Ferris' Oyster Bar is a dimly lit, hip, New York-style bistro. Oysters are the mainstay served 14 ways but the rest of the dishes on the eclectic menu are not to be missed.
I have been to this place twice, with similar experiences. The second time, and most recent time I was with the grandparents. The food was pretty good, but I felt that in general the portions weren't big enough. The oyster burger which you would think would be a prominent item on the menu was small, but tasty. I thought it was a little lack-luster for an Oyster bar. I tried a couple other oyster dishes from around my table and the tasted very good. The service was lacking. I politely asked the waitress what she thought of the lamb burger and the oyster burger, and asked her for a suggestion. She gave me an unenthuasiastic response, very indifferent, didn't care. She was impatient. More annoyingly was her, hurry up and order demeanor, especially with my grandparents. The place was new to them and she made them uncomfortable and flustered. I asked what beers were available, and she looked exhausted by the question. Blank, rushed look on her face throughout, and it wasn't too busy! Ambiance is fine, I like the location, and the idea of the restaurant. You can have all the tools, but with out the proper delivery of the idea, it gets abit lost.
This is, for some reason, a favorite amongst many friends and colleagues. I just don't know why.
My wife and I strolled past there about a month ago looking to try out a new restaurant. There were a few employees wandering around and it was only about half full. After waiting for about 5 minutes at the entrance, we had to track down a waiter and ask if we are supposed to seat ourselves, despite the sign saying to wait. He told us to go back to the entrance and wait for the guy who was the host. About 3 minutes later, the host came along. Without any pleasantries, "How many." 2. "Look, you can sit there or there. (pointing several tables away)" It looks like you have a patio in the back, could we sit there? "Um, I think I have it mostly reserved" Could you double check? "Ya, but it will take 5 minutes or you can just sit here." What a smug putz.
For some reason we still sat down. From all the raves, we figured that guy was just a one-off. The tables are relatively small and are very close to other tables. My wife was still quite put off. We basically decided to try a different place. Then our waiter came by and we told him about the host. He apologized and said he would guarantee we would all have a blast tonight.
He took our drink order and about 10 minutes later we finally got our drinks. We ordered a couple champagne-oyster shots, a bowl of yam fries and I ordered Jambalaya (forget what my wife ordered). Took about 25 minutes to get food. First drink was done 10 minutes earlier. No one noticed.
Everything was boring and had no presentation. Jambalaya was incredibly boring. I don't know how you can do that, but they managed to pull it off. Bland everything in it. Oyster shots were decent - and they better be with 'oyster bar' in the name. Fries were skinny, peel on, and almost broke when putting in the sauce. Never saw the waiter again, despite his promise of us all having a blast.
Ordered dessert. Some sort of a chocolate-bomb. Boring again. No presentation.
Took the bill to the counter to pay with debit. Bar maid saw me standing there with card in hand but continued chatting with some friends. Had to call her over. I entered about a 5% tip. I said "goodnight" and she just gave me a look without saying anything.
All in all, everyone here seems to have some sense of superiority that is totally unjustified - especially given the quality of the ambiance, food and presentation, and service. There are many better places to spend your money in Victoria.
The descriptions of the oysters at Ferris' were so good, we ordered some as an appetizer for the first time in recent memory. The (huge!) pan-fried oysters with butter, lemon and garlic were fantastic, and you could easily make a meal out of a half dozen of those monsters with some bread or fries. They were so good, I may have to try them on the half-shell next time we're in Victoria.
Lunch entree was the falafel sandwich with yam fries. The falafel were flavourful and wonderfully chewy. The yam fries came with skin on, which I quite enjoyed.
An excellent lunch option, not too far from downtown.
The place was packed on the night we came, but we were shown to a table right away as we had booked. The service was efficient and friendly and the seafood was fresh, tasty, and abundant. Not much of a wine list, but seafood is the reason to come here. It is noisy and without much ambiance, but with good service and food it is a great place to come during the week.
Let me state this right from the top, I have only been here once to-date. It had been recommended by a couple of friends. The food was good but nothing remarkable, although I would like to try it again. The reason I have not been back is because the service is absolutely offensive from the servers to the on-site owner, who is espcially noteworthy for his lack of charm. Whenever Ferris' comes up in a conversation, there is always always a new story about the lousy service. How can one place be so consistently bad? I feel sorry for the cooks who take pride in their work only to have it ruined by the service staff.
We went to Ferris to have a wonderful meal. I used to live in Victoria about 5 years ago and would frequent Ferris quite often. Unfortunately, it has really changed. The service was TERRIBLE. So terrible that we left after the appetizers. We sat in the back patio portion of the restaurant and were never given the choice of sitting inside or out. We were seated beside a large party of people that were having a blast. When they left, the servers cleaned off their table and did nothing but complain about the group of people and the fact that they were REGULARS every Saturday. We were sitting there listening to this with our mouths open.
We had ordered drinks to start with and a party at our table got up to go look for the server because it was taking so long when she came back and our party said, "Oh, there you are. I was just coming to see because we would love to order." Her reply was, "Yeah, you and everyone else." Not a good attempt at being funny. We have a great sense of humour. The moral of the story is. We left, and as we were leaving heard. "Oh, I am so glad those people left!" Wow. We were a low maintenance table and were prepared to spend some serious coin. We left and went to the Local restaurant to have a wonderful evening!
It is such a shame because their food is great, especially the burgers. but no amount of great food can make up for such poor service. In a service industry driven city like Victoria the service stands out like a sore thumb. The servers seem severely 'put out' by the very fact they have to serve you, there is often a long wait and just a general lack of good service. People will put up with a lot as long as it is accompanied by friendly and gracious service. This is sadly lacking at Ferris.
Ok, it's good to hear it wasn't just us. We also had a poor experience here. We walked in and had to wait only a couple of minutes and they man gave us our choice of seating (inside/outside) - that's great. However, our server took forever to come see us and take our orders. Furthermore, she said I couldn't have any substitutions because the kitchen didn't like doing that when they are busy (note...it wasn't too busy, but they did have good crowd). So, after not being able to get what I really wanted I settled for something else. But it took a long time to arrive and the serving display of the food was aweful (looked like garbage on a plate!) and it didn't taste that good either - some of the worst food I've eaten. We didn't even finish. I paid a lot of money and barely had anything to eat. When I complained to the server, she said "I'm sorry, you should have said something"...I would have but you never came to ask how it was!!! She also said I could get something else. But I was thinking that I couldn't get what I wanted because you can't have substitutes!!!
Generally it was a disappointing experience. I hate tipping bad because I have been a server myself, but this was just BAD!!
I'm sure locals enjoy it because it seemed like the management/staff knew all the people, but to tourists such as myself, I didn't get much face-to-face service. In all, I wouldn't recommend this place to my abnoxious neighbour, he deserves better than this place.
I'd checked out Ferris online before going to Vic but was turned off by the negative reviews about service. My first choice was Garrick's Head Pub but they had stopped serving food because of a big power outage that night. So we decided to give Ferris' a try.
Perhaps the owners been reading some of the negative reviews about their service, but from start to finish that was actually the area that stood out the most for me. We were greeted immediately at the door, seated at the bar, told how long we'd be waiting, told again that we'd be the next to be seated, and once we were seated the waiter kept checking in to see how we were. So for us anyway, service was great. It was a Sunday night - maybe service suffers when it's really busy?
I had the Oyster bowl - the deep-fried oysters were great and the veggies were fine, but the rice it came with was overcooked and the dipping sauce was too sweet. My gf liked her choice - she got to choose four sauces to go with her oysters. I'd recommend asking for the sauces that aren't sweet, unless you like that style. Beer selection was good and lots of wines by the glass. I loved the space - a long, narrow room with high ceilings and lots of brick.
The presentation was beautiful, the sauces were great, and even if you don't like Oysters, there are many tasty options to try. I had mussels, and the flavour was subtle, but enjoyable. The chocolate dessert was superb. The ambiance was great, with not to much noise and just the right amount of light. The service was friendly and knowledgeable, and always there when we needed something. I would go again.
It's not often I'm in Victoria, but I arrived a little early this trip so that I would have time for a repeat visit to Ferris' Oyster Bar & Grill.
I ate downstairs - it was just me, so I got seated at the bar which ended up being fine entertainment as those waiting for seats were a constant source of chatter.
I started with 6 oysters on the half-shell - yummy! They came with a half dozen condiments to add according to your tastes. I had their smoked oysters on a spinach salad (warm dressing) - I am now spoiled and will never appreciate a smoked oyster in a can again. I accompanied it with their garlic toast - a small loaf served with a whole head of roasted garlic and a small container of cambozola mousse - also very tasty! I left very content - a meal does not get much better than that. I only wish that I'd had somebody to share it with!
If you're hungry and looking for new place to go beyond the touristy hangouts, try this restaurant. The prices are pretty standard, but the portions are not! Unlike a lot of downtown places, the plates are big AND filled with tons of food. The burgers are a good bet and come with salad or a fries (get the yam fries which are healthier and tastier than their regular cousins). I ate the Colin's special, which decent but nothing spectacular. The servers were attentive and prompt and the restaurant was cramped in a cozy sort of way. Come early to beat lineups.
After a long plane ride and looking at many reviews and asking lots of people around the Victoria area the place to go and get a fantastic meal was Ferris`s. Either the people in Victoria have never eaten seafood or do not know what seafood is much less good seafood. After getting seated the wait was extremely long, I order the Pacific Rim . The bowl was huge, and that was it. It was suspose to contain prawns, scallops, and other shell fish, with linguine mixed with a sauce. What I got was a bowl of tough noodles, two shrimp that were about 40 ct. and three pieces of scallop the size of my little finger. The shrimp would be small bait at the best. The dish had almost no flavor and the price was unreal. I am 56 and of all the places I have ever ate this one was the worst and one of the most expensive. To the people who wrote a positive review on this place all I can say is you have never eaten seafood, if you want to eat real seafood try south Texas,
We were in Victoria for our vacation and this restaurant had been recommended to us by our B&B host. She said that Ferris' had an upstairs and downstairs but she had only been to the downstairs grill.
When we arrived on the block where Ferris' was situated, it was not easy to find, as there weren't any big signs for the restaurant and there was scaffolding around the building, making it look more like a construction site than a restaurant. We were hoping to check out the downstairs grill, however, there was a long line ahead of us and we were in a bit of a rush. So, we decided to check out the upstairs part of the restaurant...and wow, are we glad that we did!
The upstairs had a nice ambiance with their brick walls, candle lit tables, and the soundtrack to Amelie playing in the background. It was exactly the kind of place we were looking for. The menu had a great variety of plates which made it a little hard to choose from, as there was so much we wanted to try.
Not being huge fans of oysters, we tried 2 baked oysters for our appetizer. They were incredibly delicious! We ordered two different kinds, and both were filled with such a perfect mixture of flavours! If the oysters had come sooner (before we ordered our main courses), we would have had oysters for our mains!
For our main courses, we had the baked halibut with procsuitto and the boneless ribs with truffled mashed potatoes. They were both delicious dishes, but we must say that the boneless ribs were mind-blowing!
For dessert, we shared a warm chocolate brownie which was very yummy. We were a little disappointed that they didn't have ice cream to serve with it, but the whip cream was nice. The brownie wasn't overly sweet, it was a little crunchy on the edges, then warm and soft in the middle =)
This place will gave us incredible value for a complete meal with drinks, appetizers, mains, and dessert. Overall, we were completely impressed with Ferris' and we look forward to going back there for another meal when we are in town.
If this place ever closes it will be the saddest day ever! Started eating there while attending UVic about 6 years ago. Have been lots since then and will contine to eat there when I go back to Victoria. Have had several items on the menu and have loved every single one of them, nothing was ever bad!
The service/staff are always good, friendly, and very helpful! Love the set up of the restaurant and espically love the back patio, I am not too sure if they still have it.
Food is always made with the freshest ingredience and everything taste soo healthy!
I can't say enough good things about this place, I would recommend to any and everyone!
If you own pugs or love pugs this is the place to be. Check it out on Halloween when they have their annual pug party. Food is terrific, and reasonably priced. Try their veggie burger one of the best in town! Shellfish is wonderful as well. Highly recommended.
I have been going here forever and when I first went the service was horrible but it was something to laugh at. The food was good and cheap.
They have gone through a lot of changes over the years and now the service is so much better and the food gets better. Their fries are to die for and portion is gigantic. I love the veggie potstickers and crave them.
Whenever I dont know where to eat I end up here. The only problem is so many people found out about it, it wasnt always this popular.
Cant say enough good things about this place
In the years that I've lived in Victoria, Ferris' has proven to be one of the best places for a great time with friends and great food! You'll find me there time and time again and it's a must go when I visit Victoria periodically.
This little grill which seems to blend into its surroundings please to no end. The food quality is great and the portions are definitely generous for the price. The oyster burger is great as is the oyster dinner with 8 individual oysters prepared any of 10 ways. The other items on the menu deserve some attention as well. If you like fries, you'll like the New York style and Sweet Potato fries! They're great with the mayo dipping sauces as well!
Those with peanut allergies beware though, as I recall, everything's cooked in peanut oil.