Monk McQueens fresh seafood and oyster bar has been a seafood lover’s paradise since 1986. Known in the neighborhood simply as Monks, our award winning restaurant is set at the foot of the Cambie St. Bridge and looks out across the water at Yaletown and the coastal mountains. The patio makes the perfect place to wile away a West Coast afternoon or evening.
We dined at Monk McQueens on a sunny Saturday, curious to know how things are going since our last visit, which was a long while back. Not much has changed. The decor is about the same, ambiance is good, with a great view, but still lacking lighting once the sun has set (I understand the mood lighting idea, but the restaurant is much too dim - looks like they're impoverished rather than rustic).
Food: Was okay. I had the seared ahi tuna chop salad and a seafood bouillabaisse; my bf had the chicken wings and salmon burger. Surprisingly the best dish was the chicken wings - done simply, was crispy and tasty but not greasy. On the other hand, the tuna was not as fresh as it should have been, and the seafood bouillabaisse didn't feature any really great / fresh bits of seafood. The salmon was overdone in the burger.
But what was lacking in the meal, dessert more than made up for it. For $8 each, the portion was HUGE. I would say it's share-able between four people! We tried the blueberry pie (with ice cream and a home made flaky crust) and the "banana", which was 3 pieces of banana bread, peanut butter ice cream, whipped cream and a deep fried coconut-covered banana. I would definitely recommend coming back for the desserts, but probably hit or miss for dinner.
I had brunch here on the weekend and had a very good experience. I had eggs benedict which was very tasty. The hollandaise was great and it included hashbrowns and a fresh fruit salad which was a nice combination. The prices I thought were very reasonable based on the quality of food and ambiance. The view was fantastic and the room is what you'd expect from a fine dining restaurant. I might try dinner here soon and see how it is.
...but parking was terrible! (which I guess most of the people who's been there will agree - the fact that we have to park 1 or more blocks away unless you want to pay the $8 for valet...yes, it's good exercise, but having to walk 2 blocks there and back is just a little too much).
We were seated right by the window. The view was just fabulous and those chairs...you could just fall asleep in them. The service was just right and the food was good. It was a little pricey, but it's fine dining we're talking about, right?
Will definitely be back, but for special occasions only.
We had a nice table on the patio overlooking the water on a hot, sunny early evening. We had the lobster corndogs and the surf 'n turf to start. The lobster corndogs were fun and quite tasty; the surf 'n turf was pretty bland. We then had a dozen oysters - good! For our main course, we ordered the halibut and the prawns and scallops. The halibut was good, the potatos served with it were not so good. The scallops and prawns were alright. Kinda pricey for two prawns and two scallops though. It was served with some very bland, cheesy orzo. The best part of the night was the wine. Our server was a little ditzy but it was entertaining.
Tried their small plates menu - steamed mussells in a pot (interesting but an overall failure in regards to presentation) ;Coconut Curried Chicken Satay, they were what they were (an imitation of an authentic satay with a passing grade), but wayyyyy overpriced at 11.00.
Ambience is well-to-do with a great night view of False Creek. This place is more suitable for local yuppies to hangout for evening drinks and chat over their yachts and Maltese puppies ; foodies looking for the ultimate seafood experience should look elsewhere.
Sadly disappointed, almost mad about going to Monks tonight. As background, I've been a professional chef for over 25 years at some really great places.
Yes, the view is great, but you have to expect more than just the view for the prices charges (entrees between $25 and $35ish). Service was just okay (had to ask for bread 3 times), waitress likely busy but left us looking around for service on more than one occasion. Appetizer of scallops not bad (rice was really boring, as in no flavor at all, but scallops pretty tasty but quite oily). Two of us ordered the special Cobb Salad (I know, not really exciting but a good Cobb Salad can be delicious). As advertised on the menu, it was a Tiger Prawn Cobb Salad with heirloom tomatoes, pork belly, a 6-minute egg, baby spinach and blue cheese. Sounds pretty good hey? NOT! The pork belly was more like fried thick cut bacon. The prawns were unseasoned pre-cooked prawns - small, like the kind you'd find on a VERY cheap pre-made appy platter from a grocery store - only minus the cocktail sauce which would have least given them some flavor). Then there was the deep fried breaded egg (interesting I guess). As for the blue cheese....ah, I don't remember any blue cheese...enough said. The tomatoes were heirloomLESS imports I'm pretty sure (china maybe), really they were just two cheery tomatoes cut in half. Salad dressing was for sure below par and very unseasoned.
All in all, we were totally not impressed. We were at least happy that we ate semi-heathy and came home not feeling too stuffed.
We should have listened to the previous reviews they were right. But our friend said that we should try it out as it was under new management and/or they had a new chef or something and apparently it's way better now...don't believe anyone btw...it's not true.
Monk's it not worth the money. I think that they believe the view is enough but in reality if the food, service, decor (very old but not in a classy way, more in a "ya were old but who cares, maybe no one will notice kind of way) are not good then no view is really that good. Next time I would rather make a sandwich, grab a beer and look at the view from a park bench on the sea wall.
Definitely will not be repeat customers!
Went there last night with a couple of girls, one of who was visiting from out of town. While they were off in the washroom the server came by and gave me a long list of things they were out of... okay, but how can I be expected to relay that info to them? Not a lot of offereings on the menu by way of vegetarians or people not looking for shellfish like my mom-to-be friends. All was good until the food came. Mine was the smallest $18 caesar salad ever. More like a side dish. Come on... lettuce costs pennies. How am I suposed to be satiated from a handful of lettuce? Added the shrimp for $7, it was a handful of frozen mini-shrimp, enough said. A couple of grilled prawns would have been better. It was tasty though. Other girls shared two dishes and an extra plate wasn't brought until they asked. I ordered a beverage and stared at it waiting at the bar for 15 minutes until I finally had to remind the server about it. The kid's menu offered more than the adult menu.
I took my mom and niece with my son to Monks for a birthday dinner. The place is in desperate need of a reno, the waitress was indifferent. My mom ordered lobster, there was little meat in the claw which was stuffed with mashed potato, my niece's bouil-la-baisse was bland, the scallops were hard. I ordered the hamburger no sooner had the waitress put it in front of me when she suddenly whisked it away, the cook forgot to put the hamburger patty in the bun! No apology, the 18% automatic tip is a rip off and not worth a single penny. Never again. Run away from this place... as fast as you can.
what else can I say? It's a lovely place to bring someone or a group of people for ambiance. The view is spectacular, the environment is warm and classy. My only love for this place is that I can sit for hours and feel comfortable and indulge in the beautiful waterfront scenery. The food is not good. Avoid the lobster pot pie - the lobster is so chewy, I avoided the lobster bits. Flavour is bland. Our waiter was barely there and we had to continually ask for basic things - water, utensils, an extra order of soup which never came until we reminded him, etc. Your money will be better spent elsewhere.
Ate at Monks Upstairs on a sunny Saturday evening with a jazz trio for entertainment. Great table by the window. Fabulous chewy bread with olives to whet the appetite. Started with very tasty crab cakes, served with diced papaya and enhanced by shrimp. Moved on to the sablefish. Melt in your mouth moist & tender, accompanied by seared scallops and delish potatoes. Definitely on the pricey side especially once you add the practically mandatory valet parking, but a terrific special night out. We weren't in a rush, and had the luxury of an unhurried evening.
Went back to Monks after a couple years to see if it has improved. Three words to describe the food here-- overpriced (small portions), bland and overcooked. My friend had the Salmon, it was dry and tasteless. I ordered tenderloin, which came med-well when I asked for med-rare...
The prices here are that of a fine dining place but it definitely does NOT deliver if you are expecting quality. It's a rip-off!!
People keep talking about the view here, and ya, it's not bad, but the restaurant itself is hideous and stuck in the 70's, so what's the point?
Admittedly it's been some time (years in fact) since my significant other and I dined at Monks.
Monk's used to be one of our favorite haunts with the Canuck's tickets and dinner package being the bait.
That was until after returning on the Monk's bus from a game and the valet fetched our car for us that we notice that the front bumper of our car was damaged.
Of course the valet denied being the responsible party and it followed that the management would deny liability.
It's not surprising that we voted with our feet.
It was a not so busy Friday evening...which probably explains why the waiter had time to lull around the room. Service was pleasant, not too much and not ignored either.
The mediterranean paella dish tasted OK but the rice had the consistency of mush...overcooked for rice, undercooked for porridge; it just couldn't make up its mind. Portion was a good size but I could not distinguish some of the seafood and meat; I think overcooked again.
The seafood linguini was better and the portion was generous. It came in an Alfredo type sauce and had lots of seafood. I think this was a better choice but I don't think either dish warranted the price charged.
The ambiance made the price bearable, the entertainment coupon helped but it would have been a bust on the food alone.
Go here if you must, but just go here for the view. I've been here twice, once for lunch and once for dinner. The view is amazing but more amazing at night. It's beautiful and it provides the perfect atmosphere for a romantic dinner if you go on a night when the jazz band is playing. The service is really good here too and I really like how attentive they are. I really liked the service and the ambiance but the food department seems to be lacking. The oysters were good but who can screw up oysters right? If you want good food, then this is not the place to go but if you just want a good view while you dine, then it's the place to go.
We were seated in the bar area for some reason with a horrible fluorescent light shining in our eyes from the bar area. Our server (who I think was the bar tender) was not friendly or personable. When taking our order he just came up to the table and stood there without saying a word. I had to say "I guess were ready..." to break the silence.
After we ordered, we weren't not offered bread which all the other tables had. We asked after our appy came since our server had disappeared. The bread was a baguette squished flat from a knife cutting the pieces... Not a good start to the food.
Ordered the calamari which was bland and Halibut and Paella for the mains. The halibut was horrible. It was a nice presentation but when I took a bite I had to chew it as it was was so tough! I've never had a CHEWY piece of fish!
So, don't bother coming here. Thew view is nice, but not worth the prices for the BAD food and service.
Disappointing is theme of this review.
Disappointed that we paid 18% service charge to sit in plastic chairs/tables from the patio.
Disappointed that we had to remind our server that our appetizers still hadn't arrived yet.
Disappointed that a steak ask for "rare" arrived "well done & dead".
Disappointed that our table spent easily over $700 and still get nickel & dimed.
Finally: Disappointed that we didn't spend our time and money elsewhere.
I eat out all the time and usually head over to Granville Island but found my way to MONKS!
It was really great. Started at the door where Kelsi was happy and fun. She took us to a nice table at the window with a great view of the water.
Stephanie was our server and helped us with wines and the menu. She told us about their bin ends wine sale and we received 20% off our wine! - Awsome
We started with the Fish Tacos and the Oyster Corn Fritters. Loved it. My date had the Striped Bass with was light and came with these tasty mini onions. I had the Bouillabaisse. A great Vancouver twist on the french classic.
We had a really terrific evening and I look forward to being back for Dine Out and the Summer Patio.
I came to this restaurant on a recommendation from a friend of mine. Although the location is great, the food did not live up to my expectations. It was quality was average, but this is a place to go for a nice view. The service was quick and friendly. The price of food was what you'd expect for the location of the restaurant. Nice place, average food.
6 of us came to this restaurant after a wedding this week expecting an incredible experience and were sorely disappointed. Location and view are breath taking, too bad the rest does not measure up. I had the salmon dish, it was dry and bland. I was looking forward the Moroccan flavours they were advertising on the menu, didn't taste any of that. My neighbour had the ahi tuna, it was a tiny portion and very bland, totally not worth the $25 they charge. He said he liked the potatoes accompanying it though. He was ready for another dish when he was done along with dessert. When he ordered dessert, he was asked what chocolate ice cream he would like, the one with peanut butter or not? he said the one without, they brought him the one with! Good thing he didn't have nut allergies. The waitress was so so, kept wanting to take away unfinished dishes at the beginning of our meal, and was nowhere to be found later. Another fellow at our table had the bouillabaisse and said it was just average (he is French so I think he would know!)
The other people around the table didn't comment on their food which led me to think no one else was impressed either.
Such a shame for a place in such a splendid location! Would not go back and would not recommend anyone else to either. Or maybe just for a drink on the patio.
We heard about Monks through a couple of cab drivers when we were asking around for good seafood restaurants. Coming from Saskatoon, SK we were in dire need for fresh and fantastic seafood and Monks did not disappoint. We went Dec 31st 2009 at 3 in the afternoon and the place was empty, but the staff were busy preparing for the new years festivities.
Our server was fantastic, incredibly polite, prompt, and attentive to our needs without being hovering and overbearing. The rest of the staff, were quiet and courteous to our dining while they were preparing for the supper rush.
We ordered the beer on special and a glass of wine for drinks. Names are escaping me right now but they were very tasty! And to those in the reviews that were complaining about the amount of wine you get, I got a very large and quite full glass of white wine..
With our appetizer we wanted to try the dim sum, however we were informed that that particular item wasn't available (I didn't question why, just figured it wasn't ready yet) we ordered the seared ahi tuna instead and sweet jesus, it melted in our mouths it was so fresh and perfect. The sauce was addicting and we just couldn't stop nibbling at our sauce dipped fingers.
I ordered the Vancouver Bouillabaisse, while my boyfriend got the Grilled Wild Salmon & Jambalaya. Again, phenomenal. The seafood in my dish was cooked to absolute perfection, and the soup base was so flavourful and complete. The grilled salmon was also amazing.. I seriously can't stop salivating right now and going gushy knowing that I'll never get seafood like that in Saskatchewan ever.
When we received the cheque we were so surprised to see that the waitress comped our appetizer off because they didn't have the dim sum available. They comped the more expensive appetizer that we ate and enjoyed!! Also I got the recipe for the Bouillabaisse, but shhhh!
To get to the point. It was fantastic. I find the prices cheap considering where I'm from. This meal all in all cost us 85 dollars. If we were to get that in Saskatchewan, it would be chewy from being frozen, thawed and refrozen/thawed from deliveries, and overcooked to hell, and even then cost us over 150 bucks.
I'm telling everyone to check out Monks, and when I go back to Vancouver this is the first place I'm eating at!