You might easily overlook Chez Michel if you were on a whirlwind visit to Victoria. It's not in the bustling restaurant scene downtown, but tucked into a cozy space in the largely retirement-age neighborhood of Oak Bay, on a section of Oak Bay Avenue which isn't teeming with pedestrians unless they're headed to or from a bus stop. A glance in the window at the unabashedly old-school decor or a caught strain of the French muzak might suggest to you a pedestrian menu and stodginess.
You would be wrong.
This is not a place to go for trendy "beet tasting" appetizers or mystery compotes, granted. The menu here is traditional French food, and its preparation reminds you why it became traditional to begin with. My lobster bisque starter arrived in a bowl too hot to touch, a flavourful garlic crouton floating in the creamy broth flecked with tender lobster bits and perfumed with cognac. My husband's pate, served rustic-style with generous portions of toast and cornichons, disappeared quickly.
The mains were even better: my duck confit was perfectly prepared, skin crispy and meat fall-off-the-bone delicious, tender but still moist. Husband's rare steak, generously sized, also did not disappoint. We opted for the pommes frites - always available on request - instead of the potato of the day and were glad we did. With perhaps only one exception I can think of, they were the best frites we've had in town. (Our server told us Chef had offered additional frites if we liked, and it only took a few bites for us to respond, "Yes, please!") Sides were nothing exotic - a half tomato provencale and green beans - but arrived piping hot, full of flavour, and beautifully seasoned.
Dessert led us to the crepe "french connection," filled with vanilla ice cream and drenched in chocolate sauce, whipped cream and almonds, and the profiteroles. Save the space: it's worth waiting for.
Is a meal here cheap? No, but you get everything you pay for: portions are extremely generous (at least 2/3 of my duck came home with us). For the same investment at many another Victoria establishment, your results will be much less in both quality and quantity.
Our server was attentive without being overpowering. And, since we were the only party in the restaurant this evening, we frankly wouldn't have expected anything less. We've been here before during Dine Around (a period of local discounts at participating restaurants) and had a less successful server experience, which we attribute to the extra temporary staff needed to cope with the additional volume. The moral of the story is not to wait for the Dine Around frenzy with its tightly-booked tables and limited menu. Pick an off-season weeknight instead to sample Michel's food - you'll have a larger selection and a much more leisurely experience.
Has the ambiance changed much over the years? Not really. But our meals out are more about the food than about granite-and-chrome glitz or the latest lighting fads. Real table linens and a little candlelight are all that Michel's food needs as a frame.
Chez Michel is a hidden local treasure. Come with an appetite on a quiet evening and you will leave impressed and satisfied.
Wow! What a special little place! I swear our dinner was prepared by an angel as all the flavours and seasonings were to absolute perfection. My companion had the hot and sour soup with noodles which was perfectly flavoured and I had the bun with grilled pork and Spring roll. The pork was the best in town, to be sure. And the prices were excellent, the decor is upper-casual and the place is family-run. All in all we had an excellent experience and we will definitely be going back...
I can't tell you how much I appreciate oven-roasted potatoes over deep-fried, and that's what accompanies the yummy Spanish Omelet, which, for only 9 bucks is a great find! They also have great, inexpensive deals on breakfast specials, which are next on our list to try. I highly recommend it!
Going in on a night where the Vancouver Canucks are playing a game, we expected this place to be packed. This was definitely not the case (and probably due to being thanksgiving Monday), and we were seated quickly.
The host was pleasant and we got our water quickly... and then had to wait about 5 minutes before finally meeting our server. Our drink order was taken quickly, and when he returned with my boyfriend's beer he took our food order.
I excused myself to go to the washroom and by the time I was back our starter was already at the table (this was not that surprising, as we had just ordered the house fries as a starter, a quick dish to prepare).
While we were eating the starter our server came once and filled up my water, and before we were even finished our starter, our meals arrived (we had both ordered the bison burger, usually a favorite) being delivered not by our server.
I started on the ceasar side salad, which, in essence was good, however the croutons were stale (which my partner enjoyed) and my salad was overdressed (also enjoyed by my partner, haha).
The burger itself was tasty, however the meat to bun ratio was way off from how I remembered it (there was about an inch of bun surrounding the patty on all sides) and the bun was a bit stale as well.
This entire time our server did not appear once (as I said, he was not the one to deliver the food, and did not appear again until both of us had finished our entree), and as I watched him it seemed all his tables were clumped on the other side of the restaraunt and we were his only table in this area.
My boyfriend's drink remained empty from the beginning of the entrees, and my entree plate was taken away before our dirty appetizer plate was removed.
May return for cheap beer, but won't be coming back for quite some time.
My family and I went to Sunday Brunch.
*FOOD - VERY LIMITED selection from the buffet table. Food was NOT fresh.
*SERVICE- Our waiter was friendly but quoted us the wrong price for our meal as it was a buffet style and prices were according to age.
*VALUE- We felt the buffet was not worth the price we were charged.
*AMBIANCE- Restaurant is quite nice inside, the decor has a very romantic feel.
Overall- would not recommend.Do not waste your money at this buffet.
Came here Sunday for Dim Sum. Arrived at about 12noon, they open at 10:30 in retrospect should of been here as soon as they opened. The restaurant was packed with tons of hungry eyes staring down at those seated flashing the "hurry the heck up and finish look".
Finally got seated after about a 45 minute wait and immediately started to tuck into a tasty dim sum lunch.
Food was there almost on the spot, lucky for the table cloth as we were ready to eat it. Enjoyed some very nice shrimp dumplings, a beef noodle dish, some chinese veggies. The calamari dish in my view was inedible. Very salty and to me had a very strange taste. Wasn't very impressed with the egg tarts either, very small and not fresh tasting like the beautiful egg tarts I experienced at a restaurant in Beijing earlier this year.
Overall the dim sum experience was very good, a ton of food for a very reasonable price. For two we spent about $50.00. I will be back but next time may stand outside about 10:15am on a Sunday, just before they open.
Being a huge fan of Smoken Bones for a few years now I was confused when it seemed to go downhill a bit however they are definately back on track. Food was outstanding and service was very efficient. Large portions and again being different than anyone else out there supporting local producers. Great meals here!
My husband and I dined here because we love sushi and Japanese food. We ordered very simple, easy to prepare dishes; the age dashi tofu for an appetizer, the medium sushi plate ( for my husband) and the small chirashi sushi for myself.
The age dashi tofu, which is a common tofu dish in Japanese restaurants, came with virtually no broth or garnish. Cubes of deep fried tofu were stacked high and very dry in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of what looked like an undiluted bottled noodle broth at the bottom. As a result, it was completely tasteless and dry.
My chirashi sushi wasn't any better. The texture of the rice was really off, like it had been either soaked too long causing the grains to break down, or cooked for too short a period of time and then reheated. It seemed both undercooked and overly wet and sticky at the same time. The seasoning of the sushi rice was equally off, tasting weak or watery, and the skimpy assortment of raw fish on top, looked like it had been hacked with a butter knife, with no thought to presentation. The non-fish toppings were the strangest I have ever seen on a chirashi sushi; a cooked chikuwa covered with a sweet brown sauce for instance. The sushi plate that my husband ordered for 18.95 , was very small in size and suffered from the same badly made and seasoned sushi rice and poorly cut fish.
We went away hungry and disappointed and we will never ever be back.
We had recommended going to the Glo to our friends to have an enjoyable dinner and get together.
After being there last night, we have since apologized to them!!
No one enjoyed their meal, and the prices were too high. We couldn't get over how tasteless the food was and even the bread was over done and dry.
We will not be coming back again or will we be recommending The Glo to anyone else.
The location on the patio was very nice, but if you don't have good food, people will not come.
We are very upset and disappointed about last night and feel totally ripped off!!!!
We hope you make the necessary changes to have a successful restaurant business.
I have went to numerous sushi restaurants around Victoria and Vancouver and Chiba's is one of my top three. However, it is true that the service can be terrible and the location isn't "stellar or hip" for those who are obsessed with upholding a downtown "hipsteresque" reputation. But, neither will stop me from going and I will go anytime before I have to go to Azuma's or Shiki - the quality difference in the rolls is night and day and the sashimi is always excellent. I suggest you give it a try if you can live with a chance of not receiving the best service. The prices are also average with most Sushi restaurants in Victoria as Azuma's is the only one that offers the cheapest value. I am very picky about my sushi and I will take the chance of bad service to get excellent sashimi because that is one dish you do NOT want to have a bad experience of.
I must agree with the previous review for the most part. I have been meaning to comment on this place after trying their product once when they first opened. Very disappointing indeed. I don't mean to pile on here but maybe some constructive criticism is needed because I have a feeling this place needs help. Everytime I walk by here it is virtually empty, the odd person here or there but that is about it.
I must comment first on the prices. Could Pink Sugar simply be pricing themselves right out of business?
Absolutely outrageous is the only way to describe what they are charging. What is the justification for the price of a very simple cupcake?
As for the cupcake itself, truly nothing special. The cake part is small, the icing part is huge and from what I remember from that first experience, didn't call for another. The look of their cakes and their display is very much in need of a make over. Although the shop is new it is just not inviting enough and the way they have their cupcakes displayed is a fail.
I have not been back to the Pink Sugar Cupcakery since my first visit so that pretty much says everything. The owners of this place need to have another look at a Cupcakes location in Vancouver because to me they are doing it right.
The cupcakes were good (not anything I felt I couldn't make myself, but still good). There is a lot of icing on them, so a couple people I gave them to scraped half of it off. I like icing, so I was okay with it.
However, I was shocked at the price. It cost me over $17 for 6 cupcakes. They aren't huge cupcakes either. I won't return because of the price. I just can't justify spending that much money for a little cupcake. To me, they weren't that spectacular. I would have been willing to pay a premium over what they would cost in most stores, but not that high of a premium. I'll just make my own next time.
This is the only place I'd go for donairs in Victoria. They do them the true Greek way a thick pita onions, tomato, meat, and sauce all wrapped up in all its yummy goodness. Let's face facts though, the booths are not designed for comfort, the best way to go is to take it either home or on a sunny day to Saxe Point Park to eat. It is well worth the detour to Esquimalt to grab some grub here.
The food here is great, the pizza is wonderful, they even have soy, gluten free options, etc. My one medium pizza with delivery charge, etc was over 30 dollars. Great deal for two, but for one, it wasn't very good compared to other places that have deccent pizza. I do love their sauce and they have great options. I doubt I'll go for the delivery option but stick to walk in for a single slice.
If I didn't just eat the veggies, I probably wouldn't go here. It's a bit pricey for a help-yourself place, but the food has been consistently good when I've gone, lots of selection. At least I don't have to worry about sneaky bits of meat in dishes. The chocolate cake is amazing. For vegan food this is very good. But Dinner usually costs around 20.00 for a small appetite. The good stuff weighs the most it seems.
ok so they just recently (Aug 2010) raised their prices by %30, most of their stuff is still under $10 and is an incredible value for the taste. I've paid double for much less many times.
The Royal Kebab is a wonderful family-run Indian diner that provides some of the best takeout in town. Their menu is somewhat limited, but what they lack in diversity they make up for in flavour and price for what they do offer. Butter chicken, with fresh jasmine rice (that almost offers a hint of saffron), and a tasty salad runs at less than $10. Before they raised their prices, the same dish was a stunning $6.25 and that included tax! I felt guilty eating such a wonderful meal at such a low price. I often thought of suggesting to the modest owners that they raise their price, which would've gone against my selfishness as a customer. Alas someone beat me to it, but even at $10 their meals are a great value!
their samosas are still $1.25 and tasty tasty! so i usually get the butter chicken and a samosa or 2. don't judge me for my appetite lol i'm a big guy. and their food is seriously delicious!
If you're looking for a great takeout place with a neighbourhood feel, and you don't mind waiting 15 to 20 minutes for some fresh food made with great care, then check them out. It goes against my judgement again to even write this review, because then more people will know about this little gem. But they deserve the praise!
Friends recommended this restaurant and I'm sooooo glad I followed through on their advice! The food was delicious, the service was awesome, the portions were huge and the prices were good too! We had a special cheese as an appy - they flamed it at our table! The greek lamb dinner was so tasty and melted in my mouth! The parfait style tiramisu was to die for!!! Have driven by many times, but had no idea how cute the restaurant was inside with waterfalls and greenery. My new favourite place to dine out!!!
First thing is first, Sharky's has the best batter of any fish and chip place I've every tasted. It is a sour dough batter, so the first thing one sees is that it sticks to the fish, not so much air between the batter and the fish. They are mainly take out, with only a handful of seats inside, but we managed to push two together for 4 adults and two kids. Ordered the family pack of 4 halibut, chips, coleslaw, tartar sauce and individual dishes for the kids. Everything was outstanding, the fish was perfectly cooked, the chips are cut big, but cooked so that the outside is crispy, inside nice and soft. Tartar sauce is made in house and has a nice bite without having too much mayo consistency. Easily the best in Victoria, and off the beaten path away from the hordes of tourists.
I have enjoyed lunch several times at the Cafe Marrakech and hope that more people will give this spot a chance. It is located in the developing Quadra Street village and offers a wonderful alternative to those living in the area. It will appeal to those who enjoy dining out to experience interesting, delicious flavours.
Please note: in accord with custom, the Cafe Marrakech does not serve wine or alcohol. While I respect this choice, I regret it as wine is generally a part of my dining out experience. I am not familiar enough with the cultural requirements to comment on whether there is a way around this tht can respect the integrity of the owners while accommodating customers. (Given that the expat enclaves in the Middle East do import alcohol, perhaps there is a way - something for the owners to explore, perhaps.)
The flavours are extraordinary and the dishes, while not cheap, are not out of line for the effort required to make them. Sadly, without enough customers, it appears that some menu items are not always available.
Come on Victoria - support our cultural mosaic and EAT INTERESTING, EAT OUT!
Useless waitress ruined the night for the most part. I was made to sit alone at a separate table because I could not eat the "all you can eat" with my friends due to a serious allergy. Waitress ignored me completely, and when my order finally came the chicken was raw, to which she simply said "yeah, another person had that happen to them too". Never came back to ask me if I wanted a drink or to correct the mistake. Refused to tip her and was informed that "tipping was automatic" and could not be changed, and I had to pay the 15% extra. I will be calling the manager to complain. Completely ridiculous. What I ate of the meal before the raw chicken tasted pretty good.. not anything spectacular that you couldn't easily make at home. Ambiance has a cheap feel to it.. we were the only people in there at dinner time, which you'd think we would have considered to be a bad sign.
|2.||Ferris' Oyster Bar & Grill|
|4.||5th Street Bar and Grill|
|5.||Smoken Bones Cookshack|
|11.||Baan Thai Restaurants|
|14.||Canoe Brew Pub|
|15.||Spice Jammer, The|
|16.||Heron Rock Bistro|
|18.||Pescatore's Seafood & Grill|
|20.||Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub & Guesthouse|