Rodney's is an oyster bar in Vancouver's trendy Yaletown.
Came here during the week to try the low tide specials from 3-6pm. Called twice the week before to get a reservation and they indicated that they do not take reservations but much to my surprise when I arrived at 5pm, they said the large tables were reserved. They said they changed their policy a few days earlier but I understand from other people, this policy seems to flip flop. The low tide special has one type of oyster at $1.50, approx. 1/2 which makes a big difference if you order a few dozens. Some of the other speicals such as the mussels - over cooked and not very good, scallops - good, pan fried oysters - excellent, are approx. $5 off. Service is a lacking as per the previous reviews and the servers seem to be proud of this reputation. Value is there for the low tide period but wouldn't bother going otherwise. Ambiance is all right for a casual place. Would only return for low tide.
Low tide is Rodney's version of Happy Hour, except for oysters. Fresh-shucked raw oysters, at only a buck-fifty a piece. That's not bad! Low tide runs from 3-6 daily, and also gives you some other options, such as steamed clams and mussels, for example. When I went, I had the steamed mussels and a good helping of raw oysters.
The service there isn't too bad, the servers are more than happy to explain each of the sauces that accompany the oysters to the table (make sure to load up the oysters with a couple if you've never tried before; it's delicious) and quickly brought fresh bread when we ran out, without charge. You'll need the bread if you buy steamed mussels, because dipping the bread into the juice it is steamed in is HEAVEN.
Valuewise, the Rodney's is probably ok. I've never been outside of Low Tide this one time, but during Low Tide it is totally worthwhile and I'd definitely be back. I skimmed the dinner menu though, and the price jump is pretty steep. I think I'd rather go to Joe Fortes for a seafood/oyster dinner, but Rodney's during the day can't be beat.
You may also enjoy the setup. It's a small, two-level building right in yaletown that has a rustic, warm atmosphere, and it's always busy. You feel like you're right on the warf inside... in a good way!
Having a meeting at 8pm in Yaletown, we needed something quick. A friend suggested oysters - fast and easy.
We arrived around 7pm for our first time at Rodney's, and were seated immediately.
The menu did not have a raw oysters section, nor did they have a board stating the oysters on offering - at least not in the upper level where we were seated.
15 mins, finally someone comes by. "Drinks?" I said we were ready to order everything, and were admonished soundly. "Well, I'm taking care of drinks first." Yikes.
Drinks come, and the same server asks if we are ready to order. I guess he missed our readiness first time 'round.
But, excited about some fresh oysters, I cheerily say, "So what raw oysters do you have on tap?"
"On tap!?!?" he sneers.
Sheepishly, I reply "Oh, it was just an expression."
"Oh, is that an expression we have now?" he snidely replies.
Unsure if I was astonished more by his social or service incompetence, I asked right out: "What oysters do you have this evening?"
He emits an incredulous laugh, and his face turns red in anger. "Well!" he shouts. "We've got all kinds of oysters! We've got 12 kinds. Shall I tell you every one of them? Is that gonna mean anything to you?!"
My dining partner and I exchanged stunned glances. No oyster menu... no oyster chalkboard or list... and since this is an oyster house, I guess asking about the oysters is a pretty reasonable question. Since I don't work at Rodney's, I certainly don't know how it goes - so do you just say, "A dozen oysters" and let the server randomly select some for you? If that's true, why couldn't he just say that?
I still can't tell you what we were supposed to have done. He shouted a few sarcastic questions... "So do you like them meaty? Creamy? We have all kinds, you know. What do you want? West coast? East coast?" He was clearly incensed - though at my work, I'm delighted to have customers. I guess not everyone is.
My bad for not walking out right there. We quietly ordered 6 raw oysters and some steamed clams.
Later, another very good server (thus the 2-star rating) noted in shock that the table that had come in after us received their food first, and that our server had not given us any bread, though all other tables had some. The same, good server, when clearing the empty clam shells, was surprised that our hot clams had been served before our raw oysters, which took a good 20 mins to come. (6 of them, remember.)
We left angry, more for the demeaning attitude of the first server, and when the bill came and it was tip time, he was sweet as pie.
We tipped in accordance with our experience, and we will never go back. I guess with the Olympics coming, some restaurants aren't worried about providing a nice experience. My money will go elsewhere.
Overyhyped. Limited menu selection. Oyster variety is minimal to non-existent. Fresh enough for the items, but nothing extraordinary. Nice decor. That's about it. Overrated by far.
After watching a sporting event, my wife and I were looking for a place to have late night snack. On the way to Yaletown, we got full on nailed by a wall of water from a car hitting a puddle. Because we were busy yakking, a huge amount of water ended up in both of our mouths. A couple of 20somethings across the street were trying to stifle their laughs. I would probably laugh too, as we were both drenched from head to toe, while wandering around an expensive part of the city. I imagine locals know the puddle. First world problem.
We showed up at Rodney’s looking gross and mucky…. almost like an umbrella on the floor of a bus. The hostess had trouble finding us a spot, but a server intervened and seated us. After hearing our first world suffering, he got us some drinks and menu’s.
The appies were great, especially the smoked salmon and indian candy, and the oysters were as advertised. The server comped some our bill because “he felt guilty about splashing someone with a puddle years ago”. That is kick but friendly service that will have us coming back. Anyone can shuck and serve oysters and drinks – the food speaks for itself. However, when the service is great, the food tastes better.
While looking at some of the other reviews, service seems to have been inconsistent. Maybe we caught this waiter on a good day, but I don’t think so.
We left soaking wet and uncomfortable, but at least we were satisfied with the service and food at Rodney’s.
A lively Yaletown joint great for groups of friends on any weeknight. I loved the ambiance of this place. Very eclectic, yet homey and warm. The service is okay, kind of spotty. I think we only saw our server a few times and if we wanted something it took him forever to come back. We had a few oysters by the shell dishes which were really nice especially with their nice selections of sauce/spice add ons. We also tried their hot seafood items which included a cooked oyster dish and I think it was clam chowder. Those items were meh. But if you like Oyster and don't want to shuck them yourselves, then Rodney's is the place to be. Great Yaletown Gem. =)
Rodneys has always been a favourite or ours. Having recently just moving back to the city after working in New York was craving Oysters.
Settling back in Yaletown decided to hit Rodneys friday night. Excellent service with top notch Kushi's !
Reasonable for Yaletown and much more reasonable than eating oysters at Blue Water. Comfy joint but needs a revamp in the dining room. All in all, thumbs up !
I was going to Yaletown and stubled upon this place. There was a menu on the outside for "Low Tide". I was quite impressed. When I read reviews on this, I thought it was an expensive, snooty place.
The "Low Tide" menu had the raw oysters on there for half price ($1.50/each). I think it was only Sunday to Thursday. It was so......good. Their pan friend oysters were also VERY tasty.
I thought the service wasn't bad at all. The waiters there were nice and funny. However, the only complaint I have for the waitress that brought me to the table was quite rude. I wasn't too sure what was wrong, but she seems quite cranky. I thought with the spirit of the other waiters, the two waitresses would atleast have some kink of spunk, but some peeved her off and she's taking it out on the rest of the customers, which is quite unfortunate.
After the dinner, I ordered a Chocolate Mousse. I thought it was quite expensive. It was $6.25 for a small portion.
Rodney's is substantially busy, and understandably so. Waitstaff service was exceptional - the waiters really know their menu and wine list, and have honest recommendations for every palate. The oysters (that I had a chance to try) were delicious, and I loved that there were a selection of sauces to try them with. The banana pepper chutney was my favourite! The clam chowder, however, was nothing special. It was lukewarm and had about three clams in the entire bowl.
Upon entering Rodneys, we were told that there would be a wait, and shoved into the back holding area that served a (very) limited menu. In my opinion, this is Rodney's way of gouging you. You're waiting, you're getting increasingly hungry, and subsequently you end having to order more booze and appetizers that you may not have ordered, had you gotten proper seating in the first place.
We were held ransom for over an hour. The hostess did not come by to check on us or to update us on our seating situation, while there were empty seats upstairs and in the main lounge area. When we questioned this, we were told to wait while they checked with management / waitstaff / ??? about the status of those tables. We weren't told anything by the hostess until we left fifteen minutes later when we were exiting the restaurant.
The restaurant looked like it had so much to offer, but it would take a lot for me to forget this first experience. There are loads of other places in Vancouver for raw oysters and delicious seafood - Joe Fortes, Monk McQueens, Fish House, or Provence. None of them have notably snotty, unexperienced hostesses waiting at the door.
Unfortunately the popularity of this place has swelled the heads of every server, bartender and host at this restaurant to a point where they all feel that giving attitude to all the diners is actually enhancing the experience.
I'm all for a fun, lively atmosphere, but I certainly don't enjoy the declining service of this place. I have been there a number of times over the years, and this past week was the worst. Definitely go there if you enjoy oysters (they are great, and the selection of sauces etc is nice), but don't expect to actually be told how much anything costs in advance, nor what they have available. They'll make you feel like an idiot for asking. Just sit back, enjoy the food and then be ready for the heart attack when the bill actually comes. (They definitely push the $3.50/oyster selection!)
Also recommend to take cash - it took us over 30 mins to finally pay by credit card - with the machine having to be brought to your table and your server is hovering over you as you pay, encouraging you to tip well.
There are other great restaurants for oysters, with a much better overall experience, I'm sorry to say.
Went there w/ some friends. In general, a good experience. Left feeling full, but spent more than I had wanted to.
Ambiance was decent. Decor makes you feel like you're eating by the dock. Chairs not so comfortable and it was bit too noisy--hard to hear my friends, had to talk very very loud.
I have no complaints whatsoever about the food. Well, maybe the price~i know it's seafood, but found it a little expensive. Go between 3-6 for much cheaper oysters. We had 3 diff types of oysters (very fresh), crabcakes (no fillers!), scallops (SO good), pan-fried oysters, house salad, Manhattan chowder, and steamed mussels (tasty sauce, great to dip your bread in). Drinks were avg in price and selection.
Service was, um, interesting. First guy who came to our table used expletives. I understand this is a casual atmosphere, but there are other words he could've used. Other than that, service was okay. They could've been faster w/ the bread.
Worth going to at least once, to try it out.
Experienced a great dinner at Rodney's and particularly noticed how much fun and upbeat the wait staff were at this operation . The deep fried oysters are nicely presented and very filling and tasted great . we also shared the garlic prawns which were perfectly cooked and the sauce to die for especially to dip bread into . The room is a little loud and the white wine list is a very limited in the $30.00 range . Overall great food and a fun environment and will be back .
I go here at least once a month, just for their great oysters. I like the casual atmosphere and the food, but lately, the service has been suffering. It takes a long time to even order something, and sometimes you wait a lot longer to get oysters, that are just shucked than you should. The waiters are sarcastic sometimes and just ignore you other times. I'd recommend this place if you're an oyster lover, but don't come for friendly service
This place has all the right oysters if u luv fresh oysters. It can be very expensive ($280 for 3 girls to dine, bottle of $60 wine, tax & tip). I would suggest this to be a great place for after work drinks & appys & pre-dinner venue. I only gave the food 3 stars as opposed to 4, quite frankly due to the prices. I love kumimoto's and they are impossible to find, so I am willing to pay the $3.50/oyster price but it is quite steep. They were quite famous for their oyster slap jack, but i think it's time to pass on it now. In fact pass on the soups. The steamed clams now come on a smaller plate but are still quite yummy. My friends thought the crabcakes were great but I found them a bit fishy & not crispy enough on the outside. Still, it's a great place to pop by & have a beer & some oysters.
I love this place. I discovered it when I was working in the area and went a few times for lunch. It's decorated with a nautical theme. I've always sat downstairs or at the bar. It's fun to sit at the bar and watch the oyster shucking.
The hot lunches are pretty good, but nothing exciting. My favourite things to order here are the raw oysters. They have a good variety and they are always fresh. What sets this place apart from other oyster places is that the oysters are served not only with lemon and horseradish, but with 5 different types of sauces ranging from mild to extra hot. There are a decent selection of wines and beers and the caesar is really good. Between 3 and 6pm, they have what is called the Low Tide specials and oysters can be had for $1.50 each. I'm always so excited to come here.
Service has always been good while I've been there. The guys behind the bar are usually pretty friendly and have a sense of humour. So on that note, if you don't have a sense of humour and aren't able to laugh at yourself, you might not like it here. Occasionally there's a bit of a wait for something (more bread etc.) if it's busy, but I've never had to wait an unreasonable amount of time.
It's a bit pricey, but it's so good that I make it a treat every once in a while.
Here's a classic example of a busy restaurant that relies largely on atmosphere and popular vibe. The food is okay, but expensive (hey, it's Yaletown), the service and attitude we received was intolerable. We usually tip well, not this time. Bad service can be forgiven with an apology, but the "hey dude" rude attitude from our poorly mannered server ensured that we won't be coming back.
I have to agree with a few of the reviews here, the prices do seem to be a bit on the high-end even though they make the place feel as if they shouldn't be charging as such.
I dropped in today for their Low-Tide special which is a much better deal. I personally feel they should be retaining those prices for the regular menu. Much more reasonable, not overly cheap but not eye-poppingly expensive either.
The oysters were great! Nice and fresh with a tray of special sauces to apply for different tastes! I also had the Garlic Prawns which had a nice subtle garlic butter sauce that was perfect for dipping my bread!
Servers were all very friendly if not too casual but that was the style they were going for. I applaud them for their approach towards customer service rather then the uptight servers at other restaurants in the neighboring area known as Yaletown.
Setting-wise they had this whole ocean theme going with nets and boats hung about which was quite unique. Felt like an indoor docking bay.
Overall a pleasant experience.
I would be reluctant to come during regular hours if my bill was going to be much, much higher whilst the same food, service and atsmosphere.
My ratings would have been all 5 stars IF they charged Low-Tide prices all the time, but for what most patrons are paying at regular hours it doesn't justify the food or service.
Went here recently totally last minute and didn't know what to expect. My lady and I just had oysters for the first time acouple weeks back so we were pretty excited to have some more. We met up with a group of others and started off with a bottle of wine and ordered a dozen to start. It took about 15 minutes to get them but we were enjoying our company so didn't really notice. When we finished the first round we ordered another 2 dozen and some garlic prawns. This time it took just over 20 minutes to receive them but after 45 minutes the prawns were still MIA. We finished off the oysters and when I finally got the servers attention I asked about the prawns. He went in the back and came back about 5 minutes later and said they were just on their way out. ( This is now an hour later which means they had forgot and were rushing them out ) Well we did get them and they were great just don't know if I would wait that long again for them ;) Anyway we are going back for sure because lets face it, your in the middle of Yaletown and getting a big variety of oysters for a $1.50. How can you go wrong. Just don't expect good or prompt service.
To be fair I should preface my review by saying that this restaurant is very successful and has been a neighbourhood haunt for 11 years and all this in a part of Yaletown that is generally the death knell for restaurants. I mention this because my review may be in the minority of reviews.
Dropped in for lunch recently and started with the New England clam chowder. Really bland with lots of cream and flour and a couple of diced potatoes but darned if I could locate any clams. Earls has a far better New England clam chowder packed with clams, potatoes and assorted diced vegetables for a dollar less and a bigger serving.
I then had the crab cake which was dry and tasteless although to be fair the green salad which accompanied it was fresh with a decent dressing. I also expected something more substantial given the price that was charged.
The wine pour was small but the price was not indicative of this and only added to my perception of mediocre value at this restaurant.
I like the raw service at Rodney's. It is afterall, a "raw bar". Certainly not refined, the service is agressive in a fun way - but it helps to play along. I think the waiter appreciate that.
About the wine glasses: I think it is their way of saying "ok, if you want wine you will have to have it in these glasses". And, the way they fill the glass to overflowing is just insane! That's the charm - don't like it? don't order wine. Like eating at Rodney's backyard party. You gotta go with the flow.