked knowledge on the menu which normally doesn't bother me but instead of going to find out the answers to my questions he just bull crapped his way though them. Works fine for a normal patron but when your a cook yourself it kind of make them sound stupid when they tell you the sauce on a dish is ponzu when it has no acid and smells like sesame...

The Restaurant was gorgeous making it really pleasant to sit there for long time and food and drink service was on point. A the few minor downsides though a really good night an excellent experience none the less. Worth the experience but i don't think the excessive prices warrant a return visit, not when Vancouver has so many other great restaurant to try out.

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How Good?
By muggy of Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 9:05am [Dine in]

I always look forward to this time of year because it's the 1 of the 2 times in the year that I visit Blue Water Cafe. To be frank I only visit twice a year because I'm not rich. If I need to spread my budget over the course of the year between other fine dining establishments and out of country food tours I would say twice a year will suffice.......
So we sat at chef Tabo-sans sushi bar. It helps that my mother knows him so getting served little tasters in between courses recommended by him made the experience much more delightful. Quiet and reserved it's amazing how slow Tabo-san moves with his knife but manages to keep up with tickets spitting out and keeping every dish consistent. I have to admit the sushi is good but overpriced.
What I love is the firsts and mains that Chef Pabst comes up with. Whether it's the ling cod, sablefish, halibut,
or live tank lobster they all seem to be perfect in every way. Everything from the sauce, center, and accompaniments it's all combined perfectly. I have never had a bad experience and the staff has always been great. I learned about eating raw oysters from one server, the kusshi is a great starter oyster, choose flavoring, grab the boot and slurp it up. The service at these prices is always the breaker for me. Going to restaurants that are "hoity toity" and "fine dining" and really expensive always bother me when the servers are snobby and make you feel uncomfortable. It's one thing when you go to eat a bowl of Pho for 8 bucks and get poor service, but spending 100 bucks and feeling uncomfortable because of the staff is another....... So it's always nice to have friendly staff at these types of establishments and Blue Water has friendly staff.
There's a reason why I go twice a year and I'll keep returning until Blue Water gives me reasons to do otherwise.

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Great Seafood
By imajang of Vancouver (5 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, August 29, 2010 - 10:16am [Dine in]

Went out for a reunion dinner with 9 high school buddies. We had dinner reservations for a Friday night - very busy place. As we were placed next to the bar and the door - it was very loud. Too many older singles trying too hard by the bar provided us 50 somethings with great entertainment. Loved the round table concept which provided us the easy conversation.

Food was absolutely wonderful - had the Seafood Tower for as an appetizer - delicious !!! Followed by the Miso Black Cod which was perfect. The portions were not large, however adequate. The service was excellent and our food server knew all his dishes and described them perfectly. No one at our table did not enjoy their meal. Dessert was awesome and presentation of each dish was artistically done.

Dinner is more on the pricey side - appetizer, main course, 1 glass of red wine, dessert and coffee was $110.00 including tip and of course the HST.

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Amazing food for a special night out
By vancitygirl626 of vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 11:04pm [Dine in]

Went back to Blue Water recently. This was my 3rd or 4th time here and it is always a treat. The seafood is cooked perfectly and the flavours are balanced so well, it is a real pleasure eating here. The service is great no snotty waiters just well versed polite staff minus the pretentiousness you get at many of the similar places around town. We had the oysters and scallop ceviche to start, my main was the qualicum bay scallops in a citrus sauce, which came out with wild rice cakes , caramelized onions and wild rice cakes- delicious! The value is solid for the quality, ambiance and service you receive. Definitely worth it for a special night out- foodies be prepared to be blown away.

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Blue Water Raw Bar - brilliant!
By nicansyz of Vancouver, West End (6 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, May 24, 2010 - 11:28pm [Dine in]

This is a review just about Blue Water's Raw Bar - not the general cafe part. In case you don't want to read the rest of this review, I'll sum it up for you: it was spectacular!

We arrived and sat outside in the patio. It is a gorgeous setting. Great ambiance outside (and inside too). The music is funky and not too loud. The flowers were in bloom. The decor is stylish, as is the plating.

The oyster menu is comprehensive, although they don't stock all the oysters on it. Tonight they had 6. We tried them all and they were all beautiful. Perfectly shucked. Brine still in shell. Red wine mignonette. Lemon. Freshly-grated horseradish.

The sockeye salmon sashimi was to die for. Vancouver does salmon like no other place I've ever been and sockeye is - at least when it comes to sashimi - the king of salmon.

The service was friendly, professional, knowledgeable and prompt. The Whistler-brewed pale ale was served in a hybrid baloon-tulip which was perfect and complemented the food.

It's not cheap, but for fresh seafood, you cannot do better.

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Expensive
By dpro of north vancouver BC (2 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, January 11, 2010 - 10:37pm [Dine in]

Very expensive, very stuffy, but good food.
There are other restaurants in this price range that have slightly better food...and some restaurants that have as good food, but cost less.I liked their Oysters very much, it was outstanding.Service is ok, wasn't too attentive.
Good food, however, the prices are too high. But overall, a very nice meal.

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