Oak Bay Bistro
2250 Oak Bay Ave.
I was intrigued to visit Oak Bay Bistro. Since its conception there have been a whirlwind of reviews representing both sides of the fence. Some reported waiting too long for food, or just that the food was bad. I liked the way it looked from the outside when I walked by, and each time I have glanced inside at lunch it seems busy.
After entering the restaurant, around 11:45, I waited a couple of minutes until I caught the attention of a staff member to seat me. The layout is kind of awkward when you walk in, there should definitely be a greeter/hostess or a more formal entrance to be seated. The first thing I noticed when I sat down was the poor quality of tables, the particular table I sat at was wobbling each time I put my hands down on it. For a supposed new renovation, pretty bad tables, at least on the upper platform where I sat. Another thing that struck me as odd, was the breakfast pastries. They looked divine, raspberry custard danishes and sticky buns, but they were in baskets on a table exposed to the air. Sounds like a recipe for drying out and ruining the product, let alone not very food safe.
My server was kind of a big question mark. He seemed a more burly surfer dude than a server, extremely casual and annoyingly laid back for a more posh lunch. He brought me the beverage I ordered, and I asked for suggestions, but he didn’t give me any definitive answers, basically regurgitated the menu back to me as if I hadn’t read it (pet peeve).
My food came and it looked quite appetizing.
It was described on the menu as orecchiette pasta( meaning little ears in Italian) with zucchini, mushrooms, asparagus and salted onions with a romesco pesto sauce. I was confused by romesco pesto because they are two different sauces, so maybe they made a blend of the two? The pasta was cooked the way I like it, and the sauce had a great garlic flavour. I found the onions to be quite large and burdensome, and the mushrooms were basic button mushrooms. I would have expected some local wild mushrooms for the price of the dish. For a coffee and the pasta plus tip, my meal came to $24.50 for lunch. Sure it was a treat to have pasta, but that’s up there if not just as expensive as Zambri’s. I had literally just finished my food and the server put my bill down on the table and brought the wireless payment machine. It made me feel kind of uncomfortable, and rushed in a rude way. If I could get the pasta without the random service, questionable ambiance and inflated price tag I might go back. Chances are slim though, I’m glad I went though. So many times it is hard to decipher the reviews on Urbanspoon, so this was my experience. Cheers