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Oak Bay Marina Restaurant
review by Gord

To any Victoria resident, the name conjures up class. For the most part, theyíd be right. I attended this establishment after the UVic law wine-and-cheese as the guest of those fine folks at Firm F-. Unfortunately the group was too large and the table too long to facilitate effective schmoozing, but the restaurant wasnít really to be blamed for that.

The Oak Bay Marina has all the outward trappings of a swanky, upscale restaurant - professional and knowledgeable servers, constantly hovering wine stewards, artful presentation, and of course, enough forks on the table to open a Home Outfitters. I guess thatís what we were paying for (or more accurately, what Firm F- was paying for) because it sure wasnít the food.

Donít get me wrong - I realise that in upscale restaurants, there will not be any $17.99 entrees. But 35 bucks for a tiny slab of salmon uninventively presented on a bed of plain white rice with a dollop of generic gourmet sauce? I ordered the New York steak, and letís just say I was really glad I was not paying for it. The cut was unspectacular and not flavourful at all - Iíve had much better steak at the Keg. It was accompanied by the standard (undercooked) baby potatos and what was described in the menu as ďAsian-inspiredĒ vegetables - near as I could tell, bok choy and some sort of Chinese greens - which were overcooked. I guess the chef figured it would balance out. I skipped dessert, but what my tablemates ordered didnít look too spectacular.

The New York Steak was really my only option because everything else was seafood. Yes, I realize Iím on the West Coast, and yes, the fact that itís called the ďOak Bay MARINAĒ should have tipped me off. But for this kind of pricing I expect a little variety on the menu.

So, to summarize, the service was great, but the meny was limited and the food only average. I guess I canít complain too much since I didnít pay for it, but if I had been paying for it, I would have felt pretty ripped off.

Score: Two and a Half Pints, , but theyíre pints of Stella Artois or some like beer, the kind that you pay a lot for and makes you feel sophisticated, but really isnít all that spectacular.


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