Silks offers full service dining with a gourmet buffet served every live race day.
Tiered seating and floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views of the Northshore Mountains, Burrard Inlet and the track while tableside television monitors allow you to capture all the racing action.
I had been to Silks in the past. The restaurant is located at the Hastings Park racecourse. It is built as a terrace so that each table is overlooking the racetrack for an unobstructed view of the racecourse action. It is only operational during racing. Call ahead for reservations - you will usually need them.
I called for reservations, stating that I was bringing my two children (ages 3 and 5). I was told that there was a specific family seating area. This is different than the last time I was there (a few years ago). It is probably due to the gaming devices at the tables and gaming/licensing regulations. I gave my name and was instructed to use the "west elevator" to enter Silks as the east elevator would make my party go through an area where minors were not permitted. "Okey dokey" I thought.
I arrive with my double stroller. Small problem. There are STAIRS leading to the area on the main floor to the west elevator!!! The guest service person on the main floor was useless and different offer any assistance as my husband and I struggled to bring the double stroller down the stairs. I guess no one was really thinking of people with disabilities or parents with strollers - AS USUAL!!!! Shameful.
The "family" section was located by a service area. However, we were out of eye contact for the waitstaff and had to be pretty assertive to get our drink order in.
I was told on the phone that the buffet was $18.95 and that my 5 year old would be 1/2 price. I was also advised that my three year old daughter would be free. The food was reasonable. There were nice salads, a pretty decent selection of cheese. The mains were okay - I liked the ham and baron of beef, which was sliced by a friendly older gentleman. I especially liked the chocolate fountain and fresh fruit and berries.
However, my husband and I ordered two draft beers ( a Stella and a Pale Ale). They were warm. We called the waiter over and explained that the beers were warm. He suggested that the beer had been sitting in the line and that he would have them re-poured. He returned and they were still not served cold enough (note - my husband and I are pretty eclectic beer drinkers and have a good knowledge of beers and the proper serving temperature of the different types ... we know what we are talking about). I couldn't stand to drink this beer warm, sent it back and ordered a pop. My husband, the more gracious of the two of us, decided to let it slide and drink his poorly executed product.
We enjoyed the races. The kids were given colouring books and crayons, which they had fun with. The ambiance is nice (other than being tucked away in the "family seating" section) as the view is really nice at Hastings Park. The track is in the foreground, with the harbour, the port and the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge in the background). The horseraces give additional entertainment value.
We received our bill and noted that each child was charged as a "child's buffet" @ $12.95 each!!. My daughter had a few bites of food!!! I called the waiter over and explained that I had been told that my three year old would be free. He said, "Oh, I wasn't told that, but let me adjust the bill." He was gracious enough to do that. I didn't bother explaining that I was also told that my son would be "1/2 price) which would be around $9.50.
It would be nice if the people who answered the phones and took reservations would actually know what they are talking about. They need more education and communication within their staffing mix. I would expect the staff to at least know the prices and give a straight answer when asked.
BTW - I was also told that there would be a $5.00 cover charge for each person. When we arrived, I went to the front area (which is restricted to minors) and announced our arrival. I was also going to pay our "cover charge" and was going to confirm if the charge was per adult or per person (I was going to see about getting my daughter for free due to her age). The girl at the front advised that the waiter would charge this at the end. The waiter did not include this fee for any of us. I didn't remind him. I figured the $15 to $20 was my fee for having to carry the stroller up and down stairs!!
I would like to go to the track again, but I think that I will just pack sandwiches and some cold drinks and enjoy the racetrack on the ground level. It is free to enter here and I don't have to put up with being stuck in a corner, and bother with the inconvenience of stairs. The only down side is that the Silks restaurant is entirely non-smoking while smokers roam the ground area and spew toxins everywhere.
Sigh..... I really wish that Silks would get their act together so I can enjoy an afternoon at the races again.