Fire and Water Chophouse
728 Humboldt St.
This review could go on for pages and pages, but I’m trying to be more concise with my reviews.
Things I liked:
The fireplace, the warm ” holiday” decor, inspired flavour combination along with some classics, local proteins( both seafood and meats), simple and approachable wine/drinks list.
Things I think can use improvement:
Attention to detail, maybe have more staff on to give better customer service, not to drown plates with sauce, some variation with vegetables from entree to entree.
This dish is the Fire and Water signature Prime Rib, which is brined over night, with horseradish potatoes, and veggies with a jus. I tried a piece of the beef, it was good, but not as tender or flavourful as I was hoping. The peashoots or sunflower shoots on top were an odd garnish for beef. Note the saucing.
Price: $32 dollars for the smaller portion
This dish is the local cod. It was served with “smashed” red potatoes and the same veggies and odd garnish. The saucing on this plate is more under control. I tried the fish, it was a bit overcooked for my liking, and still retained a somewhat fishy flavour. The pepper grinder was quite coarse, so maybe this can be looked at, big chunks of peppercorns can be a bit overwhelming.
This is the dish I ordered. Lamb with a sweet corn and tomato risotto, and some type of Stilton demi-sauce. All three entrees were served with broccolini and yellow beets, and shoots on top. This is potentially the best cooked lamb I have ever eaten. It was perfectly medium to medium rare, so juicy and flavourful, no complaints on the preparation at all.
My two main complaints are with the vegetables and garnish, kind of boring and predictable. Also I found the sauce served with my lamb had strange mouthfeel, almost like the cheese was thickening the sauce, and it coated my tongue. The beef was also swimming in sauce. We ordered some sweet potato frites as an appie, I was starving. The menu said it was going to be served with fresh parmesan, and a truffled aioli. Halfway through the fries, I noticed there was no parmesan, so I asked the server to bring us some. This is an example of a lack of attention to detail, if a menu item has only one garnish, such as parmesan, why is the thing that makes it a bit “special” being overlooked. The aioli had good acidity, but I got no trace of truffle, kind of a fail on that one.
The service was interesting. Our server was patient, topped our wine up routinely which I appreciated, and had some suggestions( as they had run out of scallops that night, which I had originally wanted). He was noticeably busy, running behind the bar to make drinks, and serve, so he missed a couple of details( bringing water late, not catching the parmesan, etc.) He also did one of the worst things I think a server can do with the payment. I despise when servers drop off the bill and say, ” I’ll just drop off the bad news here”, suggesting a negative overtone of the whole evening. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
The quality of the food matched the prices for the most part, with a bit more focus on details and consistency, this restaurant has a lot of potential. My parents enjoyed their food very much, and as I said, it was the best lamb I have had in Victoria. The bill came to just over $160, so you definitely pay for the experience.