I recently had the chance to check out Lift Bar and Grill for lunch on a very cold winter day.
They’re essentially located right on the water behind Westin Bayshore, and have a very nice patio area for the summer. The interior looks pretty cool too, and the glowing bar counter was a nice touch.
For drinks, I had to go with my usual Mojito:
I found this mojito to be average at best. Visually it doesn’t look very special at all, and the flavour just wasn’t quite where it should have been. Regarding the caesar at the back, my buddy who ordered it always gets caesars, and he said it was weird!
I also had a Lychee Island $11.
This drink consisted of soho lychee, appleton and malibu rums with pineapple and lemon juices. This was much better than the mojito, and it was very delicious! It is very sweet and tasty. The lychee itself tasted wonderful after being soaked in the drink when saved til the end.
My friend ordered a Gin and Tonic (didn’t check which type of gin) and he said it sucked. Lately I’ve been really getting into gins and ordering gin and tonics with my friend, so we know what a good GnT tastes like, and this wasn’t it.
He also tried a Grapefruit Bourbon Sour $14.
This drink was not very good according to him, as he had not acquired the taste for bourbon yet, but I’m sure bourbon lovers would enjoy this drink.
Now for the real reason why we came here….OYSTERS!
The oysters we got were small to medium sized, which were to my liking as I don’t really like the larger ones. Their oysters were ok, but they weren’t the best I’ve had. That fresh flavour just wasn’t there as opposed to Joe Fortes.
For food, we basically shared the following items:
Tempura Prawns $17.
These were pretty good. The batter was soft but the shrimp inside was pretty sizable and overall it was very tasty.
Fried Humboldt Squid $15.
The squid was pretty good as it was very tender to chew and had a very good texture to it. They tasted great when dipped in the chipotle majo sauce.
Smoked Pork Taco $16.
These did not taste as good as they looked in the photos above. The taco soft-shell would break very easily and it was very dry overall. It did not have much flavour to it when bit into.
I forget which type of chowder this was, but it was definitely not clam chowder, and it was far from the chowder of Pike Place in Seattle. It was ok for soup, but nothing note worthy here.
Salt Spring Mussels and Manila Clams $17.
The toast, as you can see, is quite burnt on top, and we had asked them for more toast, so we could share it amongst the 6 of us, but the new toast that arrived was just as burnt, if not even more so. The mussels were ok, nothing note worthy. The soup was nice to dip the garlic bread in, but the charredness of the bread made this less enjoyable.
Grilled Cheese Sandwich $12.
This came with provolone and jalapeno harvarti in sourdough bread. I added the extra option of back bacon for $3. I’m not sure if I should have, as it did not improve it that much. The sandwich itself was already good with the cheeses they used, and having the back bacon did not seem to make it any better than it already was. I love grilled cheese sandwiches and I think this would have been totally fine with just the cheese, although I would not consider it worth $12 for this small sandwich plus fries. This was a sandwich I could have made myself at home, as there was nothing special done to it, and the bread seemed pretty normal too. Overall this was my favourite dish as I enjoyed it the most.
Fish & Chips $19.
The fish and chips were ok in terms of taste, but did not look visually appealing. The batter was very hard and encased the fish very rigidly, which made it difficult for eating. Their fries are good as I like thin cut fries, but the fish itself was just average, nothing special. They were definitely not worth $19.
The service here was another story. It was hard to get service from a server as ours was not very attentive, and we also had difficulty grabbing someone else to help us when we needed it. Our table wasn’t hard to find either as it was situated in a very brightly lit corner. When we did get service from our server, it wasn’t the friendly and courteous service you’d expect from a restaurant of this type. Very disappointing.
Overall, this restaurant was a bit of a let down given the awesome location they have. The food was average at best, drinks were a hit or miss, and service was lackluster. I expected more from this restaurant and will likely give it another try in the summer when they open up the nice patio outside, so I hope that second chance will allow them to redeem themselves in my books, for what that matters!
Thanks for reading everyone, munch on!