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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 41 - 60 of 69 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
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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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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New Years Eve was Perfect!
By justrightt of Port Moody (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, January 3, 2010 - 2:26am [Dine in]

Been to Blue Water multiple times before and it is always sure to please. New Years Eve 2009 was great! Blue Water offered their full menu with an additional chef's feature sheet. It's hard to find a great restaurant offering a full menu on New Years. The King Crab rolls were excellent and fairly priced for the amount of crab. There was also a feature with scallops, prawns, an oyster and white sturgeon caviar which was excellent. Blue Water also offers Wagyu beef, expensive ($30-something an ounce), but impressive and a great live tank selection. The wine list is extensive and offers choice for all budgets. NYE offered a live DJ and was a subdued atmosphere, a great alternative to clubbing for All ages. I guess they could have offered a glass of champagne (inexpensive or not) to everyone who paid the $40 cover; however, no big deal. We couldn't belive how many staff were on and how attentive they all were. I'll definitely be back to Blue Water any night or for any occasion.

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smells better than it tastes
By tbone of Yaletown (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, December 19, 2009 - 9:36am [Dine in]

My husband and I frequently walk by this restaurant and there is a section of Helmcken St just when you pass by that always smells so enticing. Friends and colleagues have also always raved about the seafood at this place. So after months of taking in the smell of their cooking from the outside, we decided to treat ourselves to an evening out at this restaurant. What a let down. Granted, the restaurant provides solid food and service, but it is highly over-rated. We started off with a roll to share as an appetizer followed by the arctic char and lingcod for the main course. All tasted fine (albeit with an excessive amount of butter), but certainly did not 'wow' us, as all the hype (and kitchen smells) would have us expect. In addition, our waiter, although courteous and attentive, seemed more focused on selling us more product (bottled water, appetizers, desserts, alcohol) than providing quality, comfortable service. As such, we felt we were on the receiving end of a pushy sales strategy. I don't know if that reflects the general management strategy of the restaurant, or if it was just this particular waiter.

This food from this restaurant definitely smells better than it actually tastes. If you're looking to spend a lot of money for 'fine dining' in Vancouver, there are far better places to go. We certainly won't be coming back here.

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Never Lets Me Down
By foodranger of Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, August 28, 2009 - 7:09pm [Dine in]

This is short and sweet...Blue Water never lets me down. The service is always amazing and the food is incredible. Sat at the Sushi Bar last week and didn't want to leave. I have nothing negative to say about Blue Water and can only hope that other restaurants will rise to this level. I can see why they win so many awards and have such praise. I have sent many people here and when I can't think of anywhere to go, I end up back here!

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Best restaurant in Vancouver
By klotcheedawl of N Bby (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, August 21, 2009 - 2:24am [Dine in]

I treated my husband to a birthday dinner here last year, and it was by far the best meal of his life. I had never seen him that grateful towards me before! =) The food is a bit overpriced (what do you expect in Yaletown?), which is why we will only come for special occasions. My husband was blown away by the extensive Scotch selection (the menu claimed it strives to have the best, largest selection in British Columbia), the quality and taste of the seafood item he ordered, and the overall elegant, simple, classy atmosphere. The sushi items were delicious but way overpriced. I ate ahi tuna and beef tataki, and both were equally fantastic. We will definitely be back for his next birthday!

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The wine list is great!
By ac2001 of downtown, Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, July 30, 2009 - 8:14pm [Dine in]

We really enjoyed the Blue Water Cafe. We were 6 people around a nice size round table; it was very convivial. The food was very good and the plates presentation were very nicely done. Also, they had very fresh half shell oysters. atmosphere was both warm and vibrant, as we could see from the dinning room all the cooks in action in the kitchen. They have a very nice, if not impressive, wine list. I was in the mood for great fish and I was totally satisfied with my salmon dish. The three-level plate of sushis and raw fish assortment that we ordered for the table as an appetizer was amazing

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Consistent
By cortani of vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 9:58pm [Dine in]

we went to BlueWater for 4th time an they are consistent with their service and quality of food.

excellent "Seafood Tower " which consisted of FRESH seafood and sushi which is a favorite of ours.

Parkings a little problem in Yaletown but theres always Valet.

It was extremely busy so the server could of been alittle more attentive

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Delicious Modern Japanese Food and Very Nice Ambience
By qky of Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, January 18, 2009 - 6:50pm [Dine in]

The place has a very nice decor and is definitely suited most for a romantic dinner for two, although it will be a very nice place to take your good friends too. Service was prompt and excellent. The food was very nice Japanese food with a bit of Modern touch. The tuna tataki was very delicious and not fishy at all; the sauce was also not as sour as the other tuna tataki's I've tried. The kurobuta pork entree was simply outstanding, although my date and I thought the desert was so-so. They also have a very nice selection of wines. Overall, I would definitely come back to taste the other food in there.

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I love the seafood here
By breitlingman of vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - 5:47pm [Dine in]

I've always loved coming to BWC, and whenever there is a special occasion, this is my restaurant of choice. I like raw fish and seafood, and in Vancouver there are very few that have the quality that Blue Water does.

I have not had their non-seafood dishes ever before, so I can't comment. Perhaps I will have the opportunity when we go to the DOV later this month.

The Tuna there is fantastic, with the Ahi Tuna carpacio one of the best raw tuna appy's I have ever had. A bit heavier on the sauce, but that is what makes it different and makes it something more than just standard ahi tuna. The Boulliabase is the best I have ever had, and is an outstanding value at under $30 for this kind of restaurant. My favourite appetizers here are the sashimi dishes, however. The Tuna Gomaee is AMAZING. I don't know what else to say about it besides that. It is such a great tasting dish, and the fish is fresh. The other Sashimi appy that is really good is the Scallop Sashimi. It is mixed in a sort of japanese mayo with flying fish roe spread throughout... and it is melt-in-your mouth good.

Every time I go here it does not disappoint! Great atmosphere too if you like something with a little more energy and on the casual side of fine dining.

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Very Disappointing
By cmor35 of vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 4:11pm [Dine in]

I don't mind dropping some dollars on dinner but when I do, I expect good food. Entrees on this dinner menu are extremely overpriced and the food was disappointing.
The lobster ceviche appetizer is just killed with spicy chili mayonnaise. Served with a garnish of deep fried garbanzo beans that disintigrate when you bite into them and taste like whatever was in the fryer just before them. What a let down.
The quail appetizer gave us hope for the rest of the meal and did indeed turn out to be the best part.
The tenderloin was certainly tender. A nice steak and a tasty jus. No complaints there but the stilton mac and cheese au gratin was severely disappointing! Browned panko crumb on top of mushy pasta sautee...does not a gratin make. That side dish could be fantastic, but wow, you really missed the boat on that one.
For the inflated price of that entree plus the additional charge for a side of vegetables, it should've been fantastic!
If it wasn't for a lovely dessert, especially the Mont Blanc, some good wine and aperitifs and a charming server, the whole evening would've been a waste.

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Phenominal meal, some nitpicks
By terutt of Point Grey, Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Sunday, September 28, 2008 - 12:22pm [Dine in]

I'll keep it short and to the point, Blue Water has a well deserved reputation. The waiter was cordial and knowledgeable when asked questions, the busboys were near invisible, like it should be. The open kitchen allowed us to see the cooks at work, and they look like virtuosos indeed. The fruits de mer were artfully presented, and the oysters (you get an assortment) were very fresh. My mother's sturgeon was perfectly cooked, and my tenderloin was well seasoned, and juicy, also, the accompanying chanterelles were sweet as almonds, and the blue cheese macaroni gratin, was sharp and fragrant. Brilliant wine list too. I didn't go overboard with the wine selection, but the ones we got (suggested by the waiter) were beautiful.

And now for some nitpicks: The first thing I noticed was that the music was wrong. It was bassy, beaty hip hop. I'd get it if I was dining was Cactus Club, but not a place like Blue Water. It almost blew the ambiance for me, but the rest of the room was very well done, and the open kitchen had me sold, so not a huge thing. I was focusing on the food mostly anyway. Also, I ordered a Hendrick's Gin and Tonic, it's meant to be garnished with a cucumber, but it came with lime. I suppose if you stock the gin, you should know how to present it.

In conclusion, aside from a few hiccups, the night was sublime from start to finish.

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One of the worst dining experiences ever...
By Waldorf of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, September 13, 2008 - 12:07am [Dine in]

Without going into every gory detail of this unacceptable dining experience, I'll just say that:
1) We got thrown out of a list waiting for a table inside, while we were waiting on the outside patio.
2) Got an "apology" from the manager and were asked to stay, (my suspicion is that they just didn't want to throw out the food that we already ordered for the inside (and have repeatedly told them so).
3) To amend for mistake one person from the company was offered, and indeed got a free drink, but not the rest of the party. The manager must think she's really smooth.
4) Now, you would think that with such abysmal service we would at least get tolerable entrees. NO SUCH LUCK. The sushi were warm, and when asked for baked oysters, they even ambitiously attempted to cook Oysters Rockefeller! Or at least that's what they called them. I imagine that nasal discharge tastes better.
5) The ambiance inside was very nice indeed (music, lighting, washroom...). For outside, a place such as this should have sufficient number of heating lamps. They also need a new manager, and new hostesses.

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Great ... but you get what you pay for
By bitemebaby of Kitsilano (7 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, April 21, 2008 - 7:22pm [Dine in]

If you spend $80,000 you get a great car. If you spend $300 you get a great meal. Don't freak when you get the bill. It is expensive but the food is fantastic. The Tuna tartare for example is the best I have tasted. The sushi puts the beats on other high-end places like Tojo (which serves their sushi too cold). The entrees were all great. The service is excellent and holy smokes do they have a big scotch list. Very impressive. I live on an expense budget so I am fine with dropping $300 every now and again ... but once again ... don't be fooled by "cafe" in the name. This ain't no cafe ... its valet.

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Expectations Exceeded!
By krikihana of Vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, March 19, 2008 - 10:09pm [Dine in]

Unlike the other ratings we did not go for DOV. And each meal came to 4 times as much as the DOV price not including wine. But, it was worth every penny! This is what you expect when you go out to eat!

The food was absolutely amazing. We each had a 5 taster starter - RAVE reviews. Followed by oysters that we heavenly. Following, I had the tuna and my husband had the sable fish for our main course. Everything about the food was stellar!

Service - it was service I would expect from a mid-range restaurant. The waiter did not place my napkin and removal of the cutlery was distracting - at one point we were interrupted and a waitress asked me to pass her the refuse from my chopsticks! Unacceptable in my opinion.

The ambiance is nice. If I were to be picky I would say that it is a bit outdated and could use a revamp. But, that would be being VERY picky! It is nice - no complaints! Kind of coastal cute.

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