Steakhouse and bar beneath Harbour Towers
I wanted to take my mom somewhere special for dinner, and made the mistake of choosing Vic’s. I had to condense my review to fit the maximum allowance, so I edited out the long wait at the front, and longer wait for the server…
I ordered the crab & prawn cakes for an appy and the tenderloin for a main (med-rare) - King Crab legs entree for my mom. He said, "the side of crab?" as he wrote it down - but I said, "no, the entrée." He sort of argued with me over whether or not it was a side or an entrée, until I picked up the menu to show him. Apparently, it was a 'new addition' as an entrée and he was confused. Before he rushed off again, I said my mom would like that with the mashed potatoes – also ordered a side of mushrooms and a glass of wine each. Not sure what the problem was but you'd have thought the place was on fire or something as he rushed off.
It was just before 9pm before our appetizer arrived. The prawn & crab cakes were very small and very, very salty. We did eat them (we were hungry!) but had to flag down someone for more water to wash them down. Good thing we had some bread to tide us over as well. Our entrées arrived just after 9:30pm - and the crab legs for my mom's entrée were just that... crab legs on a small plate - nothing with them. When I asked about the rest of her meal, he looked stunned... then said, "oh, the veg is coming separately" - I asked about the potatoes, and he said, "we don't have any." I pointed at my plate with potatoes, and said, "then what is this?". He said, "oh, I'll see if there is any left". I guess it must have been the very last of a batch of potatoes made earlier in the week - they were horrible! And I mean Horrible with a capital H. If I was blindfolded, I would never have guessed that it was potatoes I'd just eaten. It was supposed to have aged white cheddar mixed in, so maybe they used that powdered cheese-stuff they sprinkle on popcorn at the movies. I have no other explanation.
My mom picked up the first crab leg and the cracker, and when she tried to crack it open, it simply squished together. Seriously. No cracking, just squishing. I took the crab leg from her, and it bent without hesitation. It was the weirdest thing. She picked up a few other pieces and same thing... just squish, squish. Gross. The waiter comes back with my mom's potatoes on a little side plate and a side of really dry, old-looking mushrooms. No veggies. This is getting worse. We show him the crab and he offers a replacement. We say no thanks, not for $37 - she'll have something else. He takes it away and says he'll be back with a menu. We both taste the mushrooms and they are almost as bad as the potatoes. I cut into my steak, which seems ok, until I realize that the brown sauce-like substance is merely covering up the fact that the steak is char-grilled to oblivion. It was done sort-of Chicago-medium (blackened on the outside, barely pink in the middle) NOT what I ordered. The black crust I bit into crumbled in my mouth and I almost threw up. I don't know what that was, but spit it out and took a big swig of wine to get rid of the taste.
When the waiter came back, I told him he could not only keep the menu, but he could take away the rest of the food. I wouldn't give that to my DOG. I couldn't believe it - I actually looked around the room for Ashton Kutcher, because I thought I was being Punk'd! Not so. We finished our wine (the only good part) and the manager (?) came by to apologize about everything and asked us to fill in a comment card. Gladly. They kindly comped the wine & appy, but we were still hungry!! It was now just about 10pm and all restaurants between Vic's and our hotel were closed at 10pm. Not only will I never go back to Vic's, I will be sure to warn others of this disgusting excuse for a steakhouse. They should be ashamed - and send their "chef" (term used mockingly) back to whatever fast-food restaurant he learned to cook in.
I was a little hesitant to have breakfast at Vic's, thinking the food would be over-priced with small portions. Not in the slightest! The portions were great and the food was delicious! The serving staff was friendly and attentive, no waiting around for service. I had the eggs benny with steak, and highly recommend it.
I had been pointed in the direction of the Tapa Bar by my hotel but stopped because I saw Vic's. It was closer to my hotel and from peering in the window, looked like a nice, relaxing atmosphere. Interestingly, the atmosphere was actually the least amazing part of my experience...
I ordered the Romaine Hearts Salad, which I fully expected to be good, but nothing original. I was wrong. Paired with a glass of red wine, seated near the fire, I was surprised when the server came to my table with a beautifully plated salad. The hearts were kept mostly whole and only drizzled with roasted garlic dressing (small pools for dripping on each corner of the plate). It was topped with heatlhy shavings of parm, two thinly sliced pieces of toasted bread - well seasoned, and one strip of crispy proscuitto. I must confess that making little sandwiches out of the proscuitto, crouton, salad and parm was an enjoyable experience, and was simply delicious. Nothing was over-done. The only complaint I have is that I ran out of proscuitto!
In addition, the waiter brought over two pieces of fresh multi-grain bread with a selection of butters and what I believe was a mild pate - a sprig of sage finished up the serving and it too was very taste, and well prepared.
The waitress was incredibly busy with a large table of business travellers but still did an excellent job of ensuring her small party of one (me!) was well serviced.
I think this is a new restaurant, and although off the lobby of a hotel, provides an excellent eating experience. I will be returning on my next trip to try a steak!
I visited Vic's Steakhouse for the first time last Friday and was more than happy I did. I have lived in the James Bay area for a few monthes now and was surprised that I hadn't heard of this gem sooner!
We sat in the lounge and were served by a bartender who was charismatic and knowledgable. The service was prompt but not rushed, and we were treated to great music by a live band.
I ordered the halibut, as I do not eat meat, and it was done perfectly. Very simple but flavourful at the same time. My companion ordered a steak and said it was one of the best he had experienced in Victoria so far! We shared a home made ice cream sandwich for dessert and at the end I was so full we ended up staying and enjoying the band for another cocktail.
I would reccommend this restaurant to tourists and locals alike and will definitely return!
|1.||O Bistro (45 m)|
|2.||Hunter's Club Bar And Grill (53 m)|
|3.||Santiago's Cafe (71 m)|
|4.||Pablo's Dining Lounge (107 m)|
|5.||Gatsby Mansion Inn & Restaurant (114 m)|
|6.||Victoria Harbour House (119 m)|
|7.||Chongo's Restaurant (120 m)|
|8.||Nourish (120 m)|
|9.||Jonathan's Restaurant (141 m)|
|10.||Songhees Seafood & Steak (159 m)|